As firms look to internationalise their operations and (in some cases) safeguard against Brexit, Ireland has become the destination of choice for many multinationals.
A compelling argument
Key motivating factors are the business-friendly environment and speed to market opportunities which Ireland provides.
Its stability in policy and areas of taxation are also a major plus when it comes to attracting investment. Much is made of the attractive 12.5% corporate tax rate, but there are other factors at play including:
- Ireland’s highly skilled workforce.
- Ireland’s status as a common law jurisdiction.
- A reputation as a safe, politically stable place to hold intellectual property rights.
- A pro-business environment with dedicated State agencies to support enterprise.
- A 25% tax credit for Research and Development.
Pharma – a long history and bright future
When it comes to the pharmaceutical industry, Ireland is a major player.
Pharma’s success is in Ireland is plain to see. There are 90 pharmaceutical plants across the country and all of the world’s top 10 pharmaceutical companies have operations here.
In 2016, Ireland exported €67.8bn of pharma, bio and chemistry produce ranking the country as the 7th largest exporter of medicinal and pharmaceutical products in the world.
In July, we saw the announcement of further Irish expansion by two major pharmaceutical firms.
How the West has won
West Pharmaceutical Services (West), a global leader in innovative solutions for injectable drug administration, came to Ireland in 2005.
They set up a manufacturing and development centre in Mulhuddart, Dublin which today employs approximately 600 people.
In July, West announced a major expansion, officially opening its global centre of excellence for the company’s advanced manufacturing network.
The new, 20,500-square-metre facility is situated on a 44-acre campus just outside Waterford.
The facility currently employs approximately 100 people with plans for future hiring. Highlighting the company’s commitment to Ireland, it has also expanded its Dublin operations to accommodate new customer programs. The company had net sales worth US$1.59 billion worldwide last year.
Abbot Labs – A multinational with an Irish past
Pharma giant Abbott Laboratories has also confirmed plans to expand its Irish operations.
Involved in a wide variety of areas in the healthcare industry, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices and nutrition products, Abbott is a giant among giants.
The expansion at its Donegal facility will include a warehouse, office space and additional manufacturing plant area. It’s expected to create 500 new jobs for the region, more than doubling the current workforce at the site. The plant manufactures test strips which help patients with diabetes to manage their condition.
Abbott has a long history in Ireland, arriving on these shores in 1946. It currently employs around 3,000 people across nine Irish sites.
A new Dublin hub for a financial service kingpin
While big pharma steadily grows in Ireland, both tech and financial services firms are also increasing their presence here.
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), the world’s largest trade repository, announced plans to open a hub in Ireland. The DTCC holds data for around four-fifths of the global derivatives market and reports to around 80% of the global financial market. It’s the firm’s first Irish office after establishing a strong presence across Europe over the past two decades.
The backdrop to the DTCC move is obviously Brexit and the race by financial firms to insulate themselves from the possibility of a ‘no deal’ scenario. With a repository entity in Ireland, the firm will ensure ongoing compliance in both the UK and the EU.
DTCC’s selection of Dublin as its post-Brexit European Union hub highlights the solution that Ireland offers companies considering their Brexit strategy. With 20 of the world’s top 25 financial services now based in Ireland’s reputation as an international financial services hub continues to rise.
Data and tech find a new home in Ireland
Undoubtedly, tech is the industry probably best associated with Ireland’s position as a location of choice. Facebook, Google, Cisco, Intel and Microsoft are just some of the firms that have made Ireland their European HQ with more firms now looking to increase their presence here.
One such company is DataStax, a data management software vendor based in Santa Clara, California. It will open its first office in Ireland this year to expand their back-office operations. It expects to create 30 jobs over the next three years, 10 of which are to be filled immediately in the areas of finance and IT.
Founded in 2010, the firm currently has offices in the UK, France, Germany, and Japan as well as the US. It cited Ireland’s ‘talent and available resources’ as a key factor in its choosing Ireland as location of choice. It boasts an impressive client list which includes McDonald’s, E-bay, Microsoft, Sony, Capital One and retail giant Walmart.
These recent round of announcements by globally recognised firms further reinforces Ireland’s strong track record for providing a pro-business environment. They are also a clear indication of how competitive Ireland is for global enterprise and investment. In terms of Brexit, the increased concerns surrounding the UK’s exit means companies are choosing Ireland to safeguard their interests. We’ve got a proven track record that multinationals can trust and this trend in expansion looks set to continue.