A new survey suggests that Ireland is the second most attractive country globally for foreign direct investment.

The National Irish Bank/fDi Intelligence inward investment performance monitor for 2010 shows that Singapore is still the most popular destination, with Thailand coming in third place.

The monitor shows that the number of FDI projects coming to Ireland last year increased by 15%, with a corresponding increase in the rate of job creation.

National Irish Bank noted that the quality of the investments was high, with Ireland very successful in attracting research and development projects. Ireland came fifth in this regard, behind Finland, Taiwan, Israel and Puerto Rico. 15% of last year's projects also saw companies setting up their headquarters here.

NIB says that despite the economic crisis, there are still a number of reasons why Ireland manages to attract so much foreign direction investment. These include the country's highly skilled workforce, its low corporation tax rate and improvements in cost competitiveness.

2010 was another good year for FDI into Ireland, and 2011 has started well,' commented NIB's chief economist Ronnie O'Toole.

'We continue to see a steady flow of mid-sized projects, particularly in services industries such as software and customer support, though also with some high quality manufacturing projects,' he added.