Microsoft has confirmed it is planning to build a new €134m (£96m) campus in Dublin. The development — which marks the 30th anniversary of the software giant’s presence in the Irish Republic — comes as an international survey claims the country is now the number one destination for American investors.
According to the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland-commissioned survey the 700 US companies with sites in Ireland now employ around 130,000 people between them. Financially, the firms have pumped more than £183bn into the Irish economy since 1990.
And, stresses the report’s economist author Joseph Quinlan, Ireland will continue to benefit from the thriving relationship. “The race to remain globally competitive never ends,” he explained. “Unlike many nations in Europe, Ireland understands this dynamic all too well.
“Rising to the challenge is something Ireland excels at, with the nation’s economic rebound in the past year just one more piece of evidence of Ireland’s dynamic economic character,” he added.
His study found that American cash flowing into Ireland surged in the first nine months of 2014, increasing by 42 per cent to $37bn (£24.5bn). For the whole of the previous year, 2013, US-owned investments in the country totalled a record $240bn (£159bn) — bigger than the combined Germany and France stake of $196bn (£130bn).
In the opposite direction, Ireland’s overall investment in US properties reached a record $26.2bn (£17bn) in 2013.
The chamber’s report came on the same day that Microsoft announced it was gathering its entire 1,200-strong Irish workforce under a single roof at the South County Business Park in Leopardstown, south of Dublin city centre.
The new €134m campus will be located in a wooded setting, backing on to Leopardstown racecourse, and has already been described by Ireland’s Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, as a “truly significant investment”.
“Having grown from a small manufacturing facility with less than 100 people in 1985 to what we are today, we have a strong track record of continual investment in Ireland,” commented Cathriona Hallahan, Microsoft’s Ireland managing director.
“Dublin is now home to a number of European and global teams and groups as well as to the first data centre located outside the United Scales, a facility that has grown rapidly over the past five years,” she added. “This investment in a modern home for our team underpins our long term commitment to Ireland.”
Set in 7.5-acre grounds, the 372,000 sq ft building will house Microsoft’s developers, engineers, finance and operations professionals, as well as its sales, marketing and services teams. It will also have a running and walking track around the perimeter of the site and rooftop terraces and staff leisure facilities.