Dáil Éireann - Volume 600 - 20 April, 2005
Written Answers. - Indigenous Enterprise.
Cecilia Keaveney Cecilia Keaveney
147. Cecilia Keaveney asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment his views on whether adequate opportunities are available for indigenous companies to expand; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12009/05]
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin
Mr. Martin: Many Irish companies, especially those in the traditional manufacturing sector, face particular difficulties in expanding due to productivity and competitiveness issues. Enterprise Ireland’s competitiveness fund was established to help increase productivity levels and build competitiveness of companies operating in the traditional manufacturing sector. Some 97 applications, to the value of €11.9 million, were approved for these manufacturing companies. Total investments forecast in these companies as a result of Enterprise Ireland investments amounted to €41 million over a two-year period. This investment together with other Enterprise Ireland supports and services will have a considerable impact on improving the competitiveness of the companies and help position them to compete in international markets.
The evolution of the global economy offers potentially limitless opportunities for indigenous companies. Exploiting the prospects offered by newer export markets such as central and eastern Europe and by countries such as China beyond Ireland’s more traditional markets is critical for future growth. However, the growth of these regions has also resulted in increased competitive pressures for indigenous companies in sustaining and growing market share. Furthermore, moves by multinational companies to reduce sub-supplier numbers also entail increased competition for some Irish firms placing increased pressure on a possible avenue of indigenous company growth. Consequently, as a country with a relatively limited domestic market for products and services, it is imperative that Irish companies wishing to expand continue to seek opportunities to grow through increased internationalisation activities. Ambitious companies will need to win contracts and market position in existing and new markets internationally.
Enterprise Ireland through its network of 33 overseas offices, assists clients to create and implement successful strategies for market entry, development and growth. Services provided include arranging access to international buyers and increasing the number of in-market trade promotion activities.
Success in exporting requires a product that can compete internationally. Effectively and creatively using technology to develop new and innovative products and services based on evolving customer demands will be crucial to the future success of Irish companies. Research and innovation, in product and process development, is critical. Consequently, Enterprise Ireland is focused on driving higher levels of research and development activity through the rural transport initiative scheme and several research and development initiatives and undertakes research and development awareness campaigns to encourage activity by non-research and development performers. It also assists researchers to commercialise research in order to get technology out of third level institutions and into companies so that they are in a position to realise new sales opportunities. The commitment to research and development is emphasised by the fact that an annual budget of €80 million to invest in companies and research institutions for market-led projects is administered by Enterprise Ireland.
Dáil Éireann 600 Written Answers. Indigenous Enterprise.