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Goal of 105,000 jobs as IDA woos overseas investors

IRELAND aims to create 105,000 new jobs through foreign direct investment over the next four years, the chief executive of the Industrial Development Agency (IDA) has said.

However, Barry O'Leary, chief executive of the IDA, also warned the country will face more pain along the way as some Ireland-based multi-nationals had excess capacity.

He was outlining a new IDA plan for attracting foreign investment to the Oireachtas Committee for Enterprise Trade and Employment.

Known as Horizon 2020, the plan sets out the IDA's targets for attracting fresh foreign direct investment (FDI) to Ireland over the next decade.

It calls for 62,000 jobs in FDI employment and a total of 105,000 new jobs.

In addition, the plan is targeting 640 new FDI, 50pc of which are to be located outside Dublin and Cork.

Investment in research, development and innovation is to reach more than €1.7bn.

The IDA is to target specific industries and specific sectors for recruitment to Ireland.

However, Mr O'Leary would not reveal the sectors in question, as Ireland is in competition with other countries.

He said multi-national corporations employ more than 240,000 people.

They contribute nearly 50pc in corporation tax and more than 70pc in research and development, resulting in a total spend of more than €19bn in the Irish economy.

However, Fine Gael's enterprise spokesman Leo Varadkar described a 10-point initiative outlined by the IDA as "old hat".

However, Mr O'Leary refuted the criticism, saying the IDA's focus was moving to companies serving the domestic market rather than corporations with no business interest in Ireland.

Mr Varadkar also called for a greater emphasis by the IDA on the economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

At the launch of the Horizon plan earlier this month, Mr O'Leary said it marked "the first time that IDA has published its strategic thinking in this way".

"This strategy document articulates our view of the next decade's significant future changes.

"It outlines the results of a detailed analysis of global mega-trends, economic geopolitical changes and technology roadmaps from which we have outlined the goals Ireland needs to set to capitalise on the opportunities that they represent."