Friday 22 September 2017

Small beginnings for Enda

Taoiseach Enda Kenny often says he wants to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising by making Ireland the best country in the world to do business.

It may be a peculiar way of celebrating the 1916 rebels' blood sacrifice but it's also a big ask when the World Bank's 2013 report on the best places to do business shows that we have just fallen out of the top 10, and now rank 15th in the world.

Mr Kenny and his cabinet are going to have to work harder if we are going to reverse this slide over the next few years and get within spitting distance of the top spot.

The report makes for interesting reading because the picture is that we are not doing too badly at all when it comes to business.

After all, to come 15th out 185 countries is hardly failure unless it is judged by the high standards that Mr Kenny has set himself. Ireland is still an easy place to set up a business and relatively cheap to boot. We are also one of the best places in the world to go insolvent.

The report makes it clear that countries which are struggling, such as Greece and Italy, are rising up the rankings as they slash red tape. An encouraging lesson seems to be that a bailout does not preclude action.

The Government has been understandably distracted by the banks and other economic issues that threatened the foundations of the State, but the report makes it clear that it must concentrate on the small things as well as the big ones.

Failure to pay attention to the detail will mean that Mr Kenny's strange but worthy vision for 1916 turns to dust.

Irish Independent

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