IDA Ireland is hopeful that 2014 will rank as the fourth consecutive year of record investment and net job creation among its client companies.
The agency yesterday said the prospects look strong, with an immediate pipeline of over 150 investments currently in play.
The IDA’s annual report showed that as of the end of last year, 161,112 people were working at IDA client companies, a record for inward investment in Ireland.
“There remain significant economic challenges at home and abroad, but Ireland remains an attractive location for dynamic global companies and this was evident in the first half of the year,” IDA chief Barry O’Leary said.
When asked about the ongoing corporate tax debate, Mr O’Leary said none of the negative talk of Ireland’s tax status has harmed the foreign direct investment. However, he did suggest the Government should look more closely at providing a pathway to lower personal taxation, which would enhance further foreign direct investment flows.
Mr O’Leary said the IDA doesn’t look to attract firms for “corporate inversion” purposes, where they move headquarters to a low-tax nation, such as Ireland, and retain material operations elsewhere. He said: “We’re not in favour of companies coming here to invest without substance.”
“Ireland is likely to be a beneficiary from any international [tax] reforms, as there is tangible substance — including capital investment, employees, and risk — behind Ireland’s foreign direct investment sector, whereas some other locations do not have such substance.”
Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said the ongoing challenge of broadening the regional scope of foreign direct investment is being addressed by Enterprise Ireland and will additionally be done so via the Government’s Regional Enterprise Strategy, due to be published later this year.
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