The chief executive of Enterprise Ireland, Frank Ryan, has declared that the recession is over. In an article in the Sunday Tribune he said that exports at companies backed by the state agency were rising again, after plunging 10 per cent last year. If that continues, he said that job creation would resume this year and take off in 2011. “Things are on the up, and faster than we predicted they might be. We are officially putting an end to our stabilisation period where we have been for the past 18 months,” he said.
“In the first four months of the year we have seen a significant rise in exports. Exports mean jobs. Our feeling now is that we are more confident that we are entering a strong period of growth.”
Ryan, a 32-year veteran of development agencies, frankly said he thought the recession would have hit us harder. Despite all the gloom, Irish companies had proved resilient in dealing with the downturn. Driving export growth would be a rebound in the main markets for Irish goods and services – the UK, US and Germany – and the growing economies targeted by the agency in Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Brazil.
He predicted that the opportunities would be in mobile telecoms, medical devices, life sciences, some engineering products, financial and security software.
IDA Ireland also reported encouraging news at the weekend. In a front page article in the Sunday Business Post, chief executive Barry O’Leary said companies were being attracted to invest in Ireland again because the country’s competitiveness was improving with cuts in wages and other costs. The number of site visits by companies interested in investing was up 50 per cent in the first quarter of the year and it is now back to levels not seen since 2007.
O’Leary was confirming that Google is to create 200 jobs in Dublin in a new investment that will bring its Irish workforce to 1800. There will be three other jobs announcements in the next two weeks – two in internet-related firms and a financial services project which will be unveiled by the Taoiseach Brian Cowen this week.

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