Despite the doom and gloom associated with Ireland's banks, bonds and budgets, Facebook continues to invest in Ireland.
Yesterday, the social networking site announced plans to create 100 new jobs at its Dublin office by next year.
The office, which acts as a headquarters for Facebook's European, Middle Eastern and African markets, will be boosted with an increase of one-third in staff numbers, a spokesperson confirmed yesterday. This will add another 100 staff to its office of 200.
Technology giants such as Microsoft, Intel and Amazon have been attracted to Ireland by its low corporate tax rate of 12.5%, but Facebook claims that it is this, combined with the educated and talented workforce that make Ireland an attractive base. Being based among other technology giants also means that it can attract former employees of Google and Microsoft.
Dublin currently has more than 75 multinational technology companies and has become an established international base for such firms.
Although Facebook is showing support for Ireland's growing technology base, established firms have expressed concern over Ireland raising the corporate tax rate following the economic bailout, with pressure coming from France and Germany to do so.
Last month, Google's top executive in Ireland, John Helihy said that anything that affects Ireland's competitiveness would “be a big thing for Google, including corporation tax.” Microsoft, Intel and HP have also supported a statement by the American Chamber of Commerce over the “damaging impact” of increasing corporation tax.
The Dublin Chamber of Commerce said that Facebook's investment would enhance Dublin's “world-class” internet services cluster.
“We are delighted with Facebook’s decision to expand their base in Dublin and view it is a sign of their commitment to Ireland,” said Gina Quin, Dublin Chamber's Chief Executive. “It is also a clear indication that international businesses still view Ireland as a good place to do business.”
The company's initial investment in Ireland in 2008 was supported by the IDA, in a move that began with the creation of 70 Irish jobs in advertising, multilingual sales support, finances, human resources, user operations and development.
Ms Quin noted that “Dublin is competing against other international city regions in attracting businesses like Facebook. It . . . will help facilitate economic recovery if we continue to do so."
“The proliferation of internet service companies in the Dublin city region is leading to growth of indigenous companies as well as new spin-offs,” she added.