The Irish government actively promotes foreign direct investment (FDI), a strategy that fuelled a robust economic growth from the mid 1990’s. The effect of this strategy is reflected in the Globalisation Index in the Ireland comes out best in Europe and is forecast to be the world leader in by the end of 20111. Ireland is an innovation driven country which ranks first in the world when it comes to FDI and technology transfer and second best in the world when looking at the business impact of rules on FDI.
Ireland’s recent historic focus has been on technology intensive and high skill industries and, more recently, on research and development and ICT.
The Global Competitiveness Report 20112 observes that Ireland benefits from excellent Health and Primary Education where it ranks tenth in the world and strong Higher Education and Training where it is placed in twenty-second position. Well-functioning goods and labour markets are also seen as strengths. The report raises concerns about the macroeconomic environment and budget deficit.
The most problematic factors for doing business in Ireland2 according to the Global Competitiveness report are:
• Access to financing
• Inefficient government bureaucracy
• Restrictive Labour Agreements
1 Ernst & Young’s Globalisation and the Changing World of Business 2011
2 World Economic Forum, Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012