Ladies and Gentlemen, a Dhaoine Uaisle, good morning.
Dé bhur maitheasa ar maidin. Tá an-áthas orm a bheith anseo i gCluain Dolcáin inniu chun pleananna nua infheistíochta den scoth Pfizer do shaoráid Chaisleán na Gráinsí a cheiliúradh.
Today marks the start of an exciting new chapter for your Grange Castle operation and builds on the great success and outstanding performance of Pfizer in Ireland for over 50 years.
Thank you to Mike, Tanya and all the team for inviting me to speak with you here today and mark this investment and the new highly skilled jobs it will bring here to west Dublin.
Announcements like today’s reinforce Ireland’s position as a world class environment for the life sciences sector to thrive.
Since first establishing operations here all those years ago, Pfizer has grown its footprint with a presence across the country.
From Ringaskiddy in Co. Cork, to Newbridge in Kildare, and your Dublin operations in Ringsend and of course here in Grange Castle.
With a dynamic workforce of 4,000 employees around Ireland, supporting regional employment and development, today’s announcement is another clear demonstration of your continued commitment to our country.
Ireland remains a world class destination for the Life Sciences sector. We have developed a cohesive and integrated Life Sciences cluster consisting of highly innovative indigenous companies, large well established FDI multinationals, a continually developing world-class research base, and a strong industry-focussed clinical community.
We have a rich and interwoven landscape, with expertise across key sectors of MedTech, pharma/biopharma and technology.
This deepens our base of expertise and skills across these converging sectors and provides Ireland with a significant competitive advantage to meet the future needs and demands of the sector.
Today’s expansion is testament to that and to the skills and ability of the Irish workforce – who underpin and ensure Pfizer’s continued success.
We are pleased to have been able to support you in this, as you have developed, expanded and invested in Ireland. And we remain firmly committed to continuing this support in the future.
As a Government, we strive to ensure that we have an environment in Ireland, in which businesses big and small, global and indigenous, can flourish and thrive.
We have ambitious and fully resourced plans in place, in areas like housing, energy and climate, with an absolute focus now on delivery, making an impact here in Dublin and in communities around the country.
In addition to these plans, Government is continuing to closely monitor the global phenomenon of increasing cost pressures and supply constraints.
We are working to mitigate the impact of the increased cost of inputs and energy on businesses and households as much as possible, despite many of these increases being driven by external developments.
The Government is acutely aware of the impact this is having for our people and businesses, as we face more challenging economic circumstances.
Careful management of our national resources has placed us on a solid footing, an approach we will continue, while ensuring the needs of our people are addressed.
Our priority at present is on safeguarding jobs and protecting people's incomes, especially households who are struggling to deal with rising costs, while also ensuring businesses are supported.
As part of this, we remain absolutely committed to ensuring our continued attractiveness to Foreign Direct Investment, while simultaneously developing our indigenous enterprises, providing opportunities for our people.
While we are facing into a challenging environment, the Irish economy made a remarkable recovery as the pandemic receded and is in a strong position to meet these headwinds – with record levels of employment, and strong participation growth
Our response to the pandemic, and now the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I believe, are defining moments for our country.
I firmly believe that we can draw on this experience as we continue our recovery and build resilience for the challenges ahead.
I would like to recognise the extraordinary contribution that Pfizer played both during the pandemic, and is now in our next economic chapter – leading in manufacturing excellence, undertaking high quality investment, and supporting and developing your growing workforce.
In particular, I would like to acknowledge and pay tribute to the critical contribution Pfizer and your staff here in Ireland and around the world played in the global response to the pandemic – truly saving many lives
This Irish Government is committed to supporting you and to continuing efforts to drive job creation and economic development, foster new opportunities, and ensure we remain a competitive, welcoming and attractive place to do business.
To do this we are delivering record levels of investment in infrastructure, and also in our skills and training ecosystem – a system that, through continued close engagement with enterprise, is extremely well placed to support our country’s future growth and success.
We are prioritising the acceleration of offshore wind, and the development of solar as we continue to work towards meeting our climate ambitions and transform our energy systems for the benefit of households and businesses yes, and critically also for the benefit of our planet.
We are committed to reducing our national emissions by 51% by 2030, and achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
At the centre of this will be the transformation of our energy system to secure sustainable and affordable supply for homes and industry in the decades ahead - the need for which has only been reinforced by the current energy crisis brought about by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Our climate ambitions are well matched with Pfizer’s own sustainability plans – and I warmly welcome your work in this regard.
I would like once again to wish all of the Pfizer Grange Castle team the very best of luck as you embark on your next chapter at this fantastic new facility.
Gabhaim buíochas libh arís as an deis seo labhairt libh anseo inniu. Tá súil agam go mbainfidh sibh sult as an gcuid eile den lá.