Overseas companies employing nearly 200,000 people in Ireland

The figures represent the highest level of employment amongst client companies in IDA Ireland’s 67-year history

Overseas companies employing nearly 200,000 people in Ireland

File Photo Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland, 04-Nov-2015. Image: Niall Carson PA Archive/PA Images

Nearly 200,000 people are employed by international companies in Ireland according to the 2016 annual report from IDA Ireland.

The figures represent the highest level of employment amongst client companies in IDA Ireland’s 67-year history.

IDA Ireland is the government agency responsible for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) to Ireland.

Total employment at overseas companies in Ireland now stands at a record 199,877.

Companies working with the body created 18,627 jobs last year - down on the 18,983 created in 2015.

However a reduction in the number of job losses meant that every region in the country saw net job gains - with 52% of the new jobs created outside of Dublin.

In a statement the IDA said the results indicate a “strong performance” by the organisation towards the aim of delivering 80,000 new jobs and 900 investments by 2019.

The organisation said the performance was “produced against a background of unprecedented geopolitical changes, an underperforming European economy and intense competition from other jurisdictions for foreign direct investment.”

IDA Ireland Chief Executive Martin Shanahan said Ireland “absolutely cannot be complacent about this success.”

“That companies have continued to invest in Ireland is testament to the quality of the offering we have here,” he said.

“We have to keep an eye on our competitiveness including costs.

“The contribution of the FDI sector has always been important to Ireland, but the 2016 results show that the contribution has never been greater.”

He said the capital expenditure that comes about as a result of FDI investments have “huge knock-on effects for the Irish economy.”

“This capital investment is spread throughout Ireland, with 63% of capital investment happening outside of Dublin,” he said.

“For every ten jobs created by an IDA client company, there are seven knock-on jobs created in the wider economy.”

The organisation said the looming prospect of Britain’s exit from the European Union has led to a significant volume of specific queries to IDA offices from across the world as companies seek to ensure they maintain access to the European market.

It said Ireland is one of a number of locations that companies are considering relocating to in a post-Brexit environment - however the organisation also warned that there will adverse impacts with many FDI companies that depend heavily on the UK market already impacted by exchange rates.

The organisation has launched a new on-line film which aims to emphasise the benefits of relocating to Ireland and highlight the country’s corporate tax rate and “our unwavering commitment to remain at the heart of Europe.”

Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor said the IDA report shows that the organisation’s strategy is delivering.

“IDA’s success in 2016 is a reminder that policy-stability is an absolutely key part of our investment offering here in Ireland,” she said.

“Companies like stability and consistency and I will work with Government to ensure that Ireland is in a position to compete for a large share of foreign direct investment in 2017.”