Ireland: Key Issues: 2007


Overdependence on FDI

·90% of exports produced by foreign companies

·Strong competition for FDI emerging….new EU states, China, India



·Labour intensive activities closing and moving to lower-cost countries.

·Low level of research activity



·No export growth in 15 years

·Low productivity

·Low research and innovation capacity

·Low international marketing capacity



·Poor transportation infrastructure

·Regional intercity roads not planned to Motorway standard

·Urban underground rail

Communications Infrastructure

·Roll-out of regional/rural broadband

·Communications costs

·Energy supply/costs

Planning Process

·Cumbersome infrastructure planning process

Cost base

·Highest minimum wage in EU (apart from Luxembourg)

·Labour cost escalation

·Professional services, high cost/ low productivity

National Enterprise Policy

Questions raised about move from a national pro-enterprise policy

·Proposed introduction corporate oversight & regulation harsher than the notorious US Sarbanes-Oxley

·Declarations of socialism

Labour Regulation

·Intrusive evolution of labour relations regulation

·Impact on existing multinationals and pipeline FDI

·Ireland is now perhaps the most regulated in Europe

o25 pieces of legislation

o7 enforcement bodies

National Development Policy

·Incoherence of national public policy ( policy)

·Prospect of greater incoherence, rather than less: plans to relocate a majority of cabinet members with senior policy personnel outside the administrative capital

·Lack of sufficient focus to secure strong counterpoles to Dublin

Work Force Quality

·Improving educational attainments of existing work force

Immigration policy

·Immigration policy design to encourage the migration of people with the appropriate skills and social compatibility

·Integrating immigrant 50,000 workers per year to sustain growth


  • In knowledge age cities are the key regional drivers
  • Regional cities are small and further weakened by boundaries that do not relate to urban area: local authorities in conflict


Declining numbers of scientifically literate school leavers

School curriculum reform impasse

Low international university ranking

Higher education competitiveness issues

·State monopoly and unfair practices inhibit emergence of private sector competition

·Current neglect of higher education

·Impasse on OECD report

·Finance crises/ reintroduction of fees (plus loan system?)

·Governance reform


·Meeting the 3 % Lisbon targets

·Stimulating indigenous enterprise research

·Stimulate multinationals to accelerate investment in R&D in Ireland

·Research careers


Regional Imbalance

·Closure of labour-intensive enterprise in smaller regional centres and gravitation of knowledge-drive enterprise to major urban centres

·Counterpole to Dublin: need for a pragmatic plan with focus and vision


·Restructuring of system

·Creation of competition between public and private providers

Next Generation

·Antisocial behaviour

·Substance abuse

Parental responsibility


Electoral system reform and introduction of the list system, as proposed by the Seanad….Shift government policy balance towards

·Longer and visionary, rather than short-term and mundane

·National rather than local

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *