The head of IDA Ireland has said that financial services companies who are exploring a relocation to Ireland are likely to make their decisions before Brexit negotiations conclude.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Martin Shanahan said that the political and commercial timelines regarding the negotiations were "incompatible" in terms of companies making key decisions.

IDA Ireland has launched an aggressive advertising campaign across the globe in the hope of winning foreign direct investment, partly as a result of Britain leaving the EU single market.

In Davos, the agency is hosting more than 45 senior executives from global companies tomorrow evening.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny will speak at the dinner.

Mr Shanahan said companies would be making their decisions in the second quarter.

"We're in the business of fighting for mobile investment wherever it comes from. In the context of Brexit there'll be mobile investment and we will fight for that, as will other countries," he told RTÉ News.

He said firms operating in the UK "will want to be in the single market" where they are servicing customers across the EU.

IDA Ireland is receiving inquiries from traditional sectors, as well as from the pharma, technology and telecoms sectors.

"We see companies now moving to the stage where they're short-listing," Mr Shanhan said.

"My expectation is that Ireland will be on those short lists and they will be making their decisions in the next couple of months.

"The companies I'm speaking to say they'll need a presence within the EU27 in a post Brexit world, in order to be able to passport their products and services.

"I think that the political timeline and the commercial timeline are incompatible at this point. The companies need answers for the shareholders, for the clients now as to what their plan is for access to the European market.

"Ireland is extremely well positioned to attract this inward investment."

Mr Shanahan dismissed concerns that Ireland suffered from infrastructure and residential housing capacity, citing the Irish common law system, the English speaking nature of the workforce, Ireland's place in the single market, and its FDI track record as key deciders for multinational firms.