Ireland is a small, but ambitious country, located off the westernmost edge of Europe, constantly looking to the future, to new markets, new products, and new growth opportunities. Maintaining and improving competitiveness remains vital as we continue to build on what has been achieved.
For the second year in a row, Ireland is predicted to be the fastest-growing economy in Europe this year according to new figures from the European Commission, with the EU’s executive arm expecting the economy to grow by 4.9 per cent this year. The 4.9 per cent GDP growth rate contrasts with the euro zone average of 1.6 per cent growth expected this year, down slightly from the 1.7 per cent growth forecast in February. Germany, Europe’s largest economy, is expected to grow by 1.6 per cent in 2016 with a 1.3 per cent growth rate expected for France.
Building on the fastest growing economy in the world for 2015, many of Ireland’s traditional assets such as our competitive taxation system, highly skilled workforce, and pro-enterprise business environment have been strengthened. The Government plans to add 200,000 new jobs to the economy by 2020 and to reduce unemployment from the current 7 per cent to below 6 per cent.
Ireland remains one of the top countries in the world in which to do business, according to the latest Forbes annual rankings, which puts the country in fourth spot, unchanged from last year. Forbes produces its annual Best Countries for Business report based on seven information sources measuring 11 metrics including innovation, taxes, property rights, technology and stock market performance in 146 nations.
Foreign direct investment into the Republic rose by 4 per cent in 2015, a year in which the number of FDI projects into Europe fell by nearly 9 per cent. With 178 projects valued at a combined $5.5 billion (€ 4.86bn), Ireland was ranked 8th overall for FDI in Europe, according to a new report from FDI Intelligence a division of the Financial Times.
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