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Enterprise; Trade and Employment | Manufacturing and services sector challenge aversion policies

To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise; Trade and Employment the extent to which he continues to liaise with both the manufacturing and services sector with a view to continued identification of the problems they face with the objective of averting some of the challenges; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


After public consultations including direct engagement with industry representatives – both manufacturing and services – among others, on 7th December, I published the Government’s White Paper on Enterprise 2022-2030 – which is available on my Department’s website at white-paper-on-enterprise-2022-2030.pdf.

The White Paper sets out an ambitious vision for Ireland’s enterprise policy, to protect Ireland’s strong economic position, and to respond to challenges and opportunities that have emerged as a result of the pandemic, wider economic and geo-political developments, digitalisation and an increased urgency to decarbonise industry. The White Paper vision is for a sustainable, innovative and high-productivity economy, with rewarding jobs and livelihoods in the period ahead.

To achieve the White Paper vision and address the current challenges facing the enterprise community, Government is focussing on seven priority enterprise policy objectives. These seven priorities are:

1. Integrating decarbonisation and net zero commitments where our targets are a 35% emissions reduction from Industry by 2030 and 45% emissions reduction from Commercial Built Environment by 2030.

2. Placing digital transformation at the heart of enterprise policy where our target is that 90% of SMEs are at basic digital intensity by 2030.

3. Strengthening the Irish-owned exporting sector where we are targeting 2.5% average annual growth in Irish-owned enterprise productivity by 2024, a 50% increase in the number of large Irish exporting companies by 2030, 2,000 additional Irish-owned exporters by 2030, and over two-thirds of Enterprise Ireland assisted new jobs between 2022 and 2024 will be created outside of Dublin.

4. Enabling locally trading sectors to thrive where our target is a 1% average annual increase in multifactor productivity growth in domestic sectors of the economy by 2025.

5. Advancing Ireland’s FDI and trade value proposition with targets of a 20% increase in IDA client expenditure in Ireland by 2024, and at least half of all FDI investments between 2021 and 2024 to be located outside of Dublin.

6. Stepping up enterprise innovation such that Gross Expenditure on R&D will increase to 2.5% of Gross National Income by 2030 and the Number of High-Potential Start-Ups is increased by 20% by 2024.

7. Building on strengths and opportunities where our targets are five national cluster organisations funded under a new National Clustering Programme by 2025 and unemployment not to exceed one percentage point of national unemployment rate in any region.

Implementation of the White Paper will be regularly reported on to Government through a monitoring and tracking of progress against identified targets through biennial Implementation Plans.  Accordingly, my Department and our Enterprise Development Agencies will remain fully engaged with industry – and other – representatives on the challenges and opportunities that present for the Enterprise Sector.

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