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FDI 'crucial for Irish economy'


Foreign direct investment (FDI) remains hugely important to the Irish economy, with Dublin still something of a hub for financial services and other firms, but its counterparts across the country also benefiting from the willingness of international companies to launch Irish bases.

And new figures from the Irish Development Agency (IDA) have highlighted the economic boost the country enjoyed thanks to increased interest from abroad over the last 12 months.

Some 164 investment projects were launched in 2013, with 78 of those from companies putting money into Ireland for the first time - an increase of 18 per cent from the previous year, highlighting the fact that the country is becoming more attractive again following a difficult period during the credit crunch.

Over 13,000 jobs were created in this period, according to the IDA - the highest figure recorded for almost a decade. Among the leading investments secured during the year were Deutsche Bank, Twitter and Zurich, with companies from across the globe keen to open an Irish operation.

Minister for jobs, enterprise and innovation Richard Bruton hailed the hard work of the IDA in helping drive Ireland's ongoing economic recovery.

"There are now two main challenges - to continue and accelerate the growth in multinational companies here, and to maximise the positive impact of these companies on the rest of the Irish economy," he added.

International financial services saw one of the biggest increases in job creation, alongside digital media, life sciences and business services.

IDA chief executive Barry O'Leary described the overall economic improvement as gratifying and thanked key stakeholders for their help in delivering the strong results.

This report follows business advisory group Grant Thornton revealing that 66 per cent of Irish businesses anticipate a growth in profit over the course of 2014, with 72 per cent optimistic about the outlook for the overall economy compared with 36 per cent last year.

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