Ireland is a member of the European Union and as such, Irish residents enjoy unrestricted travel rights to every other EU Member State. It is an ideal gateway to Europe, the United Kingdom, the United States and the rest of the world. The EU is home to 28% of the world’s GDP and all of its major business centres are no more than a three hour flight from Ireland. Ireland is also the only English speaking country to operate in the Eurozone.
Ireland also has a Common Travel Area with the UK which means that Irish residents can travel freely to the UK and can also enter into longer term living arrangements. Importantly, considering Ireland’s special relationship to the UK, a British exit from the European Union is unlikely to have any negative impact on the ability of Irish residents to travel to the UK.
It is also very easy to access the United States from Ireland. Shannon Airport is a major international hub and plays host to a number of transatlantic flights each day. Due to Ireland’s close relationship with the US, immigration processes are carried out in Dublin or Shannon Airport meaning a very straightforward entry into the US.
2) CURRENT ECONOMIC CONDITIONS
Ireland is one of the most prosperous countries in the EU. It has a flexible and exceptionally well-educated workforce. It is home to some of the world’s leading multinational companies such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google. Finance giants such as BNP Paribas and Citibank also have significant operations based in Ireland. Ireland led the way in terms of Eurozone growth in March 2016 with a growth rate of 7.8%.
Ireland is also home to a hugely vibrant venture capital community and there is over €800 million in capital available to talented businesspeople. Enterprise Ireland also has over €10 million in funding available to international start-ups.
Ireland has a very favourable corporate tax regime of 12.5% and a 25% Research and Development tax credit. There are also tax depreciation opportunities available to companies in relation to their intellectual property. Ireland also has a pro-business government and civil service and is a very politically stable country with a sound system of judicial and public administration.
3) THE PROPERTY MARKET
Ireland’s property market is growing and there is currently huge value in the commercial property sector. Residential rents are currently on the rise making Ireland an ideal location for investors who want to buy in a market with the potential for gains.
4) EMPLOYMENT ISSUES
Ireland currently has an unemployment rate of just under 10% and this rate is decreasing every quarter.
Labour costs have also remained very stable in Ireland even as they have continued to rise in the rest of Europe. According to Eurostat, in addition to being one of the cheapest workforces in Europe, Ireland also has one of the most productive workforces on the continent.
With 35% of its population being under the age of 25, and with a workforce renowned for its adaptable and transferable skills, Ireland is an ideal location for investors.
5) CLIMATE ISSUES
Ireland is one of the least polluted countries in the world and is committed to sustainable and renewable energy.
Ireland recently passed its first ever law dedicated to tackling climate change and aims to become a low carbon economy by 2050. Ireland is also committed to 5 year National Mitigation Plans which aim to reduce the harmful effects of climate change.
These plans provide a range of measures across different sectors. Such as transport and industry for reducing emissions and ensuring that Ireland does its part to combat climate change.
6) OTHER REASONS TO INVEST IN IRELAND
Holding an Irish passport has many advantages. It gives the holder access to 169 countries without the need for a visa and the holder may travel to any EU country entirely uninhibited. Furthermore, if you are a Schengen visa holder you will be able to move between any of the following states as if they were a single country:
Austria; Belgium; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Italy; Latvia; Lichtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Malta; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; and Switzerland.
Holding an Irish passport is also very beneficial to the investor’s family. An Irish passport is considered to be the sixth best passport in the world and there is no country in the world where Irish passport holders are not welcome. It gives the holder visa-free access to 169 countries. As an Irish passport holder, any person of university-going age in the investor’s family will able to attend any of Ireland’s top class universities and colleges and will pay the Irish rate of fees. They will also be entitled to attend any European university and will only pay the very low EU fees as opposed to the prohibitive international rate of fees.
Ireland also has very good social welfare supports for which the immigrant investor and his or her family will qualify once their entry into the programme has been approved. This entitles the investor to access all of Ireland’s social welfare supports as well as those offered by the EU.