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News : Irish Economy Last Updated: Sep 28, 2010 - 4:54:38 PM

Taoiseach launches aspirational 'plan' for trade, tourism and investment; Five-year 'strategy' to generate 300,000 new jobs and boost exports from Irish firms by one third
By Michael Hennigan, Founder and Editor of Finfacts
Sep 28, 2010 - 11:50:04 AM

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Minister for Enterprise and Innovation Batt O’Keeffe announces 50 jobs in Cork at planned mobile phone cover-maker's OtterBox's planned EMEA headquarters, Mon Sept 28, 2010. In picture, Minister O’Keeffe and Matt Clark, Managing Director OtterBox EMEA

The Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, today launched what he termed an ambitious five-year integrated Government plan for trade, tourism and investment aimed at generating 300,000 jobs and boosting exports by one third. Like many similar announcements this is aspirational.

The new plan, ‘Trading and Investing in a Smart Economy’, is said to be the first integrated strategy to promote overseas trade, tourism and investment.

The plan aims to:

  • Create over 150,000 direct new jobs in manufacturing, tourism and internationally trading services, with another 150,000 spin-off jobs;
  • Increase the value of Irish exports by indigenous agency-assisted firms by one third;
  • Increase the number of overseas visitors to Ireland to eight million;
  • and
  • Attract an extra 780 foreign investment projects through IDA Ireland.

The Government will set up a new Foreign Trade Council comprising all relevant Departments and agencies to implement the five-year plan.

The Foreign Trade Council will:

  • Devise new common ‘brand Ireland’ initiatives;
  • Exploit marketing platforms such as St Patrick’s Day and trade missions;
  • Open new markets for Irish small and medium-sized enterprises;
  • Align our visa policy with strategic business interests;
  • Maximise the effectiveness of our overseas diplomatic and agency representatives in key markets.

The overall value of agency-assisted indigenous exports last year was almost €13 billion.

The plan aims to increase that figure by €4 billion to some €17 billion by 2015.

O’Keeffe said the plan would strengthen Ireland’s trade links through a joined-up approach to targeting markets.

"While the US, UK and eurozone partners will continue to be key markets for Ireland, this plan aims to dramatically increase the number of exporting firms and diversify the destination of indigenous exports into new high-growth target markets such as Brazil, China, India, Russia, Japan and the Gulf States.

"The plan will drive productivity across a range of sectors - a key challenge of the “smart” economy,"
said Minister O’Keeffe.

Analysis: Cowen's fairytale 300,000 jobs 'plan'; No space for inconvenient truths

SEE: Finfacts report Mon. Sept 27, 2010; O’Keeffe announces another 'top-level' group to advise on retooling shambolic Irish innovation research strategy

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