Despite economic and social upheaval across the globe, Ireland has continued to attract foreign direct investment at record levels. Last year, the number of people directly employed in the multinational sector reached 275,000 - the highest level of employment from foreign direct investment ever and well over 10% of total employment in the State. In 2021, more than 29,000 new jobs were created by IDA Ireland client companies. The benefits of these new jobs, as well as the 249 new investments won, have a positive impact throughout Ireland, with employment growth recorded in every region of the country. Indeed, more than half of IDA Ireland investments occurred outside Dublin.
In the mid-east region, which includes Kildare, almost 19,000 people are employed in enterprises that are headquartered overseas. This number has steadily increased by 8% through the past five years. In 2021, there were 32 IDA client companies in Kildare, employing almost 10,000 people. Intel, Hewlett Packard and Procter & Gamble all have significant sites in the county. Last month alone, investments were announced from Nikon Europe and MGS Manufacturing that amount to 140 new jobs for Kildare. Those jobs will be based in Leixlip.
County Kildare and neighbouring counties in the mid-east region have a significant ecosystem of well-established companies in a variety of sectors, including technology, life sciences, international financial services and engineering and industrial technologies. In recent years, the area has also benefited from significant investment in the food and film industries.
As the Deputy is aware, in March, the Minister of State, Deputy English, launched the mid-east regional enterprise plan. Its objectives focus on the region's areas of strength, including agrifood, screen content creation, the equine sector, the region's acceleration to low-carbon, and ensuring the enterprise ecosystem in the region is strong. I recently received Government approval to develop a new White Paper on enterprise policy. This is about ensuring we do not take our economic strength for granted and that we ensure job creation and investment continues, including in counties such as Kildare.