Irish Economy
FDI in Ireland: Grant Thornton publishes promotional brochure not balanced report
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Jul 24, 2014 - 3:52 PM

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FDI in Ireland: Grant Thornton, the accountancy firm, today published a promotional brochure rather than a balanced report on foreign direct investment in the Irish economy.

It gets the number of direct jobs wrong in foreign-owned firms by stating a level of 161,000 at end 2013 when the total was 172,000.

Richard Bruton TD , enterprise minister, launched the report this morning, which in effect was the equivalent of an episcopal  imprimatur for a document that dovetails with pervasive official spin.

Danny McCoy, Ibec CEO, also gave his endorsement.

The report says "Ireland continues to outperform its competitors in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and has the potential to attract further inward investment."

Government data shows that direct jobs in the FDI sector are below the level in 2000 but a fact like that is of course inconvenient and IDA Ireland, the inward investment agency, is named as the source of the following:

  • 1st Top destination country for FDI;
  • 1st Best country for doing business;
  • 2nd Unit labour costs in manufacturing sector;
  • 9th Ease of starting a business.

These however are dodgy claims and are not originally referenced.

This year the results of a global survey reported in the UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) annual World Investment Report and the EY (Ernst & Young) annual European report on FDI, did not rank Ireland as among the top countries for future FDI -  - see here.

R&D covers tax incentives not patent data - -  less than a third of FDI firms spend on research.

On the general gist of what is a brochure, it notes: "Ireland’s taxation reputation has been damaged by recent inaccurate commentary that labelled the country a ‘tax haven’. Substantial efforts are now required to ensure Ireland regains its reputation  and to protect against any impact this commentary might have had on the country’s attractiveness as a destination for FDI.

In October 2013, the Irish government published ‘Ireland’s International Tax Strategy’. This  document underlines the open and transparent nature of Ireland’s taxation system. It is important  that government continues to reiterate and build on this messaging so as to improve the reputation of Ireland’s taxation system and to further educate all stakeholders as to the open and transparent nature of the Irish taxation system."

Grant Thornton simply wants propaganda not facts - -  "educate all stakeholders" - - no need to change the status quo and wonder what it was saying in 2006 when we wrote this:

The free lunch has yet to be invented - the tipping point for the Irish economy

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