US technology company Hewlett Packard is to create 500 jobs with an 18-million-euro (23-million-dollar) expansion of its global service desk operation in Leixlip, County Kildare southwest of Dublin, Prime Minister Brian Cowen said on Tuesday.
The investment by HP is being grant-aided by the government through the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) job creation agency.
"The expansion of the Global Service Desk operation, now a centre of excellence for large outsourcing contracts for HP worldwide, will initially result in the creation of 500 highly-skilled multilingual technical support positions over 12 months, with the recruitment of 300 of these positions to commence immediately," the IDA said in a statement.
"A substantial part of the growth plans will include the creation of a research, development and innovation capability for HP's global service desk environment," it added.
Cowen said the development illustrated that recession-hit Ireland has the capability and the capacity to continue to attract overseas investment during the current global economic climate.
"I would like to assure HP that it has my government's support as it grows and further embeds its operations here," Cowen said.
HP first set up an operation in Ireland in 1975 and currently employs some 4,000 people in four locations.
(c) 2009 AFP
Explore further: BlackBerry courts iPhone users with cash