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.