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Ireland really is the best small country in the world to do business*

*According to this report, which will make Enda Kenny happy.

Image: business via Shutterstock

WE’VE BEEN HEARING from the government since they took office that Ireland should be known as the Best Small Country in the World in which to do Business.

And, for the second year running, Enda Kenny has some hard evidence to back that claim up.

Ireland has held onto the top position for added value of foreign direct investment projects in the IBM 2014 Global Location Trends report.

The nation has also improved its position in the World Bank’s “Doing Business 2015” survey coming in 13th position -up two places from last year.

The foreign investment agency of the Irish government, IDA Ireland, says both reports are influential for firms deciding where to locate their investments in 2015.

According to the IBM report, Ireland remains ‘the top performer in the world’ in relation to the the quality and added value brought by FDI projects coming into the country.

IBM uses a Foreign Direct Investment value indicator that assigns a value to each investment project – depending on the sector and the type of business activity.

This value indicator assesses the added value and knowledge intensity of the jobs created by the investment project. Using this measure – Ireland came out as the top performer in the world for the second year in a row.

The Chief Executive Officer of IDA, Mr Martin Shanahan said:

“Ireland has traditionally been a strong performer in FDI, but what comes through clearly from IBM’s latest and influential report, is that the quality of projects won is very high.”

Ease of doing business 

The World Bank “Doing Business 2015” report placed Ireland in 13th position in a survey of 189 economies for ease of doing business.

Ireland’s 2015 position ranks it ahead of investment competitors such as Switzerland, Netherlands and Israel.

Speaking about the results, Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, said:

The Doing Business Report makes a valuable contribution as it encourages countries to benchmark themselves against the best performing economies and it supports the reform agenda at a global level.

Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland said, “It is great news overall that we have moved up in the World Bank global ranking system. However, when you take a closer look there is one particularly worrying statistic.

Ireland’s performance in the category dealing with planning and construction permits has deteriorated from an already inadequate ranking of 117th place to 128th place.

“This puts Ireland just ahead of Bolivia and Myanmar in terms of ease of navigating the regulatory framework around planning and construction permits.”

“This is an enormous warning sign for Government that our planning and permit regimes are not fit for purpose and need a radical overhaul. We cannot expect to be the best small country in the world in which to do business if the regulatory framework inhibits development.”

Top global destination

Ireland was also listed in the top four of global destination countries by estimated jobs per million inhabitants.

The report states that “comparing countries on what projects are attracted, and not just the number of jobs, is increasingly important for gauging inward investment performance”.

Meanwhile, Dublin made the top 10 of destination cities for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) – based on projects won. The capital placed 9th – up from 14th last year.

Ireland has always been the best small country in the world in which to do business

Read: Bruton: No, I’m not in America because I’m nervous about the death of the ‘Double Irish’>

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