Disappointment as Ireland slips in global IMD competitiveness rankings

24 May 2018448 Views

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Dublin’s bustling St Stephen’s Green area. Image: Rolf G Wackenberg/Shutterstock

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The IMD World Competitiveness Rankings are a timely reminder of the importance of remaining competitive in a global environment.

Ireland has slipped six places in the 2018 IMD World Competitiveness Ranking, a global barometer of countries that are ripe for investment. The latest IMD rankings indicate that Ireland slipped from sixth in the world in 2017 to 12th in 2018.

Aspects that could affect rankings include the availability of accommodation, availability of talent, regulatory environment, underinvestment in infrastructure and the cost of living – all factors that the Irish economy is struggling to come to terms with.

‘Project Ireland 2040, which is designed to future-proof our economy, heralds a €116bn investment in our country’s infrastructure’
– HEATHER HUMPHREYS, TD

However, despite this, Ireland is still a job-creating engine and remains the third most competitive economy in the euro area.

“After several years of improvement, the decline in Ireland’s overall ranking in this year’s IMD publication is disappointing,” said the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys, TD.

“What it tells us is that we cannot become complacent about the hard-won gains of recent years.”

She said that the National Competitiveness Council will review the findings in detail.

Humphreys added that Ireland’s slip in the rankings is not a question of deterioration in certain categories but often a matter of other countries improving their position relative to Ireland.

There is no room for complacency

The stark fact, she said, is that Ireland is facing increased global competition.

“In spite of the rankings, Ireland’s improved competitiveness is reflected in strong employment growth across sectors and regions.

“The impressive performance of clients supported by the enterprise agencies in winning exports, market share and job creation in the face of intense global competition is to be commended. This reflects the competitiveness of the environment in which to do business in Ireland.”

Humphreys continued: “Project Ireland 2040, which is designed to future-proof our economy, heralds a €116bn investment in our country’s infrastructure.

“Public capital investment will therefore move from relatively low levels in recent years as a result of the economic crisis, to being amongst the highest in the EU.

“This will allow us respond to the obvious deficits in our infrastructure, as well as the needs of a fast-growing population, all of which will positively impact on our competitiveness.”

Dublin’s bustling St Stephen’s Green area. Image: Rolf G Wackenberg/Shutterstock

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com