FDI jobs growth 'is likely to slow', IDA chief warns
GROWTH in foreign direct investment (FDI) jobs is unlikely to continue at the same pace as in recent years, the IDA has warned.
CEO Martin Shanahan said that increasing nationalism and protectionism around the world was “likely to have an impact on future FDI figures”.
He also expressed concern that the US economy looks set for a slowdown.
“If one looks at the US economy and looks at a multitude of indicators I think one would have to be concerned that it is at the end potentially of a very long positive cycle.
“Given that it is our key source market we have to be continually vigilant in relation to that.”
Employment growth at multinationals was higher in 2018 than 2017, despite a range of geopolitical concerns from Brexit to the US-China trade dispute. A record number of almost 230,000 is now employed by IDA client companies here.
Business Minister Heather Humphreys said the agency had seen the largest regional employment growth in 17 years.
Almost 60pc of jobs supported by IDA clients are located outside Dublin.
Aside from international factors, continued growth is also at risk from domestic issues.
“As we said last year, maintaining the competitiveness of the Irish economy remains absolutely essential,” Mr Shanahan said.
Competitiveness issues raised by IDA clients include housing, investment in education and the higher marginal rate of income tax which some see as a disincentive for foreign workers who might otherwise want to come here.
Mr Shanahan said he had not encountered any significant issues from potential clients in relation to Revenue’s recent demand for €1.6bn in tax from Perrigo, or in relation to the EU Commission’s ruling that Apple should pay €13bn in back taxes to Ireland.
He added that there was unprecedented competition from other countries which are looking to try to win foreign direct investment. He also said that the country must prepare for robotics and artificial intelligence playing an increased role in work life.
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