Ireland may not have large deposits of natural resources, gold or oil; yet, it is home to some of the world's leading companies across many key sectors. So why do companies invest in Ireland?
Ireland may not have large deposits of natural resources, gold or oil; yet, it is home to some of the world's leading companies: Dell, Microsoft, Intel, Twitter, Facebook, Pfizer, Citi, Fujitsu and more. In fact, nine of the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies, nine of the top 10 software companies, 12 of the top 15 medical tech companies, 15 of the top 20 financial services companies, nine of the top 15 internet companies and three of the top six game publishers have operations here.
So why do companies invest in Ireland?
There are several reasons why Ireland beat Europe's downward economic trend in recent years, and grew at multiples of the European average.
Ireland is highly appealing to foreign direct investment (FDI), and the Irish Development Authority (IDA) has been attracting investment for over 50 years. This together with a concerted effort by the Irish government to reduce red tape sees Ireland ranked in TMF Group's 2015 Global Benchmark Complexity Index as the least complex country for multinational enterprises to comply with corporate regulation and legislation. The country is building very strong clusters of industries which reinforces its credentials and make it easier for other companies in the same industry to set up.
In regards to tax, the country is fully OECD BEPS-compliant and has a stable tax regime. The benchmark corporation tax rate is 12.5%, which makes it one of the most competitive rates in the world, and this year the world's first BEPS-compliant Knowledge Development Box was introduced, which allows specific income to be taxed at 6.75%.
As the only native English speaking country in the Eurozone, Ireland has huge cultural and economic links with the United States of America, and appropriately markets itself as the gateway to Europe. Located on the edge of Europe, it is due east from the US and their first stop before reaching the mainland. With the youngest population in the European Union, 40% of Irish are under 30 years of age. The country also has a well-educated and skilled workforce.
Putting everything together, there is a compelling argument for investing in, setting up a manufacturing plant or technology development and/or using Ireland as a company's EMEA head office.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.