Chambers Ireland Submission for the Enterprise Policy Consultation

Chambers Ireland have submitted a response to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment for the White Paper on Enterprise Policy Consultation.

We welcome the Department’s decision to initiate a wide-ranging review of our national enterprise policy, as the last strategic look at our national industrial policy occurred in 2004’s “Ahead of the Curve”.

We strongly support the existing policy for multi-national companies which has created almost 300,000 jobs in Ireland. In areas of the High Value Manufacturing Sector such as Pharma/Biotech, AgriFood, ICT, and MedTech, our existing industrial policy has served Ireland particularly well.

Any future policy should build on the success of these sectors and must ensure that the achievements in those areas can continue. However, we also need to consider than many of the competitive advantages that we had in 2004 are either no longer present, or not weighted as heavily by the FDI sector.

Key points in our submission:

  • There are strong benefits to be gained from maintaining our policies that relate to High-Value Manufacturing Centres
  • Future Policy should look to expanding efforts beyond these, and have more focus on strengthening the broader domestic economy, rather than focusing on HPSUs.
  • Our infrastructure deficit weakens our offering on the international stage and must be addressed
  • In the wake of the OECD BEPS2 agreement we need to create a new narrative around business in Ireland
  • Housing is holding us back, both in the domestic economy and in attracting talent for MNCs
  • As more companies become more sensitive about their climate impact our reliance on fossil fuel derived electricity will count against us in the FDI space
  • Making progress on improving our water infrastructure is critical
  • We have enormous opportunities to benefit from the exploitation of our renewable offshore energy resources, but we need far greater ambition
  • Brexit will strengthen our attractiveness for US FDI in the EU, and places us in a unique position to become a logistics hub on the interface between GB, EU and the rest of the world
  • Deglobalisation and friend-shoring will open up new opportunities for Ireland as we are an agile economy that can quickly adapt to changes in the global economy
  • Cybersecurity is an area where we are not as strong as we could be but there are enormous opportunities for the country if we extend our activities in this area
  • The Creative Industries were identified as a key growth area in “Ahead of the Curve” but the opportunities there were not exploited to the fullest
  • Within the domestic economy there are considerable underutilised resources that could be more productively employed and can be a source of growth for years to come

The full submission is attached.