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Ireland 25th in world competitiveness

Wednesday, September 03 10:22:17

Ireland has risen three places to 25th in the latest World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index.

The report assesses the competitiveness landscape of 144 economies.

This is Ireland's best ranking in this index since 2009.

It said that, "following the completion of its EU-IMF supported program, this year Ireland experiences a slight rebound and climbs by three places to reach the 25th position, which reflects its financial market recovery".

However, it said that Ireland's macroeconomic situation remains difficult at a low 130th place, characterised by a high budget deficit (although down from the historic highs of four years ago) and high government debt.

"Despite these economic woes, the country features strong foundations for its long-run competitiveness: the functioning of its goods and labor markets, ranked 10th and 18th respectively, is solid, and its business culture is highly sophisticated and innovative (ranked 20th for both); this is buttressed by excellent technological adoption (12th)."

"In addition, equipped with its excellent health and primary education system (8th) and strong higher education and training (17th), the country can draw on a well-educated workforce, although the high levels of emigration in recent years, particularly of its young population, suggests that fewer young people will be available in the future."

Welcoming the ranking, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton said: "Improving our competitiveness is a key part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs. By making it easier for Irish companies to do business in world markets, and more attractive for multinational companies to locate operations here, we can make a real difference to the level of job-creation. That is why we have made difficult decisions over the past three years in order to allow us avoid increases in labour taxes, why we have reformed the wage-setting mechanisms to make them fairer and more responsive to changing circumstances, as well as a range of other measures to improve our competitiveness."

"Announcements like this make it easier for me in a very tangible way to go in to boardrooms in cities like Sydney and Melbourne, as well as Boston and Beijing, and try to persuade foreign companies to invest in Ireland. It also makes it easier for Irish companies, with support from my Department through Enterprise Ireland, to sell their goods and services around the world from an Irish base, thus creating jobs at home."