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FDI: Ireland must innovate to stay ahead - Robert O’Shea writes for The Sunday Business Post

AUTHOR(S): Robert O’Shea
PRACTICE AREA GROUP: International Business
DATE: 10.06.2012

In the context of a sluggish domestic economy, foreign direct investment (FDI) has become increasingly important to Ireland as a means of driving growth and creating employment.foreign direct investment (FDI) has become increasingly important to Ireland as a means of driving growth and creating employment.

However, to fully leverage Ireland's advantages as an FDI location in what is a competitive international marketplace, it is crucial that all stakeholders have a broad understanding of what those advantages are.

Having advised on a significant proportion of new, publicly-announced FDI projects in Ireland last year, law firm Matheson is well placed to understand the needs of international investors.

According to Robert O'Shea, head of Matheson's International Business Group, while these needs vary across each industry sector, a number of common themes emerge.

"Market access is crucial," he said. "One of the key reasons why international companies come to Ireland is as a means of accessing the EU internal market.

"Ireland has been exceptionally successful in creating the best gateway jurisdiction to this European market over the past 20 years, particularly for US companies. So with increasing investment likely to come into Europe from China, India, Brazil and the Middle East over the coming years, we need to position ourselves to ensure we can act as the best gateway to Europe for those investors.

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