Thursday 22 March 2018

Ireland in top 10 for trade openness

Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

IRELAND has been ranked in the top-10 worldwide for openness to trade in a survey of 75 countries.

In the latest Open Markets Index from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Ireland was ranked eighth. In Europe, Ireland came in fifth behind Luxembourg, Belgium, Malta and the Netherlands.

Tan Talbot, ICC secretary general, said an open economy is vital for access to larger markets and free movement of capital for investment.

"Ireland's ranking is positive news given the importance of foreign direct investment (FDI) and international trade for our economic well-being, and particularly to support employment and to create the growth so desperately needed in this economy."

It comes as Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton said the target for attracting foreign direct investment into areas outside of Dublin and Cork will not be met this year again.

Mr Bruton said the FDI projects are largely expansions than new projects, are focused in the IT and pharma sectors and tend to go to the areas where clusters are already in place.

"In recent years, it hasn't been possible to hit those targets for projects won outside of Dublin and Cork," Mr Bruton told the Oireachtas Enterprise Committee. He also reiterated the Government's position that Ireland was not a tax haven, following the controversy over Apple's tax status.

Meanwhile, the Irish Exporters Association (IEA) welcomed the agreement on a new modernised customs system – the Union Customs Code (UCC) – claiming it was a major achievement of the Irish presidency.

IEA chief John Whelan said the importance of the code could not be overestimated.

"The biggest benefit to exporters will be the facility for centralised clearance, allowing Irish exporters and traders to declare goods electronically and pay their customs duties and VAT in Ireland irrespective of the EU member state through which the goods are brought initially, imported or exported."

Irish Independent

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