Outside an Amazon office in Dublin (Smon Roughneen)
Outside an Amazon office in Dublin (Smon Roughneen)

DUBLIN — US computer and software maker Microsoft is hiring 200 engineers in Ireland and will build a new “engineering hub” to bolster its operations in the country, where it employs 2,500 people.

Microsoft Ireland announced on Monday that “recruits will be involved in the development of new cloud services and technology solutions for customers around the globe.”

Meeting Microsoft Ireland managing director Cathriona Hallahan at government headquarters in Dublin, Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar labelled the announcement as “really good news” that could set Ireland up “to be a leader in engineering.”

Hallahan said the expansion the country “at the centre of innovation,” while Martin Shanahan, chief executive of government investment agency IDA Ireland, said it shows Ireland’s attractiveness to investors “despite the unprecedented challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

In contrast to the rest of the economy, Ireland’s large electronics/technology and pharmaceutical/medical sectors have prospered due to the pandemic and related restrictions.

Last month the Central Statistics Office reported that gross value added in “non-MNE [multinational enterprise] dominated sectors” falling by 19.8 per cent in the second quarter, while the “foreign-owned MNE dominated sector increased by 1.1 per cent.”

Ireland’s corporate tax is one of the lowest in the European Union. The country has long been a favoured destination for US businesses expanding overseas.

Facebook and Google are among the household names with European headquarters in Ireland. Firms like Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline operate factories and research facilities in several locations.

Amazon and Chinese social media application Tiktok both recently announced new jobs and investments in Ireland.

Apple last week marked 40 years since it established operations in Cork, the second-biggest city, where it employs more than 6,000 people.

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