US firms tip Ireland for future investment
MORE than half of the top 250 Irish-American business leaders believe Ireland is still a good place to do business, despite the country's economic difficulties, according to a new survey.
The survey, by law firm Matheson Ormsby Prentice and Amarach Research, also found that 32pc said they would be "likely" to establish operations in Ireland, while 37pc said their attitude towards setting up here had become more positive in the past five years. And 58pc rated Ireland as a "good" place for commercial activities.
However, one-fifth of those surveyed warned that financial instability would negatively affect their decision to invest, closely followed by inefficient government and eurozone instability. Nearly one-tenth said the country was too remote and had restricted access.
The main reason respondents cited in suggesting a preference for Ireland was a competitive tax regime -- 29pc saw it as the primary positive factor for considering the country for foreign direct investment (FDI). A skilled workforce was deemed by 17pc as another deciding factor, with the fact that the country is English speaking cited by 21pc. A further 18pc said access was important and 17pc said state incentives would impact on their decision to invest here.
The MOP FDI Index is being launched today.
"The results of the inaugural MOP FDI Index confirm that despite the period of global recession over the past two years, Ireland's offering to US multinational corporations remains one of the strongest in the world," said MOP managing partner Liam Quirke.
Gerard Kilcommins, president of the American Chamber in Ireland, said that according to a report by academics at Johns Hopkins University, US firms invested $120bn (€87bn) in Ireland since 2000 -- double the level of that in the '90s.
Mr Kilcommins, who is a vice president at US medical devices firm Medtronic, added that there was a "strong mutual benefit" for Ireland and the US in strengthening and protecting economic ties and welcomed the visit by Barack Obama.