A competitive, innovative and resilient enterprise base is essential to provide the jobs and employment opportunities for people to live and prosper in all regions. An extra 660,000 people are expected to be employed in Ireland by 2040. The goal is to achieve sustainable full employment, to bring unemployment rates in all regions down to within 1% of the national average, and to achieve regional productivity convergence.
Ireland has been outstandingly successful in attracting major foreign investment, generating high quality, large-scale employment. While aiming to retain our competitiveness for mobile international investment that can locate in any part of the country, we will now give equal priority to a local enterprise economy.
Investment in enterprise will focus on boosting regional growth potential, increasing research, development and innovation, and investment in higher education and further education and training. A new €500m Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund will drive collaboration between the research, education and enterprise sectors.
Our rural resources are among our most important assets. The agriculture, food, forestry, tourism and renewable energy sectors can sustain local employment and contribute substantially to the national economy. As digital links and opportunities for remote working and new forms of enterprise continue to grow, our rural areas will increasingly have the capacity to accommodate employment focused on ICT based industries, multi-media and creative sectors.
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