Business Irish

Sunday 18 February 2018

Ireland nears 20pc of all new US investment into the EU

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Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

Ireland now accounts for almost a fifth of all new US investment flows into Europe with foreign direct investment (FDI) between the two countries strengthening significantly over the past decade.

According to a new report, commissioned by the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland, FDI into Ireland from the US amounted to $310bn (€283bn) by the end of 2014.

The new report was written and researched by US academic and Wall Street economist, Joseph Quinlan.

In his report Mr Quinlan highlighted a surge of investment flows of $58.1bn in 2014 from the US into Ireland.

Mr Quinlan said that despite increasing worldwide economic disorder, Ireland remained one of the "prime destinations" for US FDI.

"Yes, there has been a great deal of churn and change in the global economy since our last report. But what has not changed is international investors' overriding preference for doing business in Ireland.

"Various metrics point towards Ireland and the United States deepening their well-established trade and investment linkages," Mr Quinlan said.

Ireland's portion of FDI from the US can be compared favourably to that of Germany and France.

With Ireland's amounting for just under 20pc of all US investment flows into the EU, France takes just 3pc while Germany accounts for just 2pc.

The Irish share of US investment stock has risen substantially over the last ten years, up to 11pc in 2014 from 6pc in 2004.

American Chamber of Commerce Ireland president, Bob Savage, said he was delighted at the positive story that arose from the report.

Mr Savage was speaking at the launch in the Intercontinental Hotel in Dublin, where he eluded to the importance of US FDI to Irish job creation.

According to Mr Savage 75pc of the 19,000 jobs announced by IDA Ireland last year were created by US companies.

"To maintain and strengthen our success in the global battle for FDI, our nation must continually reassess the needs of business, both domestic and multinational. We believe Ireland can continue to compete strongly on the international stage continuing to attract strong US FDI over the coming decade," Mr Savage said.

The chamber also outlined the challenges facing Ireland in order to keep foreign direct investment coming from the US.

Education, accommodation, and nationwide jobs growth were amongst the challenges listed by the chamber.

Ireland must ensure its education system is challenged to produce graduates with business-relevant skills sets, the chamber said.

Mr Savage addressed the current housing crisis as an issue that may impinge on FDI if it isn't addressed appropriately.

The chamber president highlighted the importance of "ensuring Ireland has a sufficient supply of quality, affordable and well serviced accommodation for all those who want to build a great career in Ireland".

Since 2008, Ireland has been second only to the Netherlands in attracting more US investment flows to Europe on a cumulative basis.

In the research Mr Quinlan says that Ireland's resilience has made it amongst the most attractive destinations in the world for US FDI.

The Wall Street economist says the US looks to invest in expanding economies and with Ireland's rate of expansion it is "no surprise" that US FDI has spiked here.

Irish Independent

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