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The Irish Impact in The United States

Ireland is the ninth-largest source of foreign direct investment into the United States at $235.7 billion. 110,000 people employed by Irish companies in the US

In planning for the impact of Brexit on Irish business, Enterprise Ireland, the Irish government agency for the international development of Irish firms, has successfully pushed diversification into North America as a growth strategy. The agency reports employment by Irish businesses in the United States at over 110,000 and foreign direct investment from Ireland into the United States economy at $235.7 billion* — ranking Ireland in the top ten investment sources to the United States.

This shift in regional emphasis is being explored today at a business roundtable in Washington DC hosted by Irish Ambassador to the United States, Daniel Mulhall, attended by United States Ambassador to Ireland, Edward F. Crawford, and featuring senior representatives of leading Irish firms. The roundtable includes Kerry Group who today announced a $125m investment into a new world-class food manufacturing facility in their Georgia plant. The facility will provide Kerry Group with integrated taste and nutrition solutions to help their customers meet growing consumer demand in the poultry, seafood, and alternative protein markets.

“Ireland has a mutually-beneficial partnership with the United States anchored by significant two-way flows of trade and investment,” Ambassador Mulhall said today. “This partnership pays dividends in terms of jobs, investment and economic growth on both sides of the Atlantic. I am pleased to celebrate this exceptional partnership alongside Ambassador Crawford. I look forward to participating in the roundtable with the leaders of global brands that originate in Ireland and add value all over the world, not least here in the United States.”

Today’s roundtable will feature senior executives from Kerry Group, Aerogen, Icon, NovaLeah, and Kingspan. The group will discuss opportunities to advance partnerships between Irish and United States businesses. The ambassadors will join Gerry Behan, Global President and CEO at Kerry Taste & Nutrition and Catherine Keogh, Group Vice President – Corporate Affairs and Communications at Kerry Group to announce details of a $125m investment by Kerry Group into a new world-class food manufacturing facility in Rome, GA.

Commenting on the announcement, Gerry Behan, said: “North America is our largest market, and as such, it is fitting that it is here that we announce our largest ever capital expenditure investment. We already employ nearly 6,000 people in 70 locations across the region and we are looking forward to growing our footprint in the coming years. This new facility will be one of the most advanced and modern food manufacturing facilities in the world which will support our customers as they produce tasty and nutritious food products which will be consumed all across the US and Canada.”

Commenting on the strong performance of Irish businesses in the United States, Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland noted, “Innovation and entrepreneurship are inherent to Irish business and that’s evident in both the executive group we have gathered at this roundtable today and in the caliber of Irish businesses operating throughout the United States.  I am very pleased to see the impact of Irish innovation and entrepreneurship here in the United States. I have strong confidence that US-Irish business partnerships will further strengthen in the years ahead.”

Enterprise Ireland is one of Europe’s leading venture capitalists: the agency is ranked first in Europe and second globally for its seed investments. Enterprise Ireland operates from New York, Boston, Austin, Chicago, Seattle, and San Francisco. In addition to funding support, Enterprise Ireland also provides services including export assistance, assistance with research and development as well as a broad network of key global industry-specific contacts.

Enterprise Ireland-supported companies opened 75 new offices in the US in 2019, resulting in a two-year total of 125 new offices. More than 87,000 people are employed by 613 Enterprise Ireland supported companies operating across all 50 states at 954 locations. Today, 900 Irish-owned companies operate across all 50 states. The companies cross a broad range of industries including construction, education, energy, environmental, medical devices and software.

*The United States Bureau of Economic Analysis.

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