IDA Ireland secured 246 new investments last year despite Covid-19

The number of jobs created at IDA Ireland-backed companies continued to grow last year, despite Covid-19.

In its annual statement the agency, which attracts foreign companies to locate in Ireland, said it had secured 246 new investments which created 20,123 new jobs.

There were higher numbers of job losses, however, and the net job creation was 8,944. This figure was 13,867 in 2019.

Today’s annual report showed that 95 investments were from new companies and 151 from companies already established in Ireland.

128 or 52% were targeted for regional locations. Despite this, Dublin and the Mid East still account for just over 50% of employment in IDA-assisted companies.

The total employment in IDA-assisted companies increased by 3.6% to 257,394 last year.

IDA Ireland also today announced a new strategy entitled “Driving Recovery and Sustainable Growth 2021-2024”.

The strategy sets out a target of 800 investments, half in regional locations, and 50,000 new jobs over the next four years.

It includes a programme of investment in 19 regional industrial and commercial sites.

The CEO of IDA Ireland, Martin Shanahan, said the strategy will target new industries like automation, cell and gene therapy, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data.

Mr Shanahan said Covid-19 continues to have a significant impact on the way the IDA operates with many site visits now being done online and fewer face-to-face meetings with potential investors.

He said the employees of over half of IDA-clients were working from home in some capacity and that the infrastructure here to enable that “has held up well”.

The American Chamber welcomed the publication of IDA Ireland’s annual results which highlighted the increased importance of US investment in 2020.

American Chamber President, Gareth Lambe said the strong performance of the multinational community in 2020 was reflective of an extraordinary year for business. “Amidst the global pandemic, the FDI sector has shown huge resiliency with some sectors such as Life Sciences and Technology increasing operations in response to Covid-19.

“We welcome that the results show that 257,394 people are now employed by the multinational sector in Ireland, an increase from the previous year and a net jobs growth of just under 9000 –  an overall majority of these jobs are in US companies.”