AGN Live Country Guides

Doing Business in the Republic of Ireland

Published in December 2017

The Republic of Ireland (usually referred to as "Ireland")is a sovereign state in north-western Europe. The capital and largest city is Dublin, which is located on the eastern part of the island, and whose metropolitan area is home to around a third of the country's 4.75 million inhabitants.

Ireland is a unitary, parliamentary republic. The legislature consists of a lower house and an upper house, and an elected President who serves as the largely ceremonial head of state, but with some important powers and duties. The head of government is the Taoiseach (Prime Minister).

Ireland ranks among the top twenty-five wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita, and as the tenth most prosperous country in the world according to The Legatum Prosperity Index 2015. After joining the EEC, Ireland's rapid economic growth earned it the name of 'Celtic Tiger'.  The global financial crisis of 2008 stalled Irelands growth however, as the Irish economy was the fastest growing in the EU in 2015, Ireland is again quickly ascending league tables comparing wealth and prosperity internationally.

In 2015, Ireland was ranked as the joint sixth (with Germany) most developed country in the world by the United Nations Human Development Index. It also performs well in several national performance metrics, including freedom of the press, economic freedom and civil liberties. Ireland is a member of the European Union and is a founding member of the Council of Europe and the OECD.

The activities of multinational companies based in Ireland have made it one of the largest exporters of pharmaceutical agents, medical devices and software-related goods and services in the world. Ireland's exports also relate to the activities of large Irish companies (such as Ryanair, Kerry Group and Smurfit Kappa Group) and exports of mineral resources: Ireland is big producer of zinc and lead concentrates. The country also has significant deposits of gypsum, limestone, and smaller quantities of copper, silver, gold, barite, and dolomite. Tourism in Ireland contributes about 3.8% of GDP (2016) and is a significant source of employment.

Other goods exports include agri-food, cattle, beef, dairy products, and aluminium. Ireland's major imports include data processing equipment, chemicals, petroleum and petroleum products, textiles, and clothing. Financial services provided by multinational corporations based at the Irish Financial Services Centre also contribute to Irish exports.

In 2016, Ireland exported $128B and imported $75.2B, resulting in a positive trade balance of $52.9B. In the same year the GDP of Ireland was $294B and its GDP per capita was $68.9k. The top import origins of Ireland are the United Kingdom ($22.9B), the United States ($9.6B), Germany ($6.53B), the Netherlands ($3.7B) and France ($3.18B).

The EU is by far the country's largest trading partner, accounting for approximately 50% of exports and 60% of imports.

Irish culture has had a significant influence on other cultures, especially in the fields of literature. Alongside mainstream Western culture, a strong indigenous culture exists, as expressed through Gaelic games, Irish music, and the Irish language. The culture of the island also shares many features with that of Great Britain, including the English language, and sports such as association football, rugby, horse racing, and golf.

This portal incorporates live data feeds from:

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
The World Bank
The observatory of Economic Complexity

The intention is to provide access to live information extracted from the regularly refreshed databases maintained by these organisations.




Use the navigation buttons below to access to more live data:
Inflation, Development indicators, Exports, Trade Balance, and more.

OECD Country Comparison Portal

The window below is a direct feed of regularly updated information from the OECD. It provides data concerning everything from GDP growth, fiscal balance, investment, and unemployment rates to consumption, import volume and export volume. The window allows comparisons between Ireland and other countries of the OECD average for these factors.

Inflation (CPI)

Total, Annual growth rate (%)

World Bank Development Indicators


This graph is taken from The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC). Products, represented by rectangles, are drawn from the 775 individual product classes found in the Standardized International Trade Code.

This graph shows volumes of goods exported from Ireland.


This graph is taken from The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC). Products, represented by rectangles, are drawn from the 775 individual product classes found in the Standardized International Trade Code.

This graph shows volumes of goods imported into Ireland.

Trade Balance

This graph is taken from The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC).

This graph illustrates the subsequent trade balance of exports and imports to and from Ireland.


