The availability of marketable serviced land and buildings in advance of demand remains a key element in IDA Ireland's ability to compete for mobile foreign direct investment. Not only does such a supply of properties help the agency to secure significant investments, it also allows projects to begin at an earlier date by diminishing difficulties associated with land acquisition, planning and construction. That is why the IDA's property services are important when it comes to supporting enterprise and job creation in Ireland.
While the IDA itself is focused on inward investment, the agency manages its property portfolio for the benefit of both its own clients and those of Enterprise Ireland. IDA Ireland's property team, for example, works closely with Enterprise Ireland to support the needs of indigenous companies that may be seeking appropriate properties. There is also ongoing engagement between the two agencies about the property needs of their respective clients. This includes plans to develop campus style property solutions to support development and business-to-business collaborations.
As regards IDA Ireland's wider work in regional development, IDA Ireland does its utmost to encourage its clients to locate or expand outside of the main cities. This is just as much a priority for the agency as it is for the Department and the Government. Indeed, IDA Ireland is continuing to target an increase of investment of 30% to 40% in every region by the end of its current strategy in 2019.
The agency’s staff are also working hard to showcase the benefits of regional areas to firms considering investing or expanding in Ireland. At the same time, as I have said previously, we must recognise that the final decision in terms of where to invest is always a matter for the company. It is also the case that regardless of what efforts IDA Ireland or the Government make to underline the undoubted benefits of regional locations, certain overseas companies will only consider investing in large urban areas for operational reasons. That is a commercial reality. It is, nevertheless, important that the agency has a supply of available sites that can be offered to IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland, EI, firms considering making job-rich investments. This helps to encourage investors to initiate projects, particularly in the regions. It should be stressed that IDA Ireland works closely with city and county councils to ensure that its property acquisitions are in line with local area, county and city development plans.
Additional information not given on the floor of the House.
I want to emphasise that IDA Ireland-owned sites are never intentionally left idle or vacant. The opposite is the case. IDA Ireland is doing everything possible to market these properties to investors and to convince them to locate there. It actively brings regional locations and suitable sites to the attention of all its clients, whether existing companies in Ireland that are looking to expand or first-time clients overseas. More generally, we are achieving real results in deepening the spread of regional foreign direct investment, FDI. IDA Ireland's 2018 results bear out this assessment. Last year, the agency delivered 113 regional investments, with 56% of net new jobs created outside of Dublin. Moreover, the last four years have seen over 44,000 new FDI-driven jobs created outside the capital. We will continue to do our utmost to reinforce and strengthen these positive trends and to further job creation across the entirety of the country.