Ireland jumps to fifth in the world for competitiveness

Ireland has become the fifth most attractive country in the world to do business in, according to a new study.

Ireland has risen by two places in the latest BDO International Compass, which measures the competitiveness of a country across the three areas of economic, politico- legal, and socio-cultural. Managing partner at BDO Ireland Michael Costello said the result will “surprise some people”.

“In a way it shouldn’t surprise people, we are a very good country to do business in and we rank very highly across a number of areas,” he said.

“Ireland has continued to improve across a range of economic factors and that has been one of the main drivers as to why we’ve moved up two places. Our debt-to-GDP ratio and unemployment have been two big movers and they’ve had a big impact on the economic assessment of the country.”

The country’s high level of education was also cited as one of the most prominent reasons for its strong competitiveness. Ireland is now three places ahead of the UK with Denmark and Norway sandwiched in between.

Costello said that while a hard Brexit will negatively affect some sectors if will also have a positive impact on others.

“Ireland’s performance is phenomenal given that when you look at one and two being Singapore and Hong Kong, which are very specific city states very geared towards business,” he said.

“One of our closest competitors is the UK and I think we’ll actually improve our competitiveness against them. Clearly some sectors will take a hit, particularly in some manufacturing and food and agri. There are other parts of the economy that will be positively affected by it such as FDI and financial services. The wider international services sector shouldn’t be as impacted as the traded goods sector.”

Ireland ranked fourth in economic performance, 12th for its political and legal landscape, and 15th for its social and cultural climates according to the monitor.

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