FDI firms positive about Ireland

US FDI investors in Ireland say Irish Government must deliver a confident message that Ireland is open for business.

Some 94pc of foreign direct investment firms say their corporate headquarters in US are positive about Ireland as an investment location, a new American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) survey reveals.

However, in light of the challenges ahead, such as Brexit and the predicted slowdown of the global economy, the Government must deliver a confident message to the world that Ireland is open for business.

“US FDI played a strong role in Ireland’s recovery from the last recession, and our expectation is that it will be equally strong this time around”

Despite the challenges of the pandemic in 2020, sentiment among US companies here has remained strong, according to the Chamber.

Priorities of FDI firms

When asked to rank their priorities in terms of investment decisions in Ireland, talent is the number one priority, followed by gaps in Ireland’s physical infrastructure; delays in digitalisation; and availability of residential accommodation.

Of the issues highlighted to survey respondents, a less competitive corporate tax offering due to international changes, and personal tax increases were also highlighted.

In the context of the pandemic and Brexit, the American Chamber believes that it is more important than ever for Government to present a confident message to the world that the country is open for business. In that regard, the Chamber welcomes the adoption of the EU Traffic Light System, with the vast majority of members, 81pc, believing it will improve the situation for international business travel before June 2021. 

The American Chamber also asked members for their views regarding staff returning to their offices in 2021.  26pc said they expect the majority of their staff to be back in the office by the end of March, 2021, while 52 pc said it would take until the end of June, with a further 19 pc saying they don’t expect the majority of their people to be back in the office until October next year.

“US FDI played a strong role in Ireland’s recovery from the last recession, and our expectation is that it will be equally strong this time around,” said Mark Redmond, chief executive of the American Chamber.

“The sector has continued to perform strongly this year, particularly the pharma and technology companies, and will continue to contribute significantly to the overall Irish economy.

“We welcome the introduction of the EU traffic light system for international travel, and we would urge Government to focus on the issues that are of paramount importance to US FDI in making their investment decisions, for example, ensuring our excellent talent pipeline is maintained and addressing the infrastructure gaps in the economy.”

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 26 November, 2020