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Ireland - Top of the Rankings for Foreign Direct Investment
Despite being hit hard by the global economic crisis, Ireland has recently topped the rankings for foreign direct investment and continues to be listed as one of the top ten places globally for ease of doing business. A welcome development against the backdrop of the economic and fiscal challenges which Ireland continues to face on the domestic front, Ireland’s leading ranking in this report underscores the attractive features which Ireland continues to offer as a preferred jurisdiction for foreign direct investment.
According to a recent IBM report on Global Location Trends, Ireland is the number one global destination for jobs per capita from inward investment. The report also placed Ireland in the top ten globally for estimated total jobs in research and development, ranking ahead of other leading jurisdictions in this area (including Singapore). Complementing this, the World Bank recently ranked Ireland as one of the top ten countries in the world for ease of doing business, scoring Ireland particularly well in the areas of investor protection and ease of starting a business. In addition, the 2010 IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook listed Ireland fourth in the world in terms of skilled labour and seventh for the flexibility and adaptability of people. Ireland’s ranking in these studies is reflective of the technology, infrastructure, talent, corporate tax system and other assets that Ireland has to offer for global operations.
These reports also mirror the continuing growth of investment in Ireland. According to the October 2010 publication from the Central Statistics Office in Ireland, the level of foreign direct investment in Ireland increased by €30.4 billion over the year to end 2009. The results for 2010 should also be positive, as IDA Ireland has announced almost 70 new investments in Ireland so far this year. Eight of the top ten pharmaceutical companies, eight of the top ten ICT companies and more than half of the world’s leading financial services firms now have a presence in Ireland.
A significant part of Ireland’s success in securing global investment has been due to policies focused on investment retention and ensuring that the country is well-positioned to attract future opportunities in a dynamic market. Some of the most recent developments in this context are outlined in this Update.
In a time of significant challenge on the domestic side, foreign direct investment remains critically important on Ireland’s economic agenda and this will be central to Ireland’s economic and fiscal strategies for the long term, enshrined in particular in Ireland’s commitment to its international investor customers.
As the cost of doing business in Ireland becomes more competitive and as measures continue to be adopted to attract and retain high quality investments, there is every reason to believe that Ireland will continue to be a leader in preferred locations for foreign direct investment.
We want to take this opportunity to thank you, our valued clients and contacts, for your support and instructions during 2010 and to wish you a happy Holiday season and every good wish for a happy and healthy New Year. We look forward to continuing our work with you in 2011 and beyond.
Robert O’Shea, Corporate Partner and Head of the International Business Group