Monday 24 July 2017

Teamwork's the only way to win

SOME time this year, the forecasters tell us, Ireland will emerge from recession and resume economic growth, albeit at a pitifully low level. But will the turnaround be based on the "sound fundamentals" of which the Government assured us right up to the moment of the crash?

With agriculture, tourism and the domestic manufacturing sector all in the doldrums, there is only one likely engine of export-led growth: the 600-plus American multinationals that employ over 100,000 people directly and which last year spent €350m on research and development.

They are the fundamentals now. But governments have seldom done enough to meet their needs and concerns or to avoid a "nightmare scenario" in which they moved their operations to other countries. Their difficulties -- which are also, very largely, the difficulties of the economy in general -- have been outlined many times, but too little understood at the political level.

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