The Government is working hard to achieve the most even possible distribution of foreign direct investment (FDI) across the country. IDA Ireland is focused on that same goal, with the Agency targeting an increase of investment of 30%-40% in every region as part of their current strategy. The Agency's 2018 results demonstrate that significant progress is being made towards these objectives, with 56% of all net new IDA client company jobs created last year being outside Dublin. There are now over 132,000 people employed across 681 firms in IDA client companies outside the capital.
Whilst site visits are an important tool in helping showcase regional locations to investors, it is important to remember - as I have made clear before - that the final decision as to where to invest rests solely with the company concerned. It is also the case that site visit activity does not necessarily reflect investment potential, as a significant proportion of all new FDI comes from existing IDA clients already present in the country.
For commercial sensitivity reasons, IDA Ireland can only make data available on site visits that have already taken place. Over the first three quarters of this year, County Kildare has hosted eight site visits.
FDI levels in County Kildare are trending in the right direction. Kildare experienced a 4.5% increase in IDA-supported employment in 2018, with the creation of 386 net new jobs. The enterprise agencies under my remit will continue to engage with their clients and with one another to secure further investment and job creation for Kildare and the Mid-East region in the time ahead.