Some 12,722 new jobs were announced by IDA Ireland during 2012, the State agency revealed in its end-of-year results, out of which client companies added 6,570 net new jobs. The agency also said job losses at client companies were at their lowest in a decade.
During the year, there were a total of 145 individual investments, with 66 of these (40pc) coming from companies entering Ireland for the first time.
The biggest investments in 2012 came from Apple, PayPal, Northern Trust, EA Games, Fidelity, SAP, Amgen, Mylan, Cisco, Arvato, Allergan and Eli Lilly.
Greenfield investments came from Clearstream, Hubspot, Dropbox, Nextag, Aspen and Nuance.
The total IDA client base in Ireland now employs 152,785 people – a level last recorded before the global financial crisis began in 2008.
Net job creation rose to 6,570 from 5,934 the previous year.
IDA Ireland is now three years into its Horizon 2020 strategy to create 62,000 direct jobs by 2014 from 640 investments.
So far, it has secured 419 investments, delivering some 36,000 gross job gains.
Ireland provides the solution to the transformation needs of global firms
Ireland’s Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, TD, paid tribute to IDA Ireland chief executive Barry O’Leary for delivering these results in the face of increasing global competition for mobile investment.
“The challenge now is both to grow our level of foreign investments here and also to maximise the positive impact of those companies for the wider Irish economy,” Bruton said, emphasising greater collaboration between IDA Ireland and its sister agency Enterprise Ireland.
“This team is now looking to attract new international start-up companies to Ireland and maximising procurement opportunities for Irish companies with existing larger foreign multinationals.
“These types of projects, I believe, will help ensure that the impact of these fantastic companies deciding to locate in Ireland will be felt by as wide an audience as possible in the coming years,” Bruton added.
There are five key areas IDA Ireland is targeting to help globalised companies transform their business – training support, technology uplift, R&D and product improvement, process development and energy efficiency.
Sectors such as pharmaceuticals – challenged by the fallout of patent expiries – are finding Ireland is helping it transform and during 2012 a massive US$1.1bn worth of fresh investment was announced.
O’Leary said pharmaceuticals remains one of the key sectors that contain significant opportunities in 2013.
Other sectors performing strongly were social and digital media, IT, financial services and life sciences.
IDA Ireland also broadened its portfolio in recent years to target high-growth companies that could become the multinationals of the future.
Such companies include digital media companies like Indeed.com, KeyedIn, Zendesk and Red 5 studios.
20pc of greenfield FDI will come from China and India by 2014
The agency has also broadened its global focus to support high-growth companies emerging from economies such as China and India.
Some 20pc of all greenfield investments will come from these regions by 2014, O’Leary said.
“Amid significant economic challenges globally and locally, Ireland turned in a strong FDI performance in 2012 with gains in employment across a broad range of sectors. Helping FDI clients to transform their operations within Ireland also led to a significant reduction in employment losses, producing a strong year overall.
“Ireland’s leading FDI companies have strong economic substance here in terms of large-scale employment and investment. But Ireland faces a highly competitive landscape, with notable strong competition arising from the UK, the Netherlands and Switzerland and many other countries,” O’Leary added.