Thursday 14 December 2017

Well Holy God! Forbes magazine says we're the business

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Toyota vice-president, Seiichi Sudo
Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Toyota vice-president, Seiichi Sudo
Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, and Brendan Howlin, Minister for Expenditure and Public Reform
Ailish O'Hora

Ailish O'Hora

OK, so no-one in Ireland really says 'Holy, God.'

But equally we are frustratingly keen to knock ourselves even when praise as welcome as the endorsement from the influential US business magazine Forbes comes our way.

Whether this is a coping mechanism that stems from our colonial times or not is a moot point really at this stage.

Over the past five or six years we really have had to do some serious growing up amidst the economic meltdown - even if there was some hand holding by the Troika in more recent times.

But that's also set to end on December 15 - the day we are due to exit the bailout - and a reason that Finance Minister Michael Noonan once said would be one to pop open the champagne bottles.

Not so fast you might say but maybe this time around we'll take the praise and move on on a strong footing- a future where simply buying and selling houses to ourselves will no longer be accepted as the basis for a sound economy.

The green shoots, and welcome they are, are there already - most notably stabilisation in the jobs market, economic growth and an increasingly stronger tax take.

But while caveats remain, especially as such a small economy at the mercy of growth worldwide, when Mr Noonan meets investors in London this week on a roadshow selling Ireland as what Taoiseach Enda Kenny once called "the best small country in which to do business" the Forbes decision to name this country as just that could well be his trump card.

Equally so for Enda Kenny who is selling the Irish story in Japan.

Sure you'd never know, ratings agency Moody's might even stick its head above the parapet and upgrade us from 'junk status' investment grade.

Now that would be a very welcome New Year's boost.

Take a bow everyone (now just don't go running away with yourselves.)

@ailishohora

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