Editorial Team

IDA Ireland, the inward investment promotion and development agency of the Irish Government, today reported a record-breaking year for FDI employment with significantly higher levels of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2021 compared with 2020 and strong gains recorded in both gross and net employment. Total employment in IDA client companies in Ireland now stands at 275,384, up 16,826 on 2020. 104 of the 249 investments won in 2021 were new name investments, a better than anticipated new name performance considering the ongoing restrictions due to the pandemic.

Growth in employment in 2021 brought the number of people employed in the FDI sector in Ireland to 275,384 from 258,558 last year. Job losses remained at a relatively modest level relative to the size of the overall portfolio resulting in an extremely strong net employment growth this year – (16,826 net increase). Growth in regions was particularly buoyant with 53% – 133 projects of the 249 investments won going to regional locations and employment growth recorded in every region of the country.

The strong growth in regional investment was supported by IDA Ireland’s property programme. A robust property and infrastructure ecosystem can be the key differentiator in winning FDI projects, as evidenced by the record regional results achieved under IDA’s Winning 2015-2019 strategy. This positive momentum has been maintained since the commencement of our new strategy.

The 2021 figures show a pattern of sustained, robust growth in FDI investment and FDI-related employment over a continuous period of more than ten years. This year’s results represent a strong start to IDA’s new 2021-2024 strategy, Driving Recovery and Sustainable Growth, which seeks to further enhance FDI’s place at the centre of a resilient, sustainable, and inclusive Irish economy.

A Tánaiste & Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment Leo Varadkar T.D. said: “These results are quite remarkable. In another year that was unfortunately mired by the pandemic, we saw the highest FDI employment creation figures we’ve ever had in a single year. There are now more people employed in our multinational sector than ever before – 275,384.
I think this demonstrates the strength of our economy and the fortitude of our people. Achieving over a decade of consistent FDI growth is a huge accomplishment, given the challenges our country faced during that time; recessions, Brexit and the pandemic among others. Thanks to Martin Shanahan and the IDA Ireland team for their work.”

Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland said: “These 2021 results were achieved in an immensely challenging and volatile international environment. Ireland’s performance in attracting FDI to achieve these record results is a testament to the work of the Agency’s teams in Ireland and around the world, to the success of the client companies that we partner with on a daily basis and to the support of the Government.

Looking at the period 2020/2021, despite the challenges faced by individual companies, to date FDI in Ireland has come through the pandemic relatively unscathed. This is largely down to the sectors that IDA has targeted over the past decade – Technology, Pharma, Medical Technology, International Financial Services, Business Services, Engineering and Food – those sectors that underpin a modern economy.”

Tanaz Buhariwalla, India Director IDA Ireland said, “2021 is yet another milestone year for IDA Ireland, with the organisation sustaining its FDI performance. Despite the ongoing COVID-19 disruptions, a number of Indian technology start-ups and large IT companies continued to invest in and expand their footprint in Ireland. The outcomes of 2021 have once again demonstrated Ireland’s attractiveness as a location to manage EU operations from, resilience, as well as the government’s commitment and consistency in maintaining and promoting a pro-business environment.”

There are now close to 1,700 multinational operations supported by IDA in Ireland accounting directly for 11% of the Irish workforce.

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