The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton today unveiled plans to create up to 7,000 new jobs a year from Foreign Direct investment (FDI) while re-stating his commitment to the 12.5pc tax rate.
He said that Ireland supports the global effort to reform the tax regime for multinational corporations and that this must be within a multilaterally negotiated agreement.
The statement comes after Ireland came under the spotlight for so-called tax-inversion schemes where Us companies re-domicile to countries like Ireland in order to avoid the 35pc tax rate levied in the US.
Minister Bruton was speaking as he published his Department's Policy Statement on Foreign Direct Investment in Ireland, looking at the period 2015-2020, agreed recently by Government.
He said he has requested IDA Ireland to prepare a new strategy on multinational investment in Ireland to 2020, following on from their previous strategy which runs to 2014, outlining a series of targets for jobs, investments and regions and how they will be delivered. Development of this strategy, which will draw on the principles set out in today's policy statement, has already commenced and will be spearheaded by incoming CEO Martin Shanahan.
The policy statement published today, prepared with the support of Forfas, finds that competition for mobile multinational investment has increased dramatically in recent years. It finds that many more countries now possess the basic conditions to attract investments - in areas like cost competitiveness, competitive taxation regimes and effective investment promotion agencies.
" The FDI landscape has changed dramatically in recent years. On the positive side, Irish branches of multinationals increasingly play a strategic leadership role within their parent companies. However, international competition has increased dramatically, and many of the tools we relied on previously � cost competitiveness, the high performance of the IDA, competitive corporation tax regime, State support � are increasingly no longer enough to mark Ireland out. Changes will undoubtedly come in the international corporation tax system which will pose challenges as well as opportunities for Ireland and we plan to compete strongly in this area," he added.
He said that one of the key elements of the Government's plan is a commitment to retaining the 12.5pc corporation tax rate, allied to support for multilateral reform of the international tax system.
He described changes proposed to the international tax system as a "challenge" but also as an opportunity for Ireland if they provide the certainty, stability and predictability for potential investors in the years ahead.
He said that Ireland must seek to become renowned internationally for the higher-order abilities of our workforce, in terms of problem-solving, creativity, design-thinking and adaptability. Ireland must be internationally known for developing and nurturing talent at all skill levels, and as an attractive destination for internationally mobile skilled people.
"We cannot be world-leaders in all areas, but Ireland must achieve a record of world-leading research and innovation in key areas, in close cooperation with industry. We must deliver a choice of attractive locations for investment. We must play to the strengths of our different regions, and provide regional locations that can offer sectoral strengths, collaboration with education institutions and Irish companies, excellent infrastructure and quality of life. A vibrant capital city with a smart business and living environment hosting a dynamic start-up community alongside corporate heavyweights will always be a core element of our offering," he said.
"We must effectively identify and pursue opportunities in sectors where Ireland can attract investments and jobs - both adapt quickly and take leadership position in emerging areas and consolidate our strengths in existing areas of strength and; we should implement a more systematic approach to sector development, including the appointment of specific Cluster Development Managers/Teams."