Could a company set their main office up in Ireland but work remotely with a global team? Does IDA encourage this?It is completely up to a company how it strategizes, and we will support them in any way they prefer. With companies like Shopify, for example, we worked fully remote (in terms of their Irish office) before the Covid-19 pandemic. That was helpful because when Covid-19 came along we were able to look to companies like Shopify as an example to help mentor other companies going through the transition to remote work. To answer your original question, we move at the companies’ pace on how they want to strategize, and we are here to support them in how they want to move forward.
Do you encourage collaboration between the various companies?Yes, in terms of networking we certainly do. We encourage and foster relationships between companies, but how they want to collaborate after that is up to them. We absolutely believe in unofficial mentorship, one of the things that we do right off the bat is engage with companies. Pre-Covid, we would invite a company’s team to Ireland for a few days. These trips would allow the team to experience the vibrancy of the different Irish cities, get them connected within the ecosystem on the ground, and help them network with like-minded companies. The companies that have been through the process already are able to assist with questions like where to find talent, the cost of recruitment, timeframes, creating a legal entity, setting up a business bank account, and all other aspects involved in internationalization. Since the pandemic began, these in-person meetings have shifted to remote meetings. Going forward, we expect to see a hybrid version of these visits for a time, but we’re very excited to welcome people back in person to experience firsthand the offerings of our various regions. To physically meet with company leaders in established companies here, heads of third-level institutions, our IDA teams in the different regions, our property division who can show the various property solutions on offer, and other relevant stakeholders.
What other impacts has Covid-19 had on the business and how has your strategy evolved to minimize this impact?We were obviously concerned about the long-term impact the global pandemic would have on business, on supply chains, etc. but what we found was that multinational companies quickly adjusted to meet pandemic challenges like remote working and continued with their business plans and while not totally immune, provided to be remarkably resilient, particularly in sectors like Technology and Lifesciences One third of multinationals in Ireland have had operations in the country for over 20 years, illustrating the longevity, resilience, success, and commitment of these companies to Ireland. The Irish Government introduced a comprehensive range of supports for businesses affected by COVID, including business continuity, consultancy, and training supports, among others. As regards new investment, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020, a year of unprecedented disruption to global business and adverse impact on global economies, Ireland recorded substantial success, securing 246 investments, 95 of which were new name companies and the remainder expansions by existing companies. The investment flow continued to be strong in the first half of 2021 too, with investments significantly up in 2020 and close to pre-pandemic levels, with 142 investments won for Ireland up to the end of Q2. 62 of those were new name investments. This demonstrates the continued resilience and confidence among our existing companies while our success in attracting a large share of substantive, new job-creating FDI reflects the country’s strength as a location with a value proposition of talent, track record, and technology infrastructure that continues to resonate strongly with investors. Ireland is at the heart of Europe. It is a committed member of the European Union and provides companies with guaranteed access to the European market – a marketplace of 500 million people. Ireland is the only English-speaking country in the Eurozone and provides an ideal hub for organisations seeking a European base. The brightest talent from across Europe is attracted to Ireland, mixing with our own to offer a multinational and multilingual melting pot of skills with a positive attitude to match. IDA Ireland’s new strategy – Driving Recovery & Sustainable Growth 2021-2024 has been developed in the context of the Irish Government’s National Economic Plan, positioning IDA to respond to the emerging trends that are accelerating because of the Covid-19 global pandemic that will reshape business models such as remote working and technology adoption.
What makes Ireland an attractive investment opportunity?
- Track record.
- Ease of doing business.
- Accessibility to the EU market
- English speaking