Foreign firms account for most of State’s industrial output

Figures show foreign-owned businesses have smaller employment footprint

Currently Ireland is home to 24 of 25 biggest global pharma players, including Johnson & Johnson, Roche, Pfizer, Novartis and AbbVie.

Currently Ireland is home to 24 of 25 biggest global pharma players, including Johnson & Johnson, Roche, Pfizer, Novartis and AbbVie.

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Foreign-owned enterprises accounted for nearly five times the industrial output of Irish firms in 2016 but had a smaller employment footprint.

New Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures on the State’s industrial sector show foreign-owned enterprises produced €150 billion worth of industrial output that year compared to €32 billion from Irish-owned firms.

The industrial sector typically includes manufacturing, mining and utilities. In the Republic, it is dominated by big pharma and biotech firms, which locate a significant portion of their production chains here to avail of the low corporation tax.

Currently Ireland is home to 24 of 25 biggest global pharma players, including Johnson & Johnson, Roche, Pfizer, Novartis and AbbVie.

On a regional basis, Dublin accounted for 18 per cent or €32 billion of industrial output in 2016 with foreign-owned enterprises accounting for 71 per cent. The midwest, southeast and southwest regions combined produced €112.4 billion or 62 per cent of the Republic’s total industrial output.

The midland region was the only region who had a higher proportion of gross output attributable to Irish-owned industrial units at 68 per cent.

Employment

While Irish-owned firms accounted for just under 18 per cent of gross output, worth €32 billion, they accounted for 133,574 jobs or 57 per cent of employment in the sector. The CSO figures show foreign-owned businesses accounted for 101,778 jobs (43 per cent).

Wages per person in industry were highest in the Dublin region at €52,200, while the Border region reported the lowest average wage per person in industry in 2016 at €38,000. More than €11 billion was spent on wages and salaries by industrial units in Ireland in 2016.

The total spend for the Dublin region was €2.6 billion on wages and salaries while the midland region reported the lowest total spend at €500 million.

Large sized units, employing 250 or more staff based in the mideast region accounted for 67 per cent of total industrial gross output in that region in 2016. This region produced industrial gross output of €16 billion, of which, €11 billion was produced by large units and €5 billion produced by small and medium-sized units.

In the Dublin region, of the €32.3 billion worth of gross industrial output produced in 2016, €23 billion or 70 per cent was produced by large-sized units and €9.5 billion was produced by small and medium-sized units.

The European Union accounts for more than 50 per cent of total goods exports with a significant share going to Belgium.

Antwerp is one of the largest global drug redistribution hubs and receives most of the State’s pharma exports which are not destined for the United States. The US is the main non-EU destination, accounting for 25 per cent.

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