Foreign cash creates 7,000 jobs
More than 7,000 jobs were created last year through foreign investment in Ireland despite thousands of job losses.
IDA Ireland, the agency responsible for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), said 13,367 new jobs were filled last year, with 6,000 redundancies made as other firms cut back business in the country.
Outgoing IDA chief executive Barry O'Leary claimed Ireland has entered 2014 in a far stronger position than in recent years which will bolster the country's brand image, spurring additional interest from investors.
"The organisation goes into the coming year aware of the competitive threats and economic challenges, but is confident it can deliver another year of strong investments for Ireland," he said.
"There is a strong pipeline for conversion over the next six months. The continuing focus on competitiveness is key to attracting further FDI.
"The most innovative and sophisticated companies in the world continue to invest and reinvest in Ireland and I am confident they will do so again in 2014."
Total employment at IDA client companies stands at 161,112 people, the highest level in the history of IDA Ireland.
It maintained when job losses are taken into account, the net increase in employment in 2013 was 7,071 - the highest level in over a decade.
IDA said the number of investments was especially strong in 2013, with 164 projects won for Ireland.
Of these, 78 came from companies investing in Ireland for the first time - a rise of 18% on the previous year - with 59 expansions and 27 research, development and innovation (RD&I) projects.
Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said foreign direct investment plays a key part in the action plan for jobs.
"In 2013 we set ambitious targets for 6,000 net new jobs and 132 investments by multinational companies," he said.
"Today's results show that 2013 was another record year for multinational companies, with targets exceeded and an increase of over 7,000 jobs.
"This is the third year in a row that jobs growth has exceeded previous records, and huge credit is owed to IDA Ireland and Barry O'Leary on repeatedly exceeding targets and delivering these records in the face of increasing international competition."