International companies are not ‘best placed’ to build housing for their staff, according to the head of the agency responsible for enticing them to Ireland.
In an exclusive interview with Breakfast Briefing this morning, IDA Ireland CEO Michael Lohan said the housing crisis is a key concern for companies looking to invest in Ireland – but insisted developed economies all over the world are facing similar challenges.
Mr Lohan said he is “on the record” as having warned the Government that it needs to speed up its response to the crisis but added: “I think in fairness to the government, they are committed to doing that and we just need to see more traction.”
He said the most important thing for companies looking to invest in Ireland is that they can see a plan that is “committed to at the highest levels within the State and that is delivered upon”.
.@JoeBLynam chats with IDA Chief Executive Michael Lohan.
— NewstalkFM (@NewstalkFM) July 20, 2023
Asked whether major companies should consider building their own housing for staff, he said: “I'm not sure that's where companies are best placed to deliver that type of infrastructure, personally.”
“I think that the market should respond,” he said. “I think the State should respond.”
“I'm not sure that enterprises [should respond]. If you're, let's say an engineering company for argument's sake, do you want to spend your time and resources in an area that's not your core competency?
“If you go back to the pandemic and you look at a few lessons from the pandemic, everyone was striving to try and help, but they didn't all have the expertise to help in particular areas.
“[In the end] everyone pulled together and I think that's really, really good, but when it comes down to it, if you really want to solve any problem, you have to have the people that know that business and know that problem.”
Foreign Direct Investment
Mr Lohan noted that the IDA announced 139 new Foreign direct investments (FDI) into Ireland in its half-yearly review 10 days ago – over 50 of which were first-time investments.
“That shows that investors are still confident that Ireland has the right proposition,” he said.
“You know, they're making those investments and decisions knowing where our challenges are.”
You can listen back to the full interview here: