JOB losses at multinational firms were the lowest in a decade and 6,570 positions were created last year, according to new figures from IDA Ireland.
With 12,722 jobs created, there were 145 individual investments with 40pc of these coming from firms investing in Ireland for the first time.
The figures come after positive job creation news from indigenous Irish firms and a small drop in the December jobless statistics.
However, IDA Ireland warned that challenges still remain including competition from other countries keen to attract foreign direct investment and the fallout of patent expiry in the pharmaceutical sector.
Among the biggest investments in 2012 were those from Apple, PayPal, EA Games and Eli Lilly.
The IDA said it has been focusing on attracting employment intensive services to Ireland which leads to speedy creation of jobs as part of its Horizon 2020 strategy.
It is already ahead of its target of creating 62,000 direct jobs by 2014 from 640 new investments.
Commenting on the figures, Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton thanked IDA Ireland and its chief executive Barry O’Leary for its results at a time of increased competition.
“The challenge now is both to grow our level of foreign investments here and also to maximise the positive impact of those companies for the wider Irish economy,” he said.