Forfás, the national policy advisory board which provides Government with policy advice on a range of policy areas from an enterprise perspective has launched its annual report 2011 which highlights policy advice, research and analysis and additional activities undertaken by Forfás in 2011.
Data collected on shows full time employment among agency supported firms saw a return to growth (+1.5 percent) in 2011 following three years of net job losses. Full time employment among Irish owned companies increased by 0.4 percent to 141,392 in 2011. Foreign owned companies total full time employment was 143,079 in 2011, an increase of 2.7 percent on the previous year.
Direct expenditures of these firms in the Irish economy fell by 4.4 percent in 2010 to €34.95bn. Irish owned firms accounted for almost half of that expenditure.
Agency assisted companies represented 77 per cent of the total corporation tax paid in the economy in 2010.
Indigenous exports increased by 14.7 percent to €12.37bn, and foreign-owned firms’ exports increased by 2.5 percent from €112bn to €114.62bn between 2009 and 2010. Foreign-owned firms accounted for 90 percent of total exports in 2010. Additionally, value added increased by 3 percent for foreign owned firms in 2010.
Industry-academic collaboration is one area according to Forfás which requires increased investment by the state. With regard to skills, more needs to be done to better align education and training provision at all levels with future skills needs of the economy. Furthermore, it is recommended in the report that efforts to diversify trade in terms of new markets and high growth sectors must continue. It also stresses the need to focus on cost containment and regulatory reform in key areas of business costs including energy, waste and business services. Investment needs to be targeted at areas to promote productivity and growth.
Eoin O’Driscoll, Chairman, Forfás said “We need to remain focused on opportunities for growth and areas where Ireland can compete successfully and the enterprise development agencies have a significant role to play in developing these opportunities. Many sectors exhibit potential to grow, including well developed sectors such as ICT, lifesciences, financial services, agri-food and engineering and new sectors such as digital games, green technologies, private health and international education. Manufacturing remains hugely important and presents, with the right cost base, an opportunity to create significant numbers of jobs particularly when integrated with other parts of the value chain in high value sectors.”