IDA Ireland says it has reached targets ahead of schedule
Employment by Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) companies in Ireland is now at highest level in history.
IDA Ireland, the Irish Government agency responsible for attracting foreign direct investment, says 210,443 people are employed by such firms here.
This figure surpasses the overall five year target of 209,000 - which was set in 2015 as part of a strategy.
That strategy set targets for the creation of jobs in Ireland over a five year period from 2015-2019 – this target was itself a 40% uplift on the previous strategy.
Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA, said: "We have achieved this figure two years ahead of target.
"The targets that were set were hugely ambitious at the time, and I would like to pay tribute to the companies that have placed their confidence in Ireland, to my colleagues in IDA Ireland who fight to win these jobs on a daily basis - they have worked tirelessly to achieve these numbers and also to all of those in the public and private sector who assist us in that effort."
There were 237 new investments secured by the IDA during 2017.
IDA Ireland says Dublin continues to perform well and it predicts this trend will continue in 2018.
"The city continues to show a remarkable capacity to attract foreign direct investment and has developed an international reputation as a hub for financial services and FinTech, Technology and International Operations centres, amongst others", it says.
But the IDA adds: "Convincing international investors to consider locations outside of Dublin continues to prove challenging with multinational companies increasingly looking to invest in bigger communities globally."
The group says it will continue to work with all Government and regional stakeholders to present regional locations "in the best possible light" to potential investors.
It also says it has secured a number of Brexit-related investments in 2017.
"We have engaged significantly with our clients supported by a multi-media marketing campaign highlighting Ireland’s advantages in a post-Brexit context including English language, commitment to the EU, a common law system in addition to our existing competitive proposition."
Companies like Bank of America, Barclays, Citigroup, JP Morgan, S&P Global, Legal & General and Bank of China have all declared for Ireland in 2017.
The IDA says as Brexit negotiations continue, it will be redoubling its efforts with mobile investors to highlight Ireland’s suitability as a location for international business.
Enterprise Minister Heather Humphreys said: "These results demonstrate that the level of Foreign Direct Investment in Ireland has never been better, and I would like to pay tribute to the ongoing dedicated work of the IDA team.
"Ireland may be approaching full employment, and we may now be seeing stronger domestic economic activity, but the Government won’t lose sight of how important the lifeblood of FDI continues to be for our country."