Dáil Éireann - Volume 508 - 06 October, 1999

Written Answers. - Capital Assistance Grants.

97. Mr. Wall asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if her attention has been drawn to the problems which companies seeking capital assistance grants are encountering if they do not qualify for county enterprise funds and are not exporting their produce; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19206/99]

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Ms Harney): The mission of Enterprise Ireland is to help client companies develop a sustainable competitive advantage leading to increasing profitable sales, exports and employment. The client base of Enterprise Ireland is comprised of companies which are Irish based and whose growth and development can be enhanced through working with Enterprise Ireland.

[1300] The key metrics of sales, exports and employment underpin the need for Enterprise Ireland to focus strongly on companies with the willingness and potential to trade internationally. Given the limited size of the domestic Irish market and its increasing openness in a globalised competitive environment, significant growth in sales and employment can only be achieved through exporting. Enterprise Ireland accordingly give priority to assisting companies with export potential. This approach is reflected in the three year strategy – 1999-2001 – which was recently published by the agency.

If the Deputy is aware of particular companies which are having difficulty in securing support I would be glad to forward details to Enterprise Ireland and arrange for a client development executive from the agency to consult with them on their development needs.