Ireland was recently voted as the best place for business by Forbes, moving into the prestigious first position after last year’s sixth place finish. This achievement is a testament to Ireland’s ideals on business development as the past five years have been marred by economic difficulties and an unstable financial industry.
One of the main factors behind Ireland’s first place finish was the fact that “Ireland scored well across the board when measuring its business friendliness. It is the only nation that ranks among the top 15 per cent of countries in every one of the 11 metrics we examined to gauge the best countries,” says the article.
The eleven factors used to measure a countries business appeal were as follows: property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, freedom (personal, trade and monetary), red tape, investor protection and stock market performance. To win the esteemed accolade, Ireland had to fend off competition from 144 other countries that were also measured on their capabilities as places for enterprise. Ireland also scored highly for low tax burden, investor protection and personal freedom.
Ireland was also commended for its strong education system which has produced a skilled workforce. Its geographical location provides a good base for expanding European operations, especially for companies which may rely on their employees abilities to speak English.
Senior politicians in Ireland will be buoyed by the news and it will hopefully reaffirm belief in projects such as Enterprise Ireland which has come under scrutiny as of late. Dublin’s booming technological sector was also a likely influence on the final results, as the city competes with London as being regarded as one of the pioneers of Europe’s digital revolution.
However, the more negative aspects which have blighted Ireland since the 2008 financial crisis are what have incentivised businesses to open up operations in Ireland. The high 12.8% unemployment figure means that businesses have had a large labour pool from which to pick their employees. The financial crisis also brought about a reduction in wages which has boosted Ireland’s popularity in terms of overseas investment.
As with all positive news there is often another view to consider. Are the regulations geared to provide the most benefits to the multi-national companies and do they subsequently get first-pick of the talent pool based on what they can offer. Whilst competitiveness and new business is great for reducing unemployment, is there also an onus on small and medium Irish enterprises to lead the charge for Ireland as opposed to a heavy reliance on multi-nationals such as Facebook and Google?