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In this page: FDI in Figures | Why You Should Choose to Invest in Ireland | Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment | Investment Opportunities


FDI in Figures

According to the 2013 World Investment Report published by the UNCTAD, in 2012 Ireland ranked 12th among the world's largest FDI receivers. The country moved from 167th place to 19th place in the global ranking of investor countries. FDI flows remained dynamic in 2013 and should continue to perform well in 2014.

The structure of FDI has undergone through a transformation, the low value-added activities have been reduced to the profit of  R & D and upscale services (engineering, information and communications technologies, pharmaceutical products, medical technology). The country's assets include its attractive fiscal and legal frame, a high-skilled and multi-cultural work force and a strong relationship with the United States. In addition, the crisis has brought the costs of both labor and real estate down, which further increases its attractiveness to investors.


Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors

  Ireland OECD United States Germany
Index of Transaction Transparency* 10.0 6.0 7.0 5.0
Index of Manager’s Responsibility** 6.0 5.0 9.0 5.0
Index of Shareholders’ Power*** 7.0 9.0 5.0
Index of Investor Protection**** 8.3 6.1 8.3 5.0

Source: Doing Business - Last Available Data.

Note: *The Greater the Index, the More Transparent the Conditions of Transactions. **The Greater the Index, the More the Manager is Personally Responsible. *** The Greater the Index, the Easier it Will Be For Shareholders to Take Legal Action. **** The Greater the Index, the Higher the Level of Investor Protection.

Foreign Direct Investment 201120122013
FDI Inward Flow (million USD) 23,54538,31535,520
FDI Stock (million USD) 290,495339,763377,696
Performance Index*, Ranking on 181 Economies 5--
Potential Index**, Ranking on 177 Economies 45--
Number of Greenfield Investments*** 228169164
FDI Inwards (in % of GFCF****) 98.1171.0153.3
FDI Stock (in % of GDP) 128.5161.3173.3

Source: UNCTAD - Last Available Data.

Note: * The UNCTAD Inward FDI Performance Index is Based on a Ratio of the Country's Share in Global FDI Inflows and its Share in Global GDP. ** The UNCTAD Inward FDI Potential Index is Based on 12 Economic and Structural Variables Such as GDP, Foreign Trade, FDI, Infrastructures, Energy Use, R&D, Education, Country Risk. *** Green Field Investments Are a Form of Foreign Direct Investment Where a Parent Company Starts a New Venture in a Foreign Country By Constructing New Operational Facilities From the Ground Up. **** Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) Measures the Value of Additions to Fixed Assets Purchased By Business, Government and Households Less Disposals of Fixed Assets Sold Off or Scrapped.

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Why You Should Choose to Invest in Ireland

Strong Points
Ireland's strong points are:
- A strong and thick industrial and tertiary fabric;
- The lowest corporation tax rate in Europe;
- A young and skilled workforce;
- A competitive economy; and
- Developed infrastructures.
Weak Points
Ireland's weak points are:
- A limited domestic market;
- Growing labor costs.
Government Measures to Motivate or Restrict FDI
For years, the Irish Government actively promoted foreign direct investment (FDI). Ireland provided an attractive taxation framework to foreign investors, by having one of the lowest taxation rates in the European Union. This strategy has fueled a robust economic growth since the late 1990s.
More recently, the Government has focused on Ireland’s international competitiveness by encouraging companies with foreign investments to increase their research and development (R&D) activities and to provide goods and services with higher added value. Nevertheless, the crisis has considerably impacted the country's appeal in terms of FDI. In effect, investors fear long term vulnerability of the Irish economy and a worsening of the unemployment level.

Several state organizations promote investment inflow:
- The Industrial Development Authority of Ireland (IDA);
- Enterprise Ireland;
- Udaras na Gaeltachta.

Bilateral Investment Conventions Signed By Ireland
More information on

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Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment
Acquisition of Holdings
Authorized, except for some sectors of activity.
Obligation to Declare
Please consult the Industrial Development Agency of Ireland (IDA) website.
Competent Organization For the Declaration
Requests For Specific Authorizations
Potential investors are also required to examine the environmental impact of the proposed project and to meet with Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials.

Learn more about Foreign Investment in Ireland on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Investment Opportunities

Investment Aid Agency
Arthur Cox (corporate and business law, expertise in mergers, acquisitions and corporate finance).
Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Etenders, Irish Public Tenders
Tenders Info, Tenders in Ireland
Ted - Tenders Electronic daily, Business opportunities in EU 27
Other Useful Resources
Industrial Development Agency of Ireland
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment

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Learn more about Investing in Ireland on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Last Updates: October 2014