Potential foreign investors ignore regions


LARGE AREAS of the country are not considered by foreign investors looking at locating industry here, according to new figures.

The figures, provided by Minister for Enterprise Richard Bruton, show that no visits by potential foreign investors were recorded in 12 counties to the end of this May: Carlow, Donegal, Kerry, Kildare, Laois, Leitrim, Longford, Meath, Monaghan, Roscommon, Tipperary and Wexford.

The figures show that 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 Dublin got 52 per cent, or 85, of the 162 foreign investor visits in the five months to the end of May.

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

The site visits to the top five cities accounted for 84 per cent of the IDA- sponsored visits this year.

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

Wexford, Roscommon and Longford had no site visits this year or last year.

Yesterday, Mr McGrath said, of the counties where no site visit had taken place, “there is virtually no prospect of these counties attracting foreign direct investment into the future”.

The Cork deputy said the IDA needs to make a greater effort in sponsoring site visits across the regions. He said that the number of visits to Cork this year was very small compared with Dublin.

In his written 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.

“Whilst IDA Ireland seeks to influence the selection of a location, the final decision . . . is taken in all cases by the client company.”