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April Trade & Investment Report

Contents

Key Economic Indicators

Economic News

  • Innovation Task Force Report Published
  • AmCham FOI Appeal Upheld
  • Sharp Rise in Irish Manufacturing 
  • CSO Release end of year Trade Figures
  • Global Recovery Remains Strong
  • New IDA Strategy Launched
  • Irish Innovation above EU average
  • Government Reach Deal with Public Sector Unions
  • Government Launch Smart Economy Competence Centres
  • Commission requests end to restrictive exit tax provisions

Major US Investment Announcements

  • LinkedIn Locates New International HQ in Dublin
  • Further Expansion from eBay
  • IBM Launch Major R&D Centre
  • HP create 60 new jobs in Dublin
  • Citrix expands Customer Technical Support Centre
  • PAS Technologies Officially Opened

Reports of Interest

 


Key Economic Indicatorsi

Indicators

2007

2008

2009 (e)

2010 (f)

Broad Trend

Irish GDP Growth

6.0%

-3.0%

-7.2%

-1.1%

US GDP Growth

2.5%

0.4%

-2.7%

1.5%

Irish GNP Growth

4.4%

-2.8%

-8.9%

-2.3%

Irish Inflation (CPI)

4.9%

4.1%

-4.3%

0%

US Inflation (CPI)

-

3.8%

-0.4%

1.7%

Main ECB Interest Rates End of Year

4.0%

2.5%

1.0%

1.75%

US Interest Rates End of Year

4.25%

0%-0.25%

0%-0.25%

-

Irish Unemployment

4.6%

6.3%

12.2%

14.8%

Balance of Payments C/A

-€10,128m

-€9,439m

 -€1,692m

€2,390m

Markit Eurozone Composite PMI

52.5

35.6

54.2

-

 Arrow Direction indicates direction of trend;arrow colour indicates whether trends are perceived as positive (Green) or negative (red).

(e) = estimates (f) = forecast


Economic News

Innovation Task Force Report Published
The Innovation Taskforce has launched its report setting out the vision of Ireland as a Global Innovation Hub. The Taskforce has made recommendations across a wide range of areas including the introducing a European Accelerator Programme to attract the European HQs of fast-growing private US companies; encourage overseas entrepreneurs to come to Ireland to start and grow their companies; transforming the Intellectual Property (IP) arrangements and make Ireland an International Innovation Services Centre (IISC). If done successfully, the Taskforce estimates that a minimum of 117,000 new jobs could be created by 2020.

The Chamber welcomed the, saying that it demonstrates recognition by Government that Ireland will need a step change in its programmes and policies to secure future prosperity driven by Innovation and continued inward investment.

Read Full American Chamber Response
Read Full Report (PDF)

AmCham FOI Appeal Upheld
The American Chamber of Commerce Ireland is pleased to announce that following interventions made by the Chamber the Office of the Information Commissioner has decided not to disclose names  of companies ‘awarded licenses for the export of military or dual use products,‘ which had been identified as a serious concern to a number of members. The Commissioner accepted the Chamber's contention that the information is exempt on the grounds that it is commercially sensitive and could prejudice the competitive position of licence holders.

The Chamber would like to acknowledge the input (in confidence) of our member firm's executives in preparing our initial submission. Once submitted in early December, Amcham proactively reached out to other stakeholders to actively knit together a coalition of support for the current regime.

Sharp Rise in Irish Manufacturing 
March data signalled that operating conditions in the Irish manufacturing sector improved for the first time in twenty-eight months. Output rose sharply, as did new business, driven by series-record new export order growth.  The seasonally adjusted NCB Purchasing Managers' Index® (PMI®) - an indicator designed to provide a single figure measure of the health of the manufacturing industry - rose strongly to 53.0 in March, from 48.6 in February.

The reading marked the greatest improvement in business conditions since September 2007. Irish manufacturing output increased considerably in March, ending a three-month sequence of contraction. Moreover, the rate of expansion was the fastest in forty-five months. The rise was driven by higher new business.

