IDA Ireland, the inward investment agency of the Irish Government, yesterday reported continued investment in 2020 despite the serious disruption to business caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The agency reported 246 new investments were won in 2020 and 20,123 new jobs were created. The data shows 95 investments were from new investors and 151 investments from existing companies. It is estimated that 128 (52%) of the 246 projects won were for regional locations. Employment growth of 3.6% in IDA Ireland supported companies was achieved in 2020.
Total employment in IDA Ireland client companies in Ireland now stands at 257,394, accounting directly for 12.4% of COVID-adjusted national employment, up from 10.7% in 2019 as a result of the severe impact of the pandemic on certain domestic facing sectors and the employment growth within IDA Ireland’s client base.
Additionally, 8 jobs are created in the wider economy for every ten created by IDA Ireland client companies, amounting to estimated total direct and indirect employment of 463,309.
The bulk of investments came from North America, delivering 67% of investments, a larger US contribution compared to recent years. IDA say this was driven in part by its focus on existing companies and the strong existing base of US corporates and their investments in expansion, R&D and training activity in Ireland.
Commenting on the figures, An Tánaiste & Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment, Leo Varadkar said, "FDI was central to Ireland’s recovery during the last recession and it will be crucial again as we rebuild after the pandemic. As a small open economy, we need both our indigenous and FDI sectors to be strong and built on solid foundations. Around half of all investment made by FDI companies this year went to counties outside of Dublin. We will continue to seek out opportunities for all parts of the country, not just our major cities and towns."
CEO of IDA Ireland, Martin Shanahan added, "In the context of the COVID-19 global pandemic, FDI’s performance is remarkable. It is encouraging that Ireland has been able to secure such a significant number (246) of investments and grow employment in 2020, a year of unprecedented disruption to global business and adverse impact on global economies. 246 investments in 2020 compares to 250 investments in the same period last year - an excellent outcome, achieved through a focus on our existing client base and on stronger than anticipated new name performance."