Ireland & Covid-19: We Are Very Much Open for Business!
Ireland is, and will continue to be, one of the most attractive countries for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Europe. This is largely down to the ever growing, and highly skilled indigenous talent pool we have here coupled with our corporate tax rate. But it is also down to the work done by organisations like the IDA and Enterprise Ireland. ‘Brand Ireland’ is something for us all to be very proud of, not only because of U2, Guinness and our love of traditional music, but more importantly for the very open, welcoming, supportive and collaborative business environment we have created here on our Island. Whether you are an entrepreneur looking to scale or grow your business or a large multinational looking to capitalise on our market and that of our European neighbours, Ireland is the place to be, and has been for some years now.
But, with the onset of the global Covid-19 crisis, we are hoping that this will not change. Ireland is still very much open for business and our Government have done a stellar job so far in terms of managing this crisis. Now it is time for us all to work together and adhere to the guidelines that they have put in place so that we can get back to normal operation as swiftly and safely as possible.
On a recent trip to Texas and Georgia in the U.S. our Managing Director, Michael Kelly and I saw first-hand just how attractive ‘Brand Ireland’ is to U.S. businesses, especially those that have taken the time to do a bit of research on the market and on the potential for their business to be a success in Europe. Texas is a fantastic state, with two of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. within its borders. Austin and Dallas, both quite different in their own right but both equally accommodating and open for business. Austin being the more liberal and culture driven of the two cities, with Dallas having a big focus on corporate growth and the expansion of the city’s limits up north through Plano and west through Fort Worth. Austin, a city that ebbs and flows to the sound of music coming from all of its welcoming bars and BBQ’s is growing at a rate of knots!
We’ve heard rumours that the city is growing by up to 110 people per day and this is something I would believe, with Texas having no income tax and Austin having a huge talent pool for companies to pick from we could see why some of Silicon Valley’s top CEO’s are looking at it as a base for a Southern HQ or a market in which to set up new business.
Texas and Ireland share a rich history of political, economic, and commercial relations. Texas exports an average of $580 million worth of goods and services to Ireland annually. Ireland’s GDP increased by 4.3% in 2019 and is projected to increase another 3.5% in 2020 (dependent on the impact of Covid-19), reinforcing our position as one of the best performing economies in the European Union. U.S. exports of goods to Ireland exceed $10 billion annually. The best prospects that seem to be coming from Texas are technology, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, computers and electronic products, aircraft and power generation technology, medical devices and larger electrical equipment.
Based on the above we can see how well Ireland and the U.S. work together, the worry is though, that Covid-19 will halt all of the progress that has been made by our Government and the IDA over the past number of years. We have seen a recession and other global issues putting a halt to business in the past but nothing to this scale or with this far a reach. Will this lead to a new level of paranoia for the general public and in turn those that make key business decisions on globalisation? We hope not.
The most important thing is for everyone to pitch in and handle this as best they can. This will not be the last global crisis of the new decade and may not be the worst but we cannot let it affect how we do business, we need to adapt and learn and use some of the amazing digital platforms that we have to hand to allow us to continue to build this global market. We, at Glandore, have seen first-hand some of the new business coming out of the Southern States in the U.S. and how beneficial that business will be to the Irish economy and to Europe as a whole once they get into a position to globalise. Austin is home to some of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. and also some of the brightest minds in Tech, Pharma, Financial Services and Life Science.
The most important thing for Irish businesses and services providers now is to support organisations like the IDA as best they can and to ensure that business owners, CEO’s, CTO’s, COO’s and CFO’s in the U.S. are provided with enough information to help them make the best decision for their business when considering an Irish set up. We have one of the best networks of highly skilled and experienced service providers in Europe and we are all ready and willing to provide all of the support frameworks needed for set up.
One silver lining for our business in the current climate is that there may now be a reluctancy for businesses entering the market to look for larger long-term space. The beauty of private, serviced offices is that they are an option with a lot less risk associated for companies looking to safeguard some of their capital and get a foothold on the market, they can scale staff numbers up or down dependent on their needs and can also move around a selection of high-end, centrally located buildings, dependent on the style of office they want or may need in the future. One thing that is for certain is that this Covid-19 crisis will change the way we operate in business and flexibility will become an essential part of the day-to-day. Let’s stay positive and support each-other as we move forward through this!
Henry Daly, Head of Marketing