The Government has said it plans to create 7,000 jobs annually from foreign direct investment.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton announced details of the policy initiative, which includes a commitment to retaining Ireland's corporate tax rate.

Reform of the international tax system is a challenge for Ireland, but also an opportunity, according to the minister.

He said the Government remains committed to retaining the 12.5% corporate tax rate, despite harsh words from US President Barack Obama.

Mr Obama criticised American companies for avoiding US taxes by relocating their headquarters to countries such as Ireland.

Mr Bruton said he supports international efforts to close tax loopholes, despite fears that the State would lose out.

The Government said it must now focus on portraying Ireland as an attractive place to do business, if it hopes to match the level of job creation it has delivered over the past three years.

Speaking on RTÉ’s News At One, Mr Bruton said the next phase of the foreign direct investment policy is about looking over the horizon to see how Ireland can better position itself in relation to emerging opportunities.

He said that Ireland is well-placed to exploit such opportunities in the area of smart health and medical technology as well as food and health.