Blog Article 06 Oct 2014

With increased global competition, IDA Ireland’s new website will spearhead Ireland’s highly successful Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) strategy and offer potential investors a ‘shop window’ from where they can start planning their Irish success story.

It has been a good couple of months for Ireland Inc. Our economy is now the fastest growing in Europe and Ireland has been lauded as one of four EU Member States with high and improving industrial competitiveness in a new report. Furthermore, a study from consultancy firm McKinsey ranked Ireland as the 14th most connected country in terms of global flows of goods, services, people, capital and data.

There is little doubt, as a nation, we have performed incredibly well in boosting our attractiveness as a location for FDI, despite the ravages of recession. However, success in the past is no guarantee of success in the future. Ireland needs to continually improve, innovate and adapt if it is to remain a highly attractive place for organisations to invest in.

IDA Ireland knows this better than anyone. Since our creation in 1949 we have continually evolved to match the ever-changing needs of foreign businesses seeking to locate in Ireland.

Meeting the Challenge

The FDI market is more competitive than ever. And while FDI growth did start to recover in 2013, with a 10.94% growth globally, according to the FDIntelligence Report, the number of regions and countries competing for such investment is growing.

So far Ireland has managed to maintain its leading role. While other countries were in recovery mode, 2013 proved a record year for FDI in Ireland. IDA client employment reached its highest ever level at 166,184, while FDI alone created 25,000 jobs in 2012 and 2013.

This year is proving even better, with the number of greenfield investments, expansions and transformations by existing companies growing. Indeed, the number of investments secured in the first six months of 2014 was up by 42% on the same period in 2013.

Nonetheless, with competition for mobile multinational investment rising dramatically in recent years, with more countries now possessing the basic conditions to attract investments, Ireland needs to innovate to differentiate itself from other competitors.

Differentiate

In order to compete effectively, Ireland must not only maintain high standards of performance and continue to compete strongly in areas, such as business supports and cost competitiveness, but also needs to differentiate itself in other ways from the competition.

Many investors first contact with Ireland as an investment location is online. Many others, who are time poor, have expressed a preference for full site visit online, including a full view of properties, contacts with peer firms and engagements with service providers to be provided in digital format.

Offering this to potential investors is a key focus of IDA Ireland and is at the core of the new look website, which is easier to navigate and offers more concise, informative content.

Ireland must highlight its improved offering to multinational companies in terms of talent, technology, sectors and providing great places to live and work if it is to continue to grow FDI.

While corporate tax and talent have been key factors in attracting companies over the years, Ireland has moved up the value chain in terms of its FDI focus.  It now offers world-class high-level functions, such as research and development, and the presence of deep clusters of companies in certain sectors that flourish through the pooling of intellectual insight, capital and collaboration.

The Power of Persuasion

The effective marketing and perception management undertaken by IDA has been a key factor driving these advances.

So, while technological improvements and streamlining content to be accessible across all devices was one of several drivers underpinning the redevelopment of the website, the core reason was to provide effective, persuasive communication to IDA Ireland’s target audience.

The new website aims to attract, inform and persuade those who have the potential to invest in Ireland and those who can influence those investors. This is at the root of everything IDA Ireland does.

This new FDI ‘shop window’ will not be a stand-alone or static web presence. It will be constantly updated, adjusted and re-focused to meet the needs of its target audience, and integrated into IDA Ireland's efforts throughout the globe in attracting new investments.

The world of FDI is constantly evolving and rapidly changing. IDA Ireland has so far managed to be ahead of the curve. Our new website will help us to continue this success story for Ireland and its economic future.

Caitriona O'Kennedy, Head of Marketing Commnications

@caitrionaok_IDA

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