The Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton TD has this evening highlighted the importance of foreign direct investment to the Irish economy, saying that maintaining and winning investment from international job creators depends on a Yes vote in the referendum on the Stability Treaty.
Speaking at a meeting of her Dublin South East Fine Gael organisation in Sandymount Minister Creighton said:
“Foreign direct investment in this country accounts for over 1,000 overseas companies which translates into 145,000 jobs, 70% of total exports and €2.8 billion in corporation tax receipts. These companies spend €16bn per year on goods, services and wages in Ireland.”
“The latest figures show that 2011 was a very strong year for attracting investment into the Irish economy with a record 148 new investments secured, creating 13,000 new jobs. This represented a 30% increase in companies investing in Ireland for the first time.”
Minister Creighton outlined the attractiveness of Ireland as a place to do business:
“We are highly regarded across the world as an excellent place to trade from. Global companies recognise that as the only English speaking member of the euro zone we are ideally placed as a gateway to Europe. We should remember that this country is ranked as the number one place in Europe to do business, number one in Europe for ease of paying taxes and number one in Europe for the completion of third level education. Put simply, we are an open transparent economy with a highly skilled workforce and a market of €500 million people on our doorstep. Crucially we are also a member of the second largest currency in the world. International investors recognise this which is why they keep setting up shop in Ireland.”
“This week 15 key technology companies, including HP, IBM and Microsoft called for a Yes vote. These firms created 2,600 jobs this year.
“Investors realise that this Treaty will not affect Ireland’s corporation tax rate. Corporation tax is not an issue for the new Treaty and the Government’s firm position in the matter has not changed. The fact that the word “tax” doesn’t even appear once in the Treaty text is a vindication of the Government’s position.”
“Investors come here because they link Ireland’s membership of the euro zone to our long term economic stability and access to outside support if necessary. By voting Yes we can guarantee that stability and support. We can guarantee continued confidence and investment in the Irish economy.”