Ireland continues to perform strongly in terms of attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). There are now over 229,000 people employed in IDA Ireland client companies. Last year alone IDA Ireland won 265 projects, compared with 237 in 2017. Within this figure, a record number of 134 were from new companies investing in Ireland for the first time, which represented an increase of 20% over 2017.
The release in June of the IDA's mid-year results for 2019 further demonstrated that the pipeline of FDI into Ireland remains strong, with confirmation of 13,500 job approvals and 140 investments secured. There have been a number of significant investments in 2019 across all regions including 150 jobs by Meissner in Castlebar, 100 new positions at JRI America in Tralee and 75 new jobs at Greenfield Global in Portlaoise.
It is therefore clear that Ireland remains attractive to overseas investors. Our key selling points include our talented workforce, pro-enterprise policy environment and continuing membership of the European Union. Our track record as a proven successful home for overseas firms is also important.
However, we cannot take future FDI success for granted. That is why the Government is working hard to strengthen the competitiveness of the economy and ensure that Ireland remains attractive to overseas investors. Steps are also being taken to diversify further our sources of investment, including through the expansion of the IDA presence overseas.