The absolute importance of foreign investment in our economic recovery was underlined again yesterday when American pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb announced that is to create up to 400 jobs in Dublin as part of a €720m investment in a new plant.
This investment is on a scale that very few domestic firms might contemplate and makes a significant contribution towards reducing the unemployment rate. Despite everything, despite almost a litany self-inflicted ignominies Enda Kenny’s Government is enjoying slow, steady success in creating the kind of environment to support new jobs. Unemployment is down from a crushing, all-time high of 17.3% 30 years ago to 11%, the lowest since March of 2009. These figures are not a spectacular reversal, and emigration is a factor too, but the graph is positive if moving slower than everyone might wish.
The announcement points — once again — to a less than flattering comparison though. The sophisticated facility is expected to open for business by 2019. It would be a very brave bookie who might offer good odds that our national children’s hospital, despite decades of prevarication, will be helping cure sick children by that date. Be that as it may this is another very welcome announcement and this society’s debt to the IDA, who must have faced very stiff international competition to secure the project, is extended. The importance of achievements like this cannot be underestimated.
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