If you work in the field of foreign direct investment the chances are that you have heard of ConnectIreland. If you have not you probably should as the ConnectIreland strategy is a simple yet clever initiative which encourages expanding small to medium sized companies, wherever they might be, to set up in Ireland.
ConnectIreland has put together an army of “connectors” based all over the world. Their role is to report on expanding businesses within their region so that ConnectIreland can contact the company, make the pitch for Ireland and help to secure the jobs for Ireland – simple and it works.
The connector most importantly, receives a reward of up to €1500 per job from the Irish Government.
Success is measured by the number of jobs created in Ireland. Thousands of companies expand to Europe every year and it is ConnectIreland’s role along with the Irish Development Agency (IDA) to tell them why Ireland is the best place in Europe for their business. Their argument is strong:
- Forbes Magazine has voted Ireland the best Place on the Globe 2013/2014 to do business.
- Ireland is first in the World for inward investment by quality and value, first for flexibility and adaptability of workforce, first for invest incentives and first in the Eurozone for ease of doing business. (IMD world competitiveness yearbook 2013).
- Ireland has one of the best educated workforces in the World with 50% of Irish employees having a university degree, compared to an EU average of 29%.
- Most often it is the companies whom have already set up in Ireland who tell the most compelling story, 97% of Senior FDI executive respondents would recommend Ireland as a country to locate. 9/10 of the top global pharmaceutical companies are located here, 8/10 of the top meditech companies, 10/10 of the top *born on the internet companies are here. Facebook, Google, Twitter, Linkedin, Paypal, Dropbox – they are all here for very good reason.
- Six of the top 10 companies on Forbes magazine’s list of The World’s Most Innovative Companies 2014 have Irish operations, with Salesforce.com coming in at No 1. Hot on the heels on Salesforce.com at No 2 on the list is Connecticut-based Alexion Pharmaceuticals. The biopharmaceutical company is building facilities in Dublin and Athlone. In fifth place is biopharmaceutical company Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. Based in Tarrytown, New York, the firm is to establish a production facility in Limerick. E-commerce giant Amazon.com, which is sixth on the list, has a development centre in Dublin.
- Two fully Irish companies also made it onto Forbes’ list of The World’s Most Innovative Companies 2014. Dublin-based global healthcare supplier Perrigo is in at No 45, and global information services company Experian, also based in the Irish capital, is No 97 on the list.
- Ireland has jumped 3 places in the world economic forum global competitiveness index. Now ranked in 25th place this is the country’s highest position since 2009.
A good place to find out more about the ConnectIreland initiative is their YouTube film that can be seen at: http://youtu.be/2JE3_Qv32jg
Check out their website www.connectireland.com .