Sean Keyes: What the evolution of Enterprise Ireland says about Ireland’s industrial policy
The government needs to figure out what it’s trying to achieve with its industrial policy. Only then can a body like Enterprise Ireland line up behind the strategy, and work out the best way to get it done.
3rd May, 2022 – 3 min read
Enterprise Ireland (EI) has evolved into a smorgasbord of subsidies for Irish companies of all types. Originally, it was focused on exporters. This was sensible. Ireland is a small open economy. We import the vast majority of the things we need. To pay for those imports, we need to export. But EI’s mission has expanded, along with the number of programmes. Now much of EI’s funding is directed, through the Local Enterprise Offices, irrespective of whether target firms export. We’re a long way from the economy of 1998. In 1998 Ireland was hitting its straps as a base for American…