Remarks by Heather Humphreys, T.D. – Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation
11 June 2018
It’s often said that Ireland is a country that has, over many decades, punched above its weight on the world stage, whether it’s been the arts, in the sporting arena or in the corridors of business.
We should all, as Irish people, be proud of that track record.
But I think we can be even more excited about what the future has in store, because Global Footprint 2025 will allow the country as a whole to punch harder, punch further and punch with more effect – all across the world.
Now, as the Taoiseach and Tánaiste have already described, Global Footprint 2025 is more than just an initiative to grow our Government’s presence abroad, as important as that may be.
It’s about improving our capacity to wield and exert influence.
It’s about better connecting us with our friends, partners and the Irish diaspora.
And it’s about equipping our open economy with the tools we need to thrive in the global economy.
When it comes to positioning Ireland to thrive in the new global marketplace, we have no better tools – and I know this first hand as Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation – than our first-class enterprise agencies: the IDA and Enterprise Ireland.
What Global Footprint 2025 will do, over time, is to sharpen and hone those tools further. And extend their reach.
What’s remarkable is that the IDA and Enterprise Ireland are already achieving fantastic results for the Irish economy and Irish people.
Clients of the two Agencies already support over 400,000 jobs between them, right across our island.
The level of investment into, and exports out of, Ireland has simply never been higher.
This is driving economic growth and, more importantly, helping to sustain communities and families in every single County.
But as the Taoiseach has indicated, we cannot rest on our laurels.
Just as the world is changing quickly in political, social and environmental terms, so too is the realm of global business and commerce.
The worldwide investment marketplace, for example, is becoming increasingly competitive with each passing day.
Every new project secured by the IDA is hard-fought and hard-won.
Similarly, in the face of stiff competition, Irish exporters must be ever more innovative and look further and wider to find markets for their products.
Brexit, of course, is not making our lives any easier either.
The challenges it poses to our exporters and to the global investment climate are significant and cannot be ignored.
Quite simply, we cannot sit still as we are confronted by this rapidly shifting business and geopolitical landscape.
So that’s why Global Footprint 2025 is so important.
It will help our enterprise agencies, and other arms of the Government that promote our economic interests abroad, strengthen and grow further.
It will give them the added muscle and clout they need to compete on the world stage.
And it will mean Ireland is best-placed to thrive into the future as an outward facing, open economy.
This Government is firmly committed to implementing this plan to strengthen Ireland’s place in the world.
I look forward to working closely with my Ministerial colleagues on this important initiative in the time ahead.
Go raibh mile maith agaibh.