Analyses & Studies

Dublin nabs top spot as best large city for foreign direct investment

A new report shows Dublin is the number one large city in the world for foreign direct investment (FDI).

Dublin has been ranked as the top large city in the world for foreign direct investment (FDI), according to a report published today by fDi Intelligence, which is part of the Financial Times portfolio.

The Global Cities of the Future 2018/2019 report ranked Dublin as number one in the world in both the ‘Large City’ and ‘Economic Potential’ category. As well as these two rankings, Ireland’s capital retained its third position as overall ‘Global City of the Future’ and cracked the top 10 in the ‘Large Cities for Human Capital and Lifestyle’ category.

A milestone for Dublin

Commenting on the report, chief executive of Dublin City Council, Owen Keegan, said: “Today’s results are a phenomenal achievement for Dublin, given our size and considering the competition we face on the global stage.

“International rankings are an important benchmark to rate Dublin’s economic performance against our international peers, and we’re delighted to see that not only have we retained our overall third position globally, we’ve topped the category for our size and for economic potential.

“Our impressive performance as a city is a direct result of a supportive public policy environment created at both local and national level as well as multi-agency co-operation and collaboration across Government.”

He added that the IDA had been instrumental in attracting FDI from companies such as Mastercard, AutoDesk and SoftBank among others.

Major investments in recent years

The report stated: “Dublin boasts the highest level of FDI on a per capita basis of all locations in the study. The city has established a reputation as a software and IT hub, with major investments in recent years from US software giants including Facebook and Google.

“In the five-year period analysed, almost half of all investments in the city were tech-based. US-based Equifax, which provides information solutions, credited its November 2017 announcement to expand its Dublin operation to Ireland’s globally recognised reputation as a tech hub.”

Keegan also noted that the SmartDocklands project in the city had been successful in providing a test bed for smart city technology. He added: “This collaboration between Dublin City Council, Trinity College Dublin and a wide range of MNC’s positions us as a global leader in exploring innovative and collaborative opportunities such as public realm analytics and autonomous transport solutions.”


He concluded by saying that the results from the survey cemented the capital’s place as an innovation centre: “With a highly educated workforce and highly evolved start-up eco-system, today’s results solidify the city’s reputation as a global investment hub.”

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