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Ireland touts strong investment pipeline amid tech job cuts

FILE PHOTO: Ireland's Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Leo Varadkar and Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney, speak outside Stormont House, in Belfast

(This Nov. 7 story has been corrected to say "106,000" not "37,000" in paragraph 6, after a state agency clarification)

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland has a strong pipeline of investments from foreign-owned multinationals and expects many positive announcements in the coming months, Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Monday, looking to ease fears around tech-sector jobs cuts.

Ireland is hugely reliant on multinationals that employ over 275,000 people, or one in nine workers, and pay a large chunk of the country's income and corporate taxes. Jobs growth in the sector soared to record levels in the first half of 2022.

However, digital payments firm Stripe and Twitter, both of whom employ around 500 in Ireland, announced layoffs last week and the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc plans to begin large-scale layoffs this week.

Meta's international headquarters are in Ireland, where it is one of the largest multinationals, directly employing around 3,000 staff with another 6,000 supporting its operations across the country.

It is also set to move into a large new campus in Dublin shortly.

Varadkar was briefed on Monday by the state's inwards investment agency, IDA Ireland, on the current situation in the global tech sector. Tech multinationals employ over 106,000 people in Ireland, according to the IDA.

"There is a strong pipeline of new investments from overseas and within Ireland in a range of sectors including tech and in other sectors and we expect many positive announcements in the coming months," Varadkar, who is also the country's enterprise minister, said in a statement.

"As a country we are close to full employment, with high demand for tech, marketing and other skills across all sectors."

Multinational job announcements have continued in the second half of the year with cloud data service provider NetApp Inc saying on Friday that it would create 500 jobs by 2025 at its new international headquarters in the city of Cork.

Multinational firms have been responsible for an enormous boom in corporate tax receipts in recent years, and also now account for around 33% of all income tax paid in the country due to their highly paid roles.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin in Dublin; Editing by Matthew Lewis)