Foreign investments reached a record high in Ireland last year, creating 13,000 employment opportunities and boosting the country’s economy after a three year recession.
IDA Ireland, the Irish state investment agency, warned that the ongoing debt crisis in the region may discourage some companies from investing, but described 2012’s new projects as “encouraging.”
Barry O’Leary, IDA Ireland’s chief executive, said: “In a small number of projects there has been a slowdown definitely, particularly from the U.S.”
Still investments in 2011 were record setting. 148 new investments from foreign companies were listed, while only 6,950 jobs were lost at IDA Ireland companies. This number seems high, but it is the lowest rate of lost jobs in more than a decade. With the creation of 13,000 new jobs, the net gain throughout Ireland reached 6,114 jobs.
According to Ireland’s minister enterprise Richard Bruton, Ireland differs from other countries in the Eurozone because of the solid multinational sector. This element will help Ireland fulfill the obligations of its bail-out program.
Concerns are still strong regarding European growth in 2012, however. Heightening struggles in the region may have a negative effect on Ireland’s hesitant comeback, forcing it to accept a second IMF-EU bailout in order to remain above water.