As the Deputy will be aware, regional development remains an absolute priority of mine. I am focused on supporting and sustaining existing regional employment while also working to create new economic opportunities and jobs in every county of Ireland. There are now nearly 230,000 people working in IDA client firms. Last year saw more IDA-supported jobs added in regional Ireland than at any time over the past 17 years, with 58% of total such employment now located outside of Dublin.
I can assure the Deputy that when it comes to foreign direct investment (FDI), Drogheda is not being overlooked by the IDA. Drogheda continues to maintain a strong contingent of overseas firms in the International Business Services, Pharmaceutical and Technology sectors. Last year saw PCI Pharma announce that 70 new jobs will be created at their facility in Drogheda. In November 2017, Yapstone announced plans to create 200 new jobs over the next five years at their international headquarters in Drogheda. These announcements represent a vote of confidence in what Drogheda and the broader North-East region has to offer to multinationals who are looking to locate outside of Dublin.
The IDA, for its part, continues to promote Drogheda to investors. The Agency operates a Business and Technology Park in Drogheda with available land that is being actively marketed to existing and prospective clients through its network of offices in Ireland and overseas.
More broadly, County Louth has seen an almost 4% increase in FDI-driven employment in the last year. There are now 28 IDA-supported client companies in the County employing 3,903 people and these firms are continuing to grow and develop. While progress has been made in helping to generate new economic opportunities in Drogheda and County Louth, the Government remains determined to achieve more. That is why work is continuing to unlock further the economic potential of the County. The IDA remains pivotal to this and the Agency is engaging with its clients and with other enterprise agencies to create jobs and source new investment there.