Dáil Éireann - Volume 522 - 27 June, 2000
Written Answers. - Regional Development.
Mr. Hogan Mr. Hogan
88. Mr. Hogan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if her attention has been drawn to the widespread concern of people in the south-east region regarding the inadequate manufacturing business in the region and the failure to implement the policy of regional dispersal of inward investment to locations especially in County Kilkenny; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18276/00]
Ms Harney Ms Harney
Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Ms Harney): The Government is committed to ensuring the most equitable distribution of job opportunities throughout the country. The industrial development agencies are now strongly focused on achieving this aim and resources are being deployed to reflect this focus.
IDA Ireland has carried out an extensive analysis to determine the needs of the different regions and to identify the industrial sectors most likely to deliver quality jobs. The main aim of the agency's activity is to try to increase the share of new greenfield projects locating in the regions in order to achieve its regional impact.
However, it is not merely a question of jobs dispersal, the agency is seeking to bring a better mix of industry sectors and higher value industries to locations around the country, in particular, to locations that have not seen the emergence of the modern industries. The agency's new strategy also addresses the need to increase the value and sustainability of overseas companies already established or about to establish in Ireland.
A total of 1,255 new jobs in four IDA Ireland supported companies were announced during 1999 for this region. These jobs have already started to come on stream and are adding significantly to the base of employment in the 81 IDA Ireland supported companies which already employ nearly 10,000 companies. IDA Ireland's marketing focus for new greenfield projects for the region is on the key sectors of information and communications technology, ICT, pharmaceuticals and internationally traded services.
A key element of IDA Ireland's strategy is to ensure the provision of high quality office and business parks and buildings in all the larger towns by working closely with the local authorities and private sector investors.
In Kilkenny city, this strategy is showing results in that a new 43 acre prestigious business and technology park has been developed by the agency with two advance buildings completed which are being actively promoted. The industrial development agencies are also promoting the for mer envelopes factory in Thomastown for industrial development.
New properties have also been provided in other counties in the region. A new technology park has been developed in Waterford city in addition to the ongoing provision of quality offices and manufacturing buildings on the existing IDA Ireland industrial park. The Belview strategic site is also being promoted for industrial development. The availability of such facilities are deemed essential to the attraction of industry to an area.
Enterprise Ireland is also committed to assisting industrial development in the region. In addition to working with its core client base, the agency works closely with all development organisations and other industry in the area. This facilitates an integrated approach to development in the region.
The national development plan will also help to underpin IDA Ireland's regional strategy since it will provide the infrastructure necessary for the attraction of overseas investment currently lacking outside the major urban areas.
Dáil Éireann 522 Written Answers. Regional Development.