New orders grew for the first time in three months, and at the steepest pace since September 2007. Panellists indicated that demand had strengthened in domestic as well as foreign markets. New export orders increased more quickly than total new business. Furthermore, new orders from overseas rose at the fastest pace in the series history. The steep rise in new business at Irish manufacturers led to a slight build up of work-in-hand in March.

Source: Irishpurchasing.com

CSO Release end of year Trade Figures 
Exports for 2009 were €83,477m, a 3% decrease on 2008 figures. However certain sectors continued to perform well with Medical and pharmaceutical products exports increasing 17% led by US multinationals. Meanwhile the 4th Quarter 2009 Balance of Payments current account deficit fell to €166m giving a deficit of €4,814m for the year as a whole. This was €4.6bn lower than the previous year and the lowest annual deficit since.

Source: CSO

Global Recovery Remains Strong
The global economic recovery remains strong in 2010 according to economists at US investment bank Morgan Stanley. They continue to forecast solid, above consensus global GDP growth of 4.4% this year. The economists say that the risks of a global double -dip this year are low. Rather, they think that economic growth could surprise on the upside over the next couple of quarters.

New IDA Strategy Launched
The IDA has launched ‘Horizon 2020', their strategic blueprint for attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Ireland in the coming decade. The report also outlines a series of impactful short term goals, including an ambitious target for job creation. Investment Targets 2010-201 include 105,000 new jobs, 640 investments, 50% of investments will be located outside Dublin and Cork.

Source: Irish Times  

Irish Innovation above EU average
Ireland is in the group of innovation followers, with an innovation performance above the EU27 average, according to the 2009 European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS) published this month. Ireland's rate of improvement is just below that of the EU27. Relative strengths, compared to the country's average performance, are in human resources. The report says over the past 5 years, human resources and finance and support have been the main drivers of the improvement in innovation performance, in particular as a result from strong growth in lifelong learning (13.7%).

Source: Finfacts

Government Reach Deal with Public Sector Unions
Public Service management and unions have reached agreement on a comprehensive agenda for Public Service transformation and on a framework for public service pay determination over the period to 2014. The agreement covers a range of important transformation issues across all of the main sectors of the Public Service including Health, Education, Local Government, Justice, Defence, the Civil Service and State Agencies. It includes a joint mechanism to support implementation and it also addresses the issue of pay determination in the period to 2014.

Source: Department of the Taoiseach

Government Outline Financial Sector Recovery Plans 
The Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan TD has outlined the Government's plans to tackle the problems in Ireland's financial sector.  The plans include transferring of bank loans to the National Asset Management Agency and a programme of recapitalisation. 

The first batch of loans being transferred to NAMA is made up of 1,200 individual loans and originally worth €16bn, which will be bought for €8.5bn.  The Minister stated that the steps will provide certainty to the people from whom we must borrow; certainty among our trading partners; and certainty to investors, both at home and overseas, who look to this country for opportunities.

Source: Department of Finance

Government Launch Smart Economy Competence Centres
The Government has launched a €56m investment to boost companies determined to succeed and grow in the Smart Economy launching nine Competence Centres.  In the Centres clusters of companies will work together to overcome common research challenges and drive opportunities for innovation, growth and jobs. There will be 180 SMEs and multinational companies involved in nine centres, five of which are now established. Those established cover Bioenergy & Biorefining, IT Innovation, Applied Nanotechnology, Composite Materials and Microelectronics. 

Source: Entemp.ie

Commission requests end to restrictive exit tax provisions
The European Commission has formally requested Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands to change tax rules which impose an immediate exit tax when companies transfer their seat or assets to another Member State. The Commission considers these provisions to be incompatible with the freedom of establishment provided for in Article 49 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. A similar case against Sweden has been closed, since Sweden had complied with the Commission's request.


