Companies backed by state agency IDA Ireland injected almost €15bn into the Irish economy last year
The agency revealed the workforce in supported companies increased by 3,795 last year, bringing total employment to 135,487.
Sean Dorgan, chief executive of IDA Ireland, said companies spent almost €15bn in the Irish economy from their annual sales of €77bn and paid over €2.8bn in corporation tax.
“The quality of investments from global companies into Ireland is of the highest standard, reflecting the remarkable evolution of the business ecosystem in Ireland as international competition and Irish economic conditions have changed,” Mr Dorgan said.
“Investments in the past year, such as those by Amgen and in R&D by Cisco, GlaxoSmithKline, PepsiCo and Georgia Tech, are clear evidence of this evolution.
“There has been a rapid transformation in what Ireland offers international investors since the year 2000, which was the last year of volume-based growth. Now our growth is quality-based.”
Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Micheál Martin said the strong performance of IDA-supported companies showed Ireland was continuing to attract quality jobs.
“What is particularly welcome is the regional spread of investments attracted by the IDA, with 89 new investment projects, including 46 R&D investments, occurring outside of Dublin,” Mr Martin said.
“The R&D strategy published during 2006 will help ensure that Ireland remains competitive and will continue to attract high-profile R&D projects in the future.”
Last year almost 60% of new greenfield projects, including six out of every seven R&D investments, took place outside Dublin.
During 2006, the IDA negotiated 71 new business projects involving a total investment of €2.6bn over a number of years. Around 54 R&D projects were supported by IDA with almost €470m up from €260m during 2005.
Over half of jobs in new IDA-supported projects in 2006 have wage levels of over €40,000 a year.
Mr Dorgan said it was vital the country strongly invest in infrastructure, such as roads, airports and public transport, provide competitive energy supplies and create an innovative research environment.
“These will be the basis of our future success. If we fail to provide essential infrastructure quickly, Dublin may falter and regions fail,” Mr Dorgan said.
The IDA said the country’s position in information and communications technologies was reinforced with new investments from Cisco, IBM, Netgear, Sandisk and Trend Micro, while biopharmaceuticals Amgen and Eli Lilly also chose to locate to Ireland for their bases outside the US for the development and manufacture of drugs.
“The very strong investment achievements of 2006, combined with the ongoing collaborative national efforts to continue the transformation of Ireland into an ever more advanced knowledge economy, gives us great confidence in our ability to win exciting new investment projects in 2007,” Mr Dorgan said.
“We have a good pipeline of potential investments and we are optimistic of winning quality new investments from new and existing clients for locations across Ireland.”
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