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Ireland 2018 - an easy place to do business

A report by the World Bank ranked fourth in the EU for "ease of doing business.” 

The World Bank evaluates the “ease of doing business” by using ten different components. These include; 

  • Starting a business and paying taxes
  • Dealing with Construction Permits
  • Getting Electricity
  • Registering Property
  • Getting Credit
  • Protecting Minority Investors
  • Paying Taxes
  • Trading Across Borders
  • Enforcing Contracts
  • Resolving Insolvency

Regarding Ireland’s ranking in the report, Goodbody Stockbrokers commented; 
"The ranking should be seen as a reminder of Ireland’s high ranking in the context of attracting FDI, particularly in the context of Brexit. This is welcome news to the government."

What companies have chosen to do business in Ireland?

Let’s take a look at some different industries.

Ireland’s Technology and Software industry.

Ireland’s Technology and Software industry began over 60 years ago when IBM opened its Dublin office in 1956, followed by Ericsson in 1957. More companies would choose Ireland in the decades that followed such as; Hewlett Packard in the 1970’s, and Microsoft, Dell, Oracle, Intel in the 1980’s. The 1990’s saw the arrival of Symantec, Fidelity, SAP, and Pilz. Increased growth was experienced in the 2000’s with Google, Yahoo, Sita, Amazon, Ebay, Cisco, Aon, Facebook, Workday, Mastercard and Citi all set up in Ireland
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Cutting-edge companies
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16 of the top 20 global software companies have operations in Ireland.

Ireland’s Pharmaceutical & Biopharmaceutical Industry.

The Pharmaceutical industry began its life in Ireland in the 1960’s creating bulk ingredients. It now comprises of pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device facilities which are involved in all activities from early stage R&D to manufacturing and delivery of finished products to market.

It now boasts the following;

  • 9 of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies are located in Ireland.
  • 8 of the top 10 medical device companies are located in Ireland.
  • 7 of the world’s top 10 selling drugs are manufactured in Ireland.
  • Ireland is the largest exporter of pharmaceuticals in the EU.
  • Pharmaceuticals account for 50% of all exports from Ireland.
  • 13 of the world’s top 15 MedTech companies are located in Ireland.
  • Within the last 10 years, the biopharmaceutical industry has invested approx. $8 billion in new facilities in Ireland.

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Top Pharma, Biopharma, MedTech & Life Science Companies located in Ireland
Johnson & Johnson – Roche – Pfizer – Novartis – MSD – Amgen – Sanofi – AbbVie – GlaxoSmithKline – Bayer – Eli Lilly – Gilead Sciences – Bristol-Myers Squibb – Allergan – AstraZenecaAbbott -Abbott – Novo Nordisk – Biogen – Shire – Stryker – Regeneron  – Teva  – Baxter – Alexion

Other factors that entice large companies to invest in Ireland.

Strong talent pool
Ireland is 1st in the world for attracting and retaining talent according to the IMD Yearbook 2017. With one third under 25 years of age and almost half the population under the age of 34, Ireland also has the youngest population in Europe.

Nearly 10pc of workers based in Dublin work as software developers, according to Stack Overflow report 2017.

With so many companies already in Ireland, a cluster effect has occurred for businesses as well as employees. This resulted in Ireland having the fastest-growing tech worker population in Europe for 2017. Source: State of European Tech 2017 Report.

Talent mobility
Ireland has the 3rd highest international workforce in Europe, proportionally speaking. Currently, 15% of Ireland’s workforce is international.
Ireland is the only English speaking country in the Eurozone.  78% of Irish IT specialists have third level qualification compared with an EU average of 61%

Excellent track record
Ireland tops the world’s ranking in attracting high-value projects for the sixth year in a row – IBM Global Location Trends Report 2017.

Tax
Companies can benefit from the country’s 12.5% corporate tax rate, as well as a 25% R&D tax credit and extensive tax treaty networks.
Under the new Knowledge Development Box, Ireland has a 6.25% preferential tax rate on income arising from intellectual property.

Education
With a 98% participation rate in education amongst 18 year olds (highest in Europe), the Irish Education System is ranked 6th best in the world.
Computer science and coding are now secondary/high school subjects.

Connected research
€700m is invested annually in R&D by the Irish government. Strategic areas include Software, Data Analytics, Machine Learning and Telecomms.

A high level of collaboration between industry, academia, state agencies and regulatory authorities helps to progress Ireland’s R&D sector.

Market access
One of the main reasons companies look to invest in countries outside of their home markets is to gain access to new markets. A report from the Economist Intelligence Unit found that three in five, or 58%, of respondents, emphasised market access as one of their top three motivations for setting up international operations. Market access was prioritised over of eight other factors;

  • Availability of key skills - 34%
  • Government incentives - 32% 
  • Ease of doing business - 32%
Access to the EU - Ireland’s specific advantage 

The report shows that when asked about Ireland’s main competitive advantages, the country's access to European markets was top of the list. 46% of respondents highlighted market access, much more than any other factor.
(see below graph/Figure 1).

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“A major factor behind Ireland’s success in the 1990s, and a key differentiator between Ireland of the 1970s and of the 1990s was improved access to the EU as a result of the
Single Market.” - Peter Neary, Professor of Economics at Oxford University.

Ireland is pro-EU
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