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Thursday 14 December 2017

Ireland top for US and other foreign investment

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Cathrionas Hallahan celebrate Microsoft's 30th anniversary
Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Cathrionas Hallahan celebrate Microsoft's 30th anniversary

Ireland is the number one destination for US foreign direct investment, according to a new report.

The study was published as US technology giant Microsoft announced it is to invest €134m in a new campus building in south Dublin, marking the 30th anniversary of the company's presence here.

The report, commissioned by the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland, highlighted that 130,000 people are now employed by 700 US companies.

Those companies have invested more than $277bn in Ireland since 1990.

Report author and US economist Joseph Quinlan predicted Ireland will continue to benefit from the strength of the relationship.

"The race to remain globally competitive never ends. Unlike many nations in Europe, Ireland understands this dynamic all too well," Mr Quinlan said.

"Rising to the challenge is something Ireland excels at, with the nation's economic rebound in the past year just one more piece of evidence of Ireland's dynamic economic character."

The report found that the output from US companies here now exceeds $80bn per year.

Exports from US firms based here are four times higher than from American firms in China.

US investment to Ireland surged in the first nine months of 2014, increasing by 42pc to $37bn. US direct investment stock in Ireland totalled a record $240bn in 2013, a greater investment stake than Germany and France combined at $196bn.

Ireland's overall investment position in the US totalled a record $26.2bn in 2013.

The report came as Microsoft announced that it was investing €134m in a new campus building at the South County Business Park in Leopardstown, bringing the company's 1,200-strong Irish team under the one roof.

Developers, engineers, finance and operations professionals, as well as the sales, marketing and services teams, will work alongside each other.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny described the investment as "truly significant".

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