Ireland still ‘top location’ for investment

IRELAND’S attractiveness to investors has been given a huge shot in the arm – 72% of independent international consultants believe Ireland is and will remain a top location for foreign investors.

The research was done by Hughes Blake, the chartered accountants and recovery firm which found another 55.6% said our reputation has not suffered “any more than other countries” from the banking crisis and the global economic downturn.

This research has been carried out among members of Integra International, which is the global association of independent accounting and financial consulting firms. They are currently in Dublin for their Global Conference and the survey was carried out among over 200 delegates who are advisers to 40,000 businesses worldwide.

The Hughes Blake survey involved responses from 105 delegates and showed:

- 71.6% would recommend Ireland as a location for investment.

- 55.6% believe Ireland’s reputation hasn’t been hit any more than others.

- Cost competitiveness tops the poll at 20.4% when advising clients on locations for investment.

Other findings showed the regulatory environment and quality of workforce was a priority for 17.9%, with the tax environment also a high priority among 17.8%.

Up to 30% stressed the need to guard and increase our attractiveness to investors into the future and stressed the need for a continuing commitment by the state to maintaining our low level of corporation tax.

Another 28.5% said ease of doing business was crucial, while driving competitiveness and an educated workforce were important for 20.8%.

On the economic outlook 64% said the global economy is on the road to recovery, with 38% expecting the up-turn to become obvious in late 2011, while a more optimistic coterie of delegates said the recovery will take hold early in the year.

Neil Hughes, managing partner of Hughes Blake, said: “We were pleasantly surprised by the findings of the survey which show that international sentiment to Ireland as a location for investment is not as negative as we might think.”

The aim of the Integra International conference is to get across to this critical international audience of advisors to investors “that Ireland is an ideal location for foreign direct investment”.

IDA Ireland chief executive Barry O’Leary welcomed the findings which match closely what IDA Ireland and its clients have being saying in recent times.


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