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IDA Ireland Announces Results for 2020 and New IDA Strategy Launched for Next Four Years

In Business
January 08, 2021

IDA Ireland, the inward investment agency of the Irish Government, today reported continued investment in 2020 despite the serious disruption to business caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

246 new investments were won in 2020 and 20,123 new jobs were created. 95 investments were from new investors and 151 investments from existing companies. 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, eight 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.

An Tánaiste & Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment Leo Varadkar T.D. said: Despite a year of unprecedented challenges to our economy, these results show that foreign direct investment has been remarkably resilient. We still saw a net increase in FDI jobs of nearly 9,000 in 2020. This is a testament to the attractiveness of Ireland as a destination for companies seeking to invest.

Martin Shanahan, CEO IDA Ireland said: “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.”

“The bulk of investments came from North America, delivering 67% of investments, a larger US contribution compared to recent years. This was driven in part by our focus on existing companies and the strong existing base of US corporates and their investments in expansion, R&D and training activity in Ireland.”

Tanaz Buhariwalla, India Director IDA Ireland said, “It has been an unusual year, IDA Ireland however, keeping up with its tradition, successfully managed to attract investments into Ireland. Lifesciences and manufacturing companies continue to invest in Ireland, especially given the need for a stable supply chain operation centre, in light of both, Brexit and the pandemic. Technology and services companies have further scaled their footprints in Ireland, given it will remain the only English speaking jurisdiction in the EU. Several Indian companies have made Ireland their home; we hope to see more conversions in 2021. IDA Ireland is actively pursuing conversations with key players in their respective domains, who could consider Ireland as an ideal destination to invest. The events of 2020 have proved Ireland’s resilience and government’s support for and interest in the pro-business outlook.”

About the new strategy, IDA Ireland Chairman Frank Ryan said: “The need to focus on sustainability, supporting our client base to innovate and transform in order to not just remain viable, but to develop and grow, has never been more important. It is why we have made sustainability, innovation and transformation an integral part of our new strategy.”

In support of the new strategy’s continued focus on regional development, IDA Ireland will deliver 19 Advanced Building Solutions (ABS) to regional locations.

The planned building solutions have a geographical spread in line with the National Planning Framework, with particular emphasis on the Border and Midlands regions reflecting our strategic focus on supporting the necessary conditions to attract FDI in regions of significant economic need (e.g. with high exposure to Brexit, Just Transition regions.)

IDA Ireland will also partner with the private sector and local authorities to deliver buildings in key locations where appropriate; invest in significant infrastructure projects across our portfolio of Business and Technology Parks to upgrade and maintain these key assets in line with the evolving requirements of IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland clients and maintain a focus on land banks and utility intensive strategic sites to future proof the ability of our property portfolio to support the project pipeline, most notably large-scale capital-intensive projects which can have significant regional and national economic impacts.

The impact of multinational companies (MNCs) nationally and regionally goes far beyond their direct and indirect employment contribution. Irish economy expenditure by IDA Ireland clients in 2019 totalled €25.2bn, an increase of 14.8% on the previous year. Payroll spend was up 11.3% to €15.1bn, Irish materials spend rose by 2.3% to €2.7bn and Irish.