Ireland prepares to rise to the challenge of Brexit

Andy jalil – –

With its close association with the UK, the impact of Brexit will be more profound in Ireland than in any of the other 26 countries in the EU.
Whether Britain is heading for economic disadvantage or indeed beginning a new era of economic independence, Brexit has serious implications for the Republic of Ireland.
With several international companies seeking to relocate from London, Ireland will certainly benefit but it also faces losing a lot of direct business with Britain, its biggest trading partner.
This is inevitable because of imposition of tariffs, increased export/import costs and the drop in the value of sterling. Ireland will have to put up with the change in the business relationship with the UK.
While many international companies will look to move their European offices from the UK to maintain relations with the EU, they will not all be thinking of setting up in Dublin.
The Irish capital will be competing with Frankfurt, Paris and Amsterdam who are all willing to welcome them and it’s up to Ireland to ensure it makes its capital attractive and a preferred city from where to conduct business.
Ireland’s Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor, who has been working closely with the IDA, the agency for inward investment, to ensure Dublin can continue to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) after Brexit, said, “We have to keep ensuring that our capital city remains competitive and that it is an attractive and desirable location to live and work.
IDA Ireland already excels at attracting international business to all parts of Ireland, including Dublin, and that will continue to be its key task.”
The minister added, “We need to look everywhere — at all corners of the globe.
IDA Ireland is continuously working to ensure that prospective investors, on every continent, are aware of why Ireland remains such a good country in which to invest.”
Although the IDA’s focus is on attracting foreign companies into all parts of the country, there will be an emphasis on Dublin as the “front office” to the rest of Ireland, and it will be important to highlight Dublin’s strengths if it’s going to compete against other European cities in the battle to convince multinational companies to come.
One of the key tasks facing Dublin is to upgrade its infrastructure.
The Government’s Capital Investment Plan, published in September 2015 by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, outlined a 42 billion euros framework for improving infrastructure from 2016 to 2021.
“We need to keep investing in our infrastructure. That means providing housing and office accommodation, transport links, broadband, water and all the facilities and services that the best cities in the world offer,” said O’Connor.
Alan Murphy, European chairman of Eversheds Sutherland — which provides legal services to companies around the globe and provides expert advice in managing the implications of Brexit — mentioned the benefit of low corporation tax.
He said, “We have to emphasise the other reasons why companies are doing business in Ireland, I think we have a lot of other strengths going for us. We would have a very well-crafted and user-friendly regulatory regime compared to other jurisdictions.
If you looked at the area of funds, in which we have a strong presence in Europe, it would be a fit-for-purpose, user-friendly regime.
We also have a common-law jurisdiction, so companies understand our legal system more instinctively than they might in other jurisdictions, because that’s what they have been used to. We are also the only English-speaking country left in the EU.”
The good news is that work on Dublin’s infrastructure has been going on. The new Luas Line link up the north and south of the city centre is almost complete, and the new 320 million euros runway for Dublin Airport which was stalled by the recession, has finally been given the go-ahead.
“Dublin is a city with deep historic and cultural traditions that is also now an innovative, hard-working, dynamic European capital city,” said O’Connor.
“Dublin’s track record is really important. We would see it as a very successful place for FDI”, said Mary Buckley, Executive Director of the IDA.
She mentions the clusters of science, technology and finance companies already in situ — more than 750 overseas companies in the mid-east region, encapsulating Dublin and the necklace of counties around the capital.