The agency says 12,500 jobs have been created in the last six months, representing a recovery from last year’s decline.
IDA Ireland has released its mid-year report, saying it reflected “strong investment flow” into Ireland in the first half of 2021.
The agency, which is responsible for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) into Ireland, said that global investment flows were in the process of recovering after “sharp declines” during 2020, but that a return to pre-pandemic levels was not likely until 2022.
The report said that more than 12,530 jobs had been created by such investment during the first six months of the year as part of 142 investments. Of those, 80 investments were made by companies which already had a presence in Ireland, while 62 were new to the country.
68 investments – 48pc of the total – went to so-called “regional locations”, or locales outside Dublin. The report described the figures overall as a return to “near-2019 record levels”.
Martin Shanahan, IDA CEO, said: “These very strong results show that foreign direct investment continued to grow, demonstrating further endurance and strength even as the pandemic entered a second year.”
He added that these results “demonstrate the continued resilience of companies in our core sectors of focus. Once again, we see in these figures that almost half of all investment made by FDI companies to date this year went to counties outside of Dublin. We will continue this focus on winning investments for regional locations across Ireland.”
The report went on to note that “many challenges lie ahead” for Ireland, noting Brexit, protectionism and competition for FDI in particular. It also expressed a need for Ireland to “be at the forefront of new technologies and new ways of working to continue to win the best investment for our country”.
The IDA also cited a report from consultancy firm EY published in June that said Ireland attracted the greatest number of FDI projects per capita in Europe in 2020. It also said that investment was affected by a number of wider trends including digitisation, the shift to remote working, and the transition to a green economy.
Shanahan added that: “Ireland has adopted a stable, consistent, transparent and competitive approach to corporation tax over many years. It will be important that, working within any new global tax framework, Ireland continues to offer stability and a competitive offering to investors.”
His comments come as Ireland is under increasing pressure to sign up to an OECD agreement that would set a minimum corporate tax rate of 15pc. Ireland was one of just nine countries out of the 139 involved in discussions that did not sign up to the deal.
IDA Ireland has said throughout the pandemic that it believes Ireland has weathered the economic fallout of Covid-19 with relative success.