IDA Ireland could create up to 10,000 jobs this year as overseas investment starts to pick up.
If achieved, that figure would be “more than double” last year’s new jobs figure of 4,500, IDA boss Barry O’Leary said.
Mr O’Leary said up to 5,300 jobs have already been secured this year, but some of those have still to be formally announced.
To date 3,600 jobs have been declared, with the rest to follow in the months ahead if deals are signed off on, he said.
By the year end the total number of jobs generated could be at the upper end of the numbers indicated, but the market, while improving, is still “fickle” and the total count could fall short of the higher figure, he said.
Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation Batt O’Keeffe, who attended the first half-year review of the IDA, said the group was “on track to achieve ambitious Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) targets set out for 2010”.
At a media briefing at the IDA’s Dublin headquarters the minister said: “This year has seen IDA already secure 63 new investments, of which 20 were from companies setting up operations in Ireland for the first time, 22 were expansion investments from existing client companies and 21 of the investments were in research and development.”
The minister said a number of key trends are behind the pick-up in inward investment. These, he said, included the growth in the US technology sector, growing trends in clean-tech, an improvement in Ireland’s competitiveness, currency movements and an overall global recovery in FDI.
He added “the impact of FDI on Ireland’s economic recovery was highly significant, accounting for €110 billion, or over 70%, of total exports in the Irish economy and for 240,000 jobs”.
It also contributes 55% of corporation tax and €19bn in direct expenditure in the economy and €7bn in wages.
FDI firms also account for 73% of R&D in the Irish economy.
Mr O’Leary said a number of factors have influenced the outcome in the year to date, including increased competitiveness.
Costs have started to come down sharply, with property rental down from €40 per square foot two years ago to €16 per sq ft today, he said.
The improving environment has led to significant investments, he said.
In the services sector, deals with Zurich, EA, Hertz, Dun and Bradstreet and Stream Global Services have been secured by the IDA.
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