 

Major US Investment Announcements

LinkedIn Locates New International HQ in Dublin 
LinkedIn, the world's largest professional network with more than 60 million members globally, has announced that it is opening its new international headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. LinkedIn plans to hire for several positions in its new Dublin office including positions in marketing, sales, finance and customer service. Welcoming the announcement the American Chamber said "With Google, Facebook, eBay, PayPal and now LinkedIn located here, Ireland is developing a reputation as a location of choice for internet based US companies. These companies are high growth innovation led companies which epitomise the smart economy. We congratulate IDA Ireland on securing this investment."

Source: ida.ie

Further Expansion from eBay 
Online auctioneer eBay is to create 150 new jobs at its European Centre of Excellence in Blanchardstown, Dublin. eBay already employs over 1,600 people at its Blanchardstown site together with PayPal, its online payment system. eBay has created the new permanent positions in customer service, personal account management and process enhancement.

Source: Silicon Republic

IBM Launch Major R&D Centre
IBM has announced the establishment of its first Smarter Cities Technology Centre. The Centre will be located in Dublin where IBM will build a highly skilled and cross-disciplinary team to help cities around the world better understand, interconnect and manage their core operational systems such as transport, communication, water and energy.

The new Smarter Cities Technology Centre will create as many as 200 new roles in an IDA-supported investment of up to EUR 66 million over the next three years. The team of subject matter experts will work with city authorities, universities, small and large businesses as well as experts from IBM Research and the company's Software Development Lab in Ireland to research, develop and commercialise new ways of making city systems more connected, sustainable and intelligent. The Chamber of Commerce Ireland today congratulates IBM Ireland on the establishment of its Smarter Cities Technology Centre and congratulate IDA Ireland on securing this investment for Ireland, stating that the decision by is a significant endorsement of the potential of a collaborative culture between the multinational community and academia to deliver jobs and investment for Ireland.

HP create 60 new jobs in Dublin
HP, one of Ireland's largest multinational companies, is to create 60 new jobs at its Global Solutions Centre in Belfield, Dublin. The new roles are in the area of first line support to customers, on-site engineers, partners and distributors and the company is seeking to recruit individuals with the necessary technical experience and language capabilities (fluency in English and one other relevant European language) to service the operation.

HP has over 4,000 people employed across its core business groups in Leixlip, Dublin, Galway and Belfast. This announcement today from HP, follows on from recent expansion announcements at its operation in Ireland with the creation of the Global Services Desk in March 2009, creating 500 jobs and the expansion of the company's Galway operation in September, with the creation of 50 jobs.

Source: IDA Ireland 
Citrix expands Customer Technical Support Centre 
Citrix Systems Ireland, the headquarters of Customer Technical Support for Europe Middle East and Africa announced that it is increasing its workforce by up to 30 full time employees. These jobs are in addition to the 20 new jobs announced late last year and are required to support the ongoing growth of Citrix' technical services business in the EMEA region. Citrix in Ireland continues to expand steadily and after a highly successful recruitment drive in October 2009, the company has opened a number of additional roles to support the Customer Technical Support business growth team.

 Source: Business & Leadership

PAS Technologies Officially Opened
PAS Technologies officially opened its leading-edge R&D centre in Cork and signed a major $11 million contract with Siemens. PAS Technologies' principal activity is the repair, refurbishment and remanufacture of components of gas turbine engines used in the utilities and power generation sectors. This highly innovative R&D centre will be responsible for the development of advanced technology component repair services for land based turbine engines, which are used to power electricity generation stations, pump oil and gas and to power ships, desalination plants, and factory utilities. The Irish operation is responsible for developing and embracing new capability and technology on behalf of the wider PAS Group, developing materials, processes and tooling to service and repair components of land-based turbines.

i All figures from the ESRI Quarterly Economic Commentary, Autumn 2009 unless otherwise stated


Reports of Interest Released last Month

Innovation Ireland- Report of the Innovation Task Force (PDF)

 Horizon 2020 - IDA Ireland Strategy (PDF)

OECD Economic Policy Reforms: Going For Growth Ireland Notes (PDF)

 Investing in Ireland - PwC (PDF)

Maximising the Environment for Company Research and Development - Forfás

Jobs & Growth 2010- Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment