IDA warning after five years of regional growth

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Investments in IDA-supported companies in the south east have risen by 86% over the past five years, while those in the south west region rose by 37%, the state agency said.

It follows the publication last week of national figures that show record total employment from overseas-owned companies standing at 245,096.

Of the 250 investments made by overseas firms in Ireland last year, 157 were from North America, 65 from the rest of Europe, and 28 from growth markets.

The IDA yesterday released figures for the south west and south east regions, saying that both had seen a significant increase in investment over the past five years.

There are now 202 IDA- client companies in the south west region covering Cork and Kerry, employing 42,847 people.

Ray O’Connor, regional business development manager for the south west region, said that they set out to achieve a 30% to 40% uplift in investments for all regional locations outside Dublin.

“We have achieved that in every region and here in the south west, IDA Ireland has delivered a 37% overall uplift on investments over our previous strategy,” he said.

The IDA pointed to investments in companies such as JRI America in Kerry, which announced plans to expand its technology centre in Tralee and double its workforce over the next five years.

DePuy Synthes announced a €36m investment in Ringaskiddy and Stryker announced a €200m investment.

The south east region, comprising Waterford, Wexford, Carlow, Kilkenny, and South Tipperary now has 78 IDA client companies employing 15,837 people.

Investments announced in 2019 included Allstate Sales Group who announced the establishment of their software development and CAD support centre in Waterford creating 100 jobs.

IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan said they were optimistic about the pipeline for regions in the first half of 2020.

However, he warned of a possible economic correction in key markets over the next five years along with continued trade tensions and subdued global economic growth.