Ireland attracted 165 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in 2020, placing it ninth on the European league table of the most attractive investment destinations.
This is according to the latest EY European Attractiveness Survey 2021 published today which reports that while Ireland experienced a drop in investment projects since 2019 (from 191) it has maintained its position in first place for the greatest number of projects per capita. The report examines the performance and perceptions of Europe as a destination for FDI and includes a survey of 550 international investors looking at the impact of COVID-19 on their investment decisions.
EY’s analysis demonstrates that while Ireland’s number of FDI projects has now dropped for the second consecutive year, this is largely due to a "Brexit bounce" that occurred in 2018 which saw a record 205 projects. Looking more broadly at the trend for Ireland over the past five years, Ireland has maintained a steadily high level of FDI at an average of 167 projects per annum. The US continues to be the most active investor country into Ireland, accounting for 58% of projects, followed by the UK (17%) and Germany (5%).
Commenting on the data, Assurance Partner and Head of FDI at EY Ireland, Feargal de Freine said, "Our data illustrates how FDI was impacted across Europe in 2020 as the pandemic took hold. Despite our own reduction in FDI in line with our European peers, Ireland has held up well and in the last three years alone, we have secured over 550 projects which is truly remarkable for a country of our size. The strength of Ireland’s track record in FDI can also be seen in our GDP and more specifically the tax records for 2020 which were only down by 3.6% despite the devastating impacts of COVID-19, helping to facilitate the significant level of financial support given by Government to firms and individuals during the pandemic."