THE WEAKNESS OF INDIGENOUS BUSINESS
l For a small economy, exports are vital and among the best indicators of economy-wide corporate dynamism. That exports by Irish firms account for only one-tenth of all goods and services sold abroad is an indictment of indigenous industry. Were it not for the exports of foreign companies, Ireland would be one of the most closed economies among the EU 28.
l Corporate demographics give a good measure of our commercial dynamism. Data from Eurostat for 2011 show that the 'birth rate' of new businesses in Ireland is one of the lowest in Europe and well below the most entrepreneurial states, namely other English-speaking countries.
l An important measure of commercial vitality is a country's spending on research and development. Total spending on R&D in Ireland was just 1.6pc of GDP in 2012, below the EU average of 2.1pc and less than half that of Finland, the Europe's top performer. And of the already small amounts, only one-third is accounted for by home-grown companies.
l The long-term trend in the number of self-employed or employers in the economy is downwards.
Sunday Indo Business