Speech by Minister Martin at the Official Opening of Shabra Plastics and Packaging Limited’s new recycling line
Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan - 19 February 2008
I would like to congratulate Shabra Plastics and Packaging Ltd on the opening of your new premises here in Castleblayney as I realise that you have put an enormous amount of hard work into developing this facility for the expansion of your business. It is a particular pleasure to announce that Shabra are going to expand their business and employ an extra 35 people over the next 2 years. The jobs will include highly skilled, graduate, semi skilled , operators drivers and administrative staff .
Companies like Shabra Plastics and Packaging Ltd demonstrate that Ireland represents an excellent location for innovative operations. It is companies like Shabra Plastics and Packaging Ltd that are the drivers of job creation in our modern economy. In my opinion, the key to successful Irish companies is the commitment to high quality standards and to developing resourceful service provision that will maintain competitiveness in the face of strong competition in the marketplace. Companies like Shabra Plastics and Packaging Ltd represent a new breed of dynamic firms that base their success on customer service excellence. They are a pointer towards the continuing success of Irish business in the 21st century.
As well as offering excellent customer service, the company sets the highest standards in both the way that you deliver your business offer and in the way that you deliver your services to your customers. Your company continuously improves your service levels to customers in the pursuit of the highest standards. I believe that it is your company’s drive to bring industry leading service quality that will mould your future success.
Maintaining Ireland’s attractiveness as a competitive and profitable location from which to do business is a key priority for the Government. It is fair to say that our economy is currently undergoing a fundamental transition to a higher value-added, innovative model. The make up of the Irish economy has changed radically over the last decade. Ireland is now a developed economy with a challenging cost base, operating in a globally competitive market. There are constant challenges from globalisation and increased competition across all sectors in our small open economy. The pace of technological change and dynamic customer needs require companies to be innovative, flexible and adaptable. Irish companies, like Shabra Plastic and Packaging, are developing important and relevant products to protect their niche in the marketplace.
The Government, working through Enterprise Ireland, is focused on transforming development and innovation capabilities in the Irish enterprise base and driving innovative activity in Irish companies. This work will ensure the success of Irish companies across a wide range of sectors that will in turn provide continuing opportunities for doing business for companies like Shabra Plastics and Packaging. This in turn will serve to increase employment in the economy generally and improve the standard of living for everyone in the process.
I know that Enterprise Ireland engages actively with the Waste Management sector, both with your company and other individual clients as well as with the various industry associations. The agency actively promotes the sector internationally through its Environmental Directory and website, and through its participation at the international RWM trade fair in Birmingham annually. The agency is active in various fora related to the sector, including the Market Development Programme for Waste Resources, the Steering Group for Environmental Goods & Services (Forfas), and the National Packaging Prevention Steering Group. Most recent activity relates to discussions with the sector about the formulation of an industry Competence Centre, and meetings in this connection are ongoing.
Irish companies like Shabra Plastics and Packaging Ltd must evolve to survive and perform in a high cost economy and operate in an increasingly competitive marketplace. At the business environment level they face increased domestic competition and at the company level they must develop the capability required to continue to compete and grow.
Enterprise Ireland, along with other enterprise and training agencies, is there to help businesses start and grow sustainably.
On 6 February last, I launched Enterprise Ireland’s ¤60million Growth Fund. This fund is geared specifically towards eligible SME clients of Enterprise Ireland. Up to ¤650,000 is available to support an applicant’s business plans that increase their company’s productivity and export potential as well as boosting their leadership and management capabilities.
I anticipate that the Growth Fund will fund technology acquisition, capital equipment, training, consultancy support and management and leadership development in small and medium sized companies to the tune of ¤25 million per annum over the lifetime of Enterprise Ireland’s Corporate Strategy 2008-2010.
Ireland’s success as a services economy is predicated on a number of key factors, including new practices across all aspects of business including the development of new business models, which are central to our companies remaining competitive. The role of change in the Irish economy, and particularly its adoption as a core business model, will be vital. It will play a valuable role in the development of our economy and the ability of companies to adapt quickly to market challenges.
I would like to conclude by thanking you for inviting me to participate in your official opening here in Castleblayney today. It only remains for me to congratulate all who have worked together to open these new premises and to wish you many happy and successful years here.
Last modified: 19/02/2008