Ireland still tops for foreign investment

Ireland remains the world’s number one destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) and is well positioned to attract further inward investment, according to a report released yesterday.

The quality of Ireland’s skilled workforce was identified as a core reason for locating in Ireland, as was the perceived pro-business environment.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said concerns raised in the report would be examined in greater detail by the Government in the process of drawing up a new FDI strategy.

“As we seek to increase employment in this sector, it is crucially important that we continually look over the next horizon at the future challenges which will make the difference between success and failure for Ireland in this area.

“That is why my department will shortly publish our policy statement on FDI, and following on from that IDA Ireland will over the coming months develop a new strategy which will map out the future direction of FDI policy.”

Other factors identified by the report as key to Ireland’s attractiveness were the economic recovery, political stability and access to the EU market.

The executives and key decision makers surveyed pointed to skill shortages in areas like information and communications technology, science and engineering as one of the main obstacles to attracting further investment.

The report finds that high levels of emigration exacerbated the emergence of a skills gap in these industries as emigration reached 89,000 in 2013; an increase of almost 2,000 from the previous year.

The continued development of Ireland’s intellectual property regime is also seen as crucial to business leaders — many of whom stated that any changes to this system need to be carefully considered in both national and international contexts.

Ibec chief executive Danny McCoy also highlighted this as a key area in strengthening Ireland’s attractiveness, saying: “Strong intellectual property rights are a vital element to foster additional FDI into Ireland. Ibec has recently set out four pillars for a medium-term FDI strategy for Ireland, that include having a best in class research and development tax credit scheme, continued commitment to the 12.5% corporate tax brand, a more competitive personal tax environment and an enhanced IP regime.”

The US is the largest source of FDI in Ireland with 531 companies employing 100,000 workers.

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