Mark Esper at the U.S. Chamber (to which we have no affiliation — but many similar objectives, btw) recently offered a blog post about hosting a luncheon for Mary Coughlan, Ireland’s Minister for Enterprise, Trade, and Employment. What’s interesting is not only the work Ireland is doing to enhance its business community, but also how strongly the country’s economy is linked to Americans:
During her remarks, Ms. Coughlan noted that 45% of all FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) into Ireland comes from the U.S. This should come as no surprise, she added, since Ireland offers a highly pro-business environment: flexible workforce, low taxes, and limited bureaucracy, to name a few things. Ms. Coughlan commented that the government of Ireland is working on all necessary fronts to maintain this pro-business momentum, including an enhanced focus on the need to sustain employment by investing in science, technology and innovation.
In addition, she spoke of recent economic reforms that Ireland has taken in light of the current global financial crisis. These include pursuing smarter regulations, expanding government investment in infrastructure and education, and creating a clearer and simpler tax system. Ms. Coughlan’s comments, as I noted during the luncheon, aligned with the business priorities that espoused here at the U.S. Chamber.
Our own Rebecca Patrick also penned an interesting BizVoice story in 2007 about Ireland’s business-related efforts that will offer more background.