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Inward Investment

A Beacon For FDI Ireland is a global beacon for FDI and the team at AIB Foreign Direct Investment believe there is scope for further growth.


reland continues to be a global beacon when it comes to foreign direct investment (FDI). Last year alone, IDA Ireland (Industrial Development Agency), Ireland’s inward investment promotion agency, created a total of 12,722 new jobs. Most of the leading companies in the world are located in Ireland, including: • 8 of the top 10 ICT companies • 9 of the top 10 Pharmaceutical companies • 17 of the top 25 Medical Device companies • More than 50% of the world’s leading financial services companies It’s hard to over-emphasize the importance of multinational companies to the health of Ireland Inc. They now account for over 75% of total Irish exports. Raw statistics don’t always tell the truth, but consider the fact that when Irish exports rose by 5% in 2011, it accounted for a 1.4% rise in GDP. And in 2012, a further growth of 3% in exports was reported - despite the UK and Eurozone entering recession.

The importance of FDI in Ireland Another measuring stick of the importance of Irish exports – spearheaded by our multinationals – is that they represent a massive 105% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product). The graph above illustrates just how solidly our exports have performed.

Why invest in Ireland? In 2011, Forbes ‘Best Countries for Business’ report named Ireland as the best country in Europe in which to do business. There are a number of reasons for this, including the availability of a talented and well-educated English-speaking workforce 32 | Silicon Valley Global

well-educated English-speaking workforce

other just 12.5% is a major attraction. Add in

Exports as % of GDP UK Germany France Greece Italy Ireland Portugal Spain












Source: Thompson Datastream

which has a reputation for attributes such as flexibility, creativity, and innovation. We also enjoy an excellent track record. The number of businesses who have already chosen Ireland to do business speaks for itself, and many of these companies can now be counted among our strongest advocates back in their home markets. Another plus factor for setting up in Ireland is the fact that government policy over a number of decades has been to establish an economic environment which encourages growth, facilitates foreign investment and allows business and entrepreneurship to flourish.

Delivering for business The most obvious proof of this pro-business regime is our corporate tax level, which at just 12.5% is a major attraction. Add in

other incentives such as our R&D tax credit and intellectual property regime and it’s not surprising to see why we’re such a favored FDI destination. We’ve also made huge strides in recent years in terms of our competitiveness. This spans everything from energy, private rents, office rents, services and construction to labor costs.

Opportunities for the next decade and beyond. Have we now reached a peak – or is there further scope for growth? According to Diarmuid O’Neill, Head of AIB Corporate Banking Ireland, it’s very definitely a case of the latter. “I expect that the traditional FDI sectors such as pharma, manufacturing and financial services will continue to play a very important part in Ireland’s FDI growth. Side by side

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