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Minister Mitchell O’Connor welcomes strong improvement in Ireland’s competitiveness performance

Ireland moves nine places to 7th in the IMD Global Competitiveness Yearbook Report

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D., today (Tuesday) welcomed the findings of the IMD’s 2016 Global Competitiveness yearbook which shows that Ireland’s competitiveness ranking has moved up nine places up to 7th this year. This is a significant improvement on 2011 when Ireland was ranked 24th and is Ireland 's best ranking since 2000. Ireland is now ranked by the IMD as the most competitive economy in the euro area. 

Welcoming the Report’s findings Minister Mitchell O’Connor said “Since 2011, improving competitiveness performance has been a core focus of Government policy and integral to jobs growth. The significant improvement in Ireland's overall ranking in this year’s IMD publication is very welcome news and an important signal to international investors. The improvement in Ireland’s ranking is the result of the efforts of ambitious enterprises, hardworking employees and effective enterprise focused policies”. 

The IMD’s World Competitiveness Yearbook is an internationally renowned publication which assesses countries across the globe using over 300 competitiveness indicators, and ranks and analyses the ability of nations to create and maintain an environment in which enterprises can compete. Competitiveness is assessed using a mixture of quantitative and qualitative data. In terms of quantitative data; improved economic growth, government finances and credit are areas where significant improvement has been seen. The qualitative piece is an IMD survey of 4,300 international executives. In terms of the survey results, Ireland is regarded as particularly strong in terms of the competitiveness of our tax regime, education and skill level of the labour force, business friendly environment, policy stability, strong R&D culture and cost competitiveness. Ireland’s performance has improved across all four key dimensions assessed by IMD and can be summarised as follows:  

  1. ​Economic Performance-6th position, improvement up 6 places on 2015
  2. ​Government Efficiency-13th position, improvement up 2 places on 2015
  3. ​Business Efficiency-2nd position, improvement up 11 places on 2015
  4. ​Infrastructure-23rd position, improvement up 1 place on 2015 

Ireland ranks first in terms of GDP growth, GDP per capita, export growth investment incentives and direct investment flows abroad. Ireland is regarded as the second most competitive country in the world for business efficiency. Particular strengths include the flexibility and adaptability of our people (1st), the productivity level of our workforce (3rd) and the availability of talent. As recognised by the IMD, many of Ireland’s traditional assets such as our competitive taxation system, highly skilled workforce, and pro-enterprise business environment have been strengthened. Our public finances have been significantly repaired and economic growth is robust. The IMD Report follows recent CSO releases in relation to the labour market and job announcements which show economic and employment growth remains strong.  

The Minister concluded” The IMD Report underlines the importance of maintaining international competitiveness in the context of a resurgent Irish economy. It is also a timely reminder about the need to continuously implement policies to further improve our performance further to ensure job creation across all regions. In light of challenges such as Brexit, exchange rate movements and uncertain global growth, we cannot afford to stand still. International competition for export share and inward investment is intense and other countries are constantly improving their competitiveness performance. As Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, improving Ireland’s competitiveness performance is a key priority. My objective now is to deliver a business environment which enhances our national competitiveness and supports sustainable enterprise and employment growth”.



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