COMPUTER and technology giant IBMis expected to announce several hundred new jobs at a new international services centre.The multinational which already employs about 3,000 people in Ireland is to open the centre in Mulhuddart, Dublin.

Joan Burton, Minister for Social Protection and a local TD, welcomed the investment.

"I am delighted that IBM has chosen Dublin West for this significant expansion," she said.

"It is a great vote of confidence in the people of Dublin West, in IDA Ireland and in the Government's jobs strategy."

It is understood the new site will house IBM's global services integration hub.

IBM already operates research, software development and services at its technology campus in Mulhuddart and in Cork and Galway and has a European sales and services support centre in Blanchardstown.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton met senior IBM executives along with the development and investment agency IDA on a recent trip to the USA.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny welcomed the investment announcement, saying: "The decision by IBM to locate a global services integration hub in Ireland follows on from a significant number of FDI (foreign direct investment) announcements in recent months from world-leading multinational companies, which proves the value of economic stability in attracting new investment.

"It also demonstrates the value of Ireland's position in Europe when it comes to our ability to attract overseas investment.

"Today's announcement displays IBM's continued commitment to its Irish operations and staff."