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Foreign Direct Investment – Ireland’s Story

Ireland’s continuing ability to attract cutting-edge foreign direct investment is at the core of our economic recovery. Yvonne Kennedy summarises the key factors that influence those investment decisions and provides an overview of banking considerations for inbound investors.

In April 2014, former COO of Zynga, Marcus Segal, addressed the “Smart People Smart Economy” conference at the US Embassy, noting the fact that companies can no longer expect to become major global technology players without having an Irish base. This is the undercurrent of thought among international businesses and it corroborates the recent global endorsement by Forbes Magazine, that Ireland is ranked number one on their list of “The Best Countries for Business” in 2013. In fact, Ireland was the only nation to rank in the top 15% of countries in each of the 11 metrics reviewed by Forbes. Other endorsements of note include the 2014 IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook which ranks Ireland 1st under the following categories:

  • Flexibility and adaptability of workforce
  • Availability of skilled labour
  • Investment incentives
  • Attitudes towards globalisation

IMD Global Location Trends 2013 ranks Ireland 4th for FDI job creation and 1st for average value of investment projects, while the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom ranks Ireland as the 9th freest country in the world and the 2nd in Europe. While these endorsements add to our enviable reputation for attracting FDI, the most notable testimony is the impressive list of global players that have already either (a) invested in Ireland (including Dropbox, Indeed, Etsy, FireEye) or (b) made Ireland their international headquarters (including Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, Paypal).

There are a number of important considerations for such businesses when locating in Ireland including tax, business structure and the availability of workforce. Another factor that requires early deliberation is the choice of banking partner and the suitability of its product offering.

You can download the full text that originally appeared in the August 2014 edition of Accountancy Ireland here. (145 KB PDF)

Post by Yvonne Kennedy. Yvonne is a Manager on the Foreign Direct Investment Team in Ulster Bank. Contact her at 01 – 6085321 or email yvonne.kennedy@ulsterbank.com

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