Ireland ranked 13th for foreign direct investment

IRELAND is in the top half of the world’s top 30 economies when it comes to attracting investment.

The first National Irish Bank/OCO Investment Performance Index placed Ireland at number 13 ahead of the likes of Germany and Britain.

The index compares Ireland’s performance at attracting inward investment compared to leading destinations.

The compilers of the index said the countries that ranked ahead of Ireland were almost all developing countries, particularly from eastern Europe and Asia, which retain a very substantial cost advantage over Ireland.

India topped the index followed by Poland and Thailand.

National Irish Bank economist Dr Ronnie O’Toole said Ireland’s ability to continue to attract foreign investment will be the key to maintain economic growth in the next couple of years.

“These investments not only have an impact in terms of direct employment, but also generate significant corporation tax revenues, as well as stimulating activity elsewhere in the economy.

“The fact that this new index shows we are holding our own in terms of attracting inward investment is encouraging. Ireland is winning these projects despite rises in costs in recent years and a highly disadvantageous rate of the dollar,” Dr O’Toole said.

He said the first three quarters of 2007 were not as strong as in 2006 as Ireland has not won blockbuster projects this year.

“This compares to 2006, when a number of high profile announcements were made, most notably an expansion by Google of its European headquarters with an additional 500 jobs in November, or Abbot Ireland’s announcement of 637 jobs at its production site in Clonmel.

“However, we are attracting the medium size projects at the same rate as before,” he said.

One of the reasons why Ireland’s position has deteriorated somewhat this year, according to OCO, was the shift from looking for manufacturing investment to “knowledge driven” investments in research and development and services that tend to create fewer jobs.

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