This graph is taken from The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC).

This graph shows the destinations of goods and services by country.


Business Opportunities in Europe:

BREXIT 3: AN UPDATE – WHERE TO NOW?       (December 2019)

The UK’s new Conservative-led government now has a clear parliamentary majority of 80 seats to enable it pass into law the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement (the ‘Deal’) by the deadline of the 30 January 2020.

So it would seem the election result has brought some clarity. Or has it?

On the 12 December 2019 the Conservative party won Britain’s General Election with a large majority and thus with it the power to fulfill their pledge to secure parliamentary approval of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement by Christmas and leave the EU by 31 January 2020.

Despite the positive initial reactions of capital and currency markets, as well as they party’s election slogan “Get Brexit Done”, this isn’t the end of the matter. That is because the Withdrawal Agreement contains only the legalities around the divorce of Britain from the EU. It does not cover the future relationship.

So in fact, this is probably only the end of the beginning of the Brexit process. Prime-Minister Boris Johnson now has until December 2020 to agree a favorable forward-looking trade deal with the EU. Although he has until 30 June 2020 to ask for a further extension of Britain’s regulatory transition (standstill) period with the EU, Mr Johnson insists he will not ask for any extension. If a deal is not reached, Britain would then revert to World Trade Organisation tariffs and rules (i.e. a ‘No Deal’ or Hard Brexit).

Thus we are likely looking at another cliff edge deadline. Trade deals historically have taken years to deliver, but there are only some 6 months until the 30 June deadline. Perhaps because negotiations are not starting from scratch (it being a case of altering trade arrangements that are already in place) the PM must presumably be confident that a deal can be reached within this time, and is said to be looking as the so-called “Canada-plus” model.
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The Brexit leave date has come and gone and the future of the UK relationship with the EU is plagued with uncertainty which looks set to continue - but with a new deadline of Oct 31 2019.   


The UK Prime Minister's resignation only serves to confirm the now familiar message to business i.e. that they must continue to plan for uncertainty:
  • In the near term, consider exposure to possible disruptions in movement of good/services for both suppliers and customers, model scenarios of price changes (whether through logistical costs, tariffs & taxes or exchange rate movements) and consider if changes in mobility of people might impact the workforce or customer base.
  • Thereafter, think about scenarios for the possible opening up and closing down of opportunities in various markets, how the competitive landscape might alter and, perhaps in addition to planning for the downside, consider what upsides might present themselves?     
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Lebanese government opens up billions of dollars of FDI infrastructure opportunities for investment, via new Private Public Partnership opportunities. Best sectors to invest are: Property developers, Construction companies, Waste and water treatment, Transport, Infrastructure and Energy.

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Tax Publications


A summary of tax facts of countries in the EMEA region

Check how relevant taxes are regulated in several countries in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Updated in May 2019.

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AGN News in Europe:

November 2019

PRESS RELEASE: European Firm MOLNAR & BANYAI join AGN International

AGN International – one of the world’s leading associations of independent certified public accounting and consulting firms, announces that MOLNAR & BANYAI has joined its membership in Hungary. The firm was established in 1990 and it has three offices in Hungary (Budapest, Győr, Mosonmagyaróvár). It provides industry specific solutions through separate business lines: accounting, payroll, audit, tax, corporate advisory. The firm is lead by 3 partners and has just over 100 professional staff.

Read the Press Release

September 2019

AGN welcomes new member firm in Italy - Capone Ticozzi and Partners

AGN International – one of the world’s leading associations of independent certified public accounting and consulting firms, announces that Capone Ticozzi and Partners has joined its membership in Milan, Italy. The firm joins AGN with 12 partners, 21 professionals and 7 other internal staff and its key services include corporate advisory, tax advisory, audit & assurance and also outsourcing.

Read the Press Release

AGN Firms in the country

Duignan Carthy O'Neill
84 Northumberland Road
Dublin D04 PY94
Time Zone:
Phone: (+353 1) 668 2404