Ireland and UK dominate FDI flows in 2014
The number of FDI projects into Ireland last year jumped 6pc to 168, according to the latest fDI intelligence report from the 'Financial Times'.
The report noted that Ireland and the UK were the only countries in the top 10 to achieve growth in 2014 across project numbers, capital investment and job creation. fDI intelligence is a specialist unit of the 'Financial Times' dedicated to foreign direct investment.
Capital investment into Ireland totalled $5bn, accounting for 4pc of the European market share, the report said.
The Asia-Pacific region remained the leading destination last year for foreign direct investment, with 4,153 announced projects with estimated capital investment of $250bn. The region attracted 38pc of all capital investment globally last year.
By contrast, FDI into Europe overall by project numbers fell by nearly 17pc last year.
Western Europe was the leading source region for FDI in 2014. Despite a 6pc decline in FDI projects, capital investment from the region increased 1pc to $226bn. Western Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America accounted for 91pc of all overseas capital investment in 2014.
Other key trends include:
* Africa witnessed the largest increase in inward investment, with $87bn of FDI announced last year.
* India, Vietnam, Japan and Malaysia were four of the fastest growing destination countries for FDI in the year.
* Investment into Russia and the region around central, eastern and south-eastern Europe dropped by close to a quarter.
Courtney Fingar, head of content at Fdi Intelligence, said 2014 was a tough year for FDI, with greenfield investment growing by only a tiny percentage and FDI "hovering stubbornly below the pre-financial crisis peak".
But she said "faster growing economic regions such as Africa, experienced growth in greenfield FDI in 2014 and - perhaps contrarily to what might be expected - Egypt attracted a raft of mega investment projects as the investment environment and economic prospects in this key market for the Middle East improved".
The bright spot was China. Capital investment in greenfield FDI projects from China in 2014 totalled $64bn - more than three times the figure for 2013.
The top destination for FDI from China in 2014 was the US, which attracted $9bn in capital investment.
Meanwhile, an event organised by the American Chamber heard that more work needs to be done to ensure Ireland achieves R&D spending target of 3pc of gross domestic product.
The event, attended by senior representatives of many US companies in Ireland was addressed by representatives for several state agencies including Science Foundation Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland.
Brian Cotter, the American Chamber's public affairs director said research, development & innovation is fundamental to growing the Irish economy.
"There is more work required by all stakeholders to ensure that Ireland achieves the target of spending 3pc on R&D."