Enterprise Ireland client companies saw the best export growth and net job creation last year in over a decade, its annual report shows today.

EI companies exported a record €17.1 billion worth of goods and services in 2013, up 8% on the previous year.

They also created a net increase of 5,442 new jobs - the largest net increase in ten years. Enterprise Ireland said this highlights the clear link between strong export growth in new and existing worldwide markets, and job creation here.

Total direct employment in Enterprise Ireland companies stood at 175,750 last year - 149,718 of these were in full time jobs while 26,032 were part time. 

Research has shown that for every ten jobs created in an Irish exporting company, 13 additional jobs are created elsewhere in the economy in supply and service companies. 

Today's report also shows that over 1,000 client Enterprise Ireland companies took part in 18 Minister-led trade missions and 67 international events during the year.

These targeted the key markets of North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.

Enterprise Ireland also brought over 1,100 international buyers to Ireland to meet client companies here. The state agency opened new offices in Istanbul in Turkey and Austin in Texas, which brings its overseas network to 30 international offices.

139 EI client companies were engaged in what the state agency called "substantial" research and development projects of over €1m spend a year, while 858 were engaged in R&D projects worth over €100,000 spend a year.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland said: ‘The strong performance of our client companies and their capacity to continuously innovate, develop new products and services and win new export business against the toughest of international competition, represent a tremendous achievement," commented Julie Sinnamon, Enterprise Ireland's chief executive. 
Ms Sinnamon said that EI companies are contributing hugely to the performance of the Irish economy.  

"Driving continuous innovation and export growth leading to job creation right across the country will continue to be the major focus for Enterprise Ireland over the coming years," she added.