On Monday of last week, the Joint Oireachtas Committee’s Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation launched its South East Economic Development Strategy at City Hall, an extensive document authored by Waterford Senator David Cullinane.
It’s a worthy and comprehensive tome featuring several well-publicised aspirations to get the region moving in the right direction after years of steady, unwelcome decline.
There are words, lots of them, in this 132-page report. But what we need now is action.
A recent Sunday Times report stated that during 2012, half of all foreign firms’ investment into Ireland were sourced in Dublin – i.e. Google, Facebook and other specialised IT projects.
But it begs the question: where has been the notion of regional development in all of this? After all, an OECD report stated that Waterford received just three per cent of total national investment last year – a total of seven projects.
If an international body such as the Paris-based OECD would appear to be on our side, then clearly we have a strong case for meaningful attention being paid in our direction.
This doesn’t appear to stack up given that the south east is, according to a previous government strategy, the region’s gateway capital.