Twelve counties had no visits this year by potential foreign investors


NEW FIGURES show that large areas of the country are being ignored by foreign investors considering locating industry here.

According to figures provided by Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton, no visits by potential foreign investors have been recorded in 12 counties to the end of May this year: Carlow, Donegal, Kerry, Kildare, Laois, Leitrim, Longford, Meath, Monaghan, Roscommon, Tipperary and Wexford.

According to the figures, Dublin continues to receive the lion’s share of visits. In a written Dáil response to a question from Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath, Mr Bruton confirmed that 52 per cent or 85 of the 162 foreign investor visits in the five months to the end of May were to Dublin.

The next highest amount was the 17 site visits to Cork, with 12 going to Limerick and Waterford, while 10 visits were recorded in Galway.

The figures show that the site visits to Dublin and the four cities of Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford account for 84 per cent of the IDA-sponsored visits this year.

This leaves 16 per cent to the remainder of the country, with six visits each to Clare and Louth.

Yesterday Mr McGrath said: “The figures show that there is definitely a bias in favour of Dublin.”

He said that in counties where no site visit had taken place “there is virtually no prospect of these counties attracting foreign direct investment into the future”.

The figures show that of the counties that received no site visit this year, Wexford, Roscommon and Longford also received no site visits last year.

The Cork TD said the IDA needed to make a greater effort in sponsoring site visits across the regions.

In his written Dáil response, Mr Bruton said: “As Ireland competes for high-quality investments, the concept of scale is crucial. Leading global corporations require a significant population pool, access to qualified talent, world standard physical and digital infrastructure, coupled with the availability of sophisticated professional and business-support services.

“Ireland has only one metro region, the greater Dublin area. In order to achieve regional economic development IDA prioritises the marketing of gateway locations within each region as the locations of critical mass, ie sufficient scale of population, skills, infrastructure, companies, business services etc, and highlights the opportunities provided by hub locations which are within commuting distances of these gateways.”

He added: “Typically, a company is shown three or four locations within a gateway economic region that can meet its requirements and, in certain cases, other locations are visited on an opportunistic basis. In selecting locations to market to client companies IDA Ireland endeavours to include locations which have been affected by closures/job losses.”