One of our favourite threads on our forum is called "11 reasons to be optimisitc about Ireland", which was the title of an article by Ronan Lyons in 2010. Since then we have added a lot of other reasons. To give you a taste:
- Ireland ranked second after Hong Kong as the second most globalised economy in the world, moving up one place in the rankings of the Ernst & Young Globalisation Index 2010.
- Ireland has a worldwide reputation as a successful location for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Almost 1,000 multinational corporations, in sectors including Life Sciences, ICT, Engineering and Financial Services, have chosen Ireland as their strategic European location.
- Ireland retained its spot in the top five countries in the annual Human Development Index, with just Norway, Australia, New Zealand and the US rated as better places to call home.
- 9 of the world’s top 10 Medical Technology Companies such as Boston Scientific & Medtronic are in Ireland
- 8 of the top pharma/bio companies such as Pfizer & Amgen are in Ireland
- Ireland is home to: 10 top ‘Born on the Internet’ companies such as Google & Facebook 3 of the top 5 games companies such as EA & Activision
- Ireland has topped the list of the best places to invest in Western Europe, according to the annual Global Best-to-Invest Rankings compiled by international magazine Site Selection.
- More than €500 million ($624 million USD) has been invested in 315 technology companies in the past two years, by a wide range of international VCs
This was all triggered by a post from our friends in Business and Leadership about more optimism:
A survey of 840 SMEs has revealed some positive indicators on the exporting front in terms of confidence levels, turnover and expectations.
The fourth Quarterly SME Business Trends Survey for 2012, launched by ISME, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association shows that current exports increased 22 points in the quarter, following falls in Q2 and Q3. SME exports equalled the Spring 2012 high at +4, the highest point in five years.
Exporters are more upbeat than they were about sales expectations, with 18pc predicting increased sales for this year, up 26 percentage points compared to this time last year.
In the survey, exporting SMEs, which make up around one third of the sample, have gained the most in terms of turnover, with 24pc reporting an increase, compared to 7pc a year ago.
“Over the past four and a half years there has been a zig-zag pattern for exporters in the survey, but overall there has been an upward trend,” said ISME CEO Mark Fielding.
“Exports have been the shining light over the last few years and we expect another relatively stable year for SME exporters in 2013. However weaker demand from the UK and Eurozone economies could take its toll on exporters and delay the expected spill-over to the domestic economy.
“While the results of the Winter 2012 Trends Survey are in the main positive and to be welcomed, the domestic economy is still in a fragile state.”