Business News

Positive global indicators

By Business & Finance
14 January 2014
IDA offices internationally

As the world economy continues to grapple with multiple challenges, countries everywhere are looking at ways to bolster their economies and FDI is often their top priority.

Competition for FDI has never been more intense, but IDA and its staff in overseas markets welcome the competition. Winning projects for Ireland is never easy, but Ireland’s track record in the FDI business over many decades is a key advantage. That long track record has left us with over 1,000 overseas companies, employing over 152,000 people.

FDI into Ireland has been strong in 2013 with notable gains in the technology, life sciences and international financial services sectors.

Among the companies who announced job creation plans 2013, or plans to place fresh investment into Ireland, were: eBay, EMC, McAfee, Pfizer, Yahoo, Sanofi, Symantec, Zurich, Huawei, Facebook, Vistakon, Guidewire, Squarespace, AOL, Groupon, Qualcomm, Novartis, Nypro, FireEye, Salesforce, National Pen, Twitter, Dell, Qualtrics, Acorn, Indeed and Deutsche Bank.

For many of the world’s leading high performance companies, Ireland is an attractive location with an abundance of talented people and a pro-business outlook. Ireland’s economy has shown it is possible to beat global trends as the country enjoyed its best performance in recent years for net job creation through inward investment.

Many other countries are highly envious of Ireland’s capacity to succeed in growing the volume of foreign investment during challenging economic times.

Among key industries, many of the world’s leading corporations have already opted for Ireland as a productive business location.

We are delighted to host:

  • Nine of the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies
  • Nine of the top 10 software companies
  • 15 of the top 20 financial services companies
  • Nine of the top 15 internet companies
  • Three of the top six game publishers

Right through the recession, business in Ireland continued to punch well above its weight. Independent studies show Ireland ranks number one in the world for inward investment.

We’re also rated:

  • 1st in the eurozone for ease of doing business
  • 3rd in the world for availability of skilled labour
  • In the Top 10 in the EU for R&D investment
  • In the Top 20 world rankings for research capability
  • In the Top 20 most competitive countries in the world.

Ireland’s exporting companies have faced up to the most severe economic conditions with great skill and determination. More than ever they are now leaner, stronger and better positioned for international growth.
As global indicators switch to a more positive mode, Ireland is geared for continued economic progress.

Ireland has shown great resilience in maintaining and expanding its market share of world trade. Among the key influencers are:

  • Significant improvement in cost environment.
  • Companies continue to choose Ireland as one of the best countries in the world to do business. Indeed, just this month Forbes ranked Ireland as the number one country in the in the world for business.
  • 12.5% corporation tax.
  • Government committed to public finance and structural reforms.

IDA Ireland, through its network of overseas offices, markets Ireland around the 4T’s – Talent, Track record, Taxation and Technology, which when combined makes Ireland a destination of choice for foreign direct investors.

While Ireland’s ‘natural’ advantages, English-speaking and geographical location between east and west cannot be discounted, a key advantage of coming here is that government, state agencies, local authorities and professional services firms put in a huge effort every year to make sure incoming companies can avail of leading-edge services. If these services weren’t available, the companies wouldn’t come, no matter how attractive the tax structure.

Increasingly, companies locating here are choosing Ireland as a jumping off point for their European ambitions. Targeting business from emerging companies has increasingly come to the fore of IDA Ireland’s strategy in the last number of years and we are seeing great success in this area. While Ireland may be best known for the presence of global multinationals such as Intel, IBM, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson, an area of increased focus for IDA Ireland has been on the high-growth technology companies; many of which have impact hugely disproportional to their size.

These companies are often first to market with new ideas and new business models in digital media, clean technology, life sciences and mobile technology. These young companies are the seeds of tomorrow’s multinationals –whether through organic growth or in mergers and acquisitions, often with more established firms.

The importance of companies internationalising at an early stage has never been greater and Ireland provides the perfect environment in which to do this. Ireland has built a strong reputation as an international hub for a variety of business sectors and hosts global internet companies such as Twitter, Google, eBay/PayPal and Facebook.

Emerging and mid-tier companies’ addition to Ireland’s foreign direct investment portfolio cannot be underestimated. These companies have the potential for huge growth and job creation in the future along with a desire to form close working relationships with indigenous business and academia; in return Ireland can provide for them a pro-business, pro-collaboration environment and all the support required for successful internationalisation; a winning combination for all involved.

It should be acknowledged that FDI cannot power an economy on its own. Instead, it plays a part in a wider economic offering. The domestic economy must have the primary position. But the IDA as an organisation will win for Ireland as much business as it can, whatever the prevailing economic climate, and 2013 has been another successful year in that context.