Novartis is expanding its presence in Ireland by setting up a  business services centre in Dublin.

The move, which will create 100 jobs for the area, will consolidate the digital marketing, salesforce training and medical communications services for the the Swiss major. It is being set up at Novartis' existing campus in Beech Hill, Dublin, while preparations are made for another location.

The company says it conducted an extensive study of Europe to find the best location for the centre and Dublin won out, helped by its highly-educated workforce, pharmaceutical experience and language proficiency, as well as other factors, such as accessibility and cost.

Loretto Callaghan, head of Novartis Ireland. said the firm "takes pride in continuing to create high-quality jobs" in the country, "particularly given the current economic challenges" It already has a significant presence in Ireland, employing more than 1,200 highly skilled people in its two Cork-based manufacturing plants and its commercial operations in Dublin.

IDA Ireland, the country's investment agency, noted that nine of the top ten global and 25 of the top 50 pharmaceutical companies have operations in Ireland, predominantly involved in development and manufacturing.