|Swirling clouds of blue and green lit the Atlantic Ocean west of Ireland on June 2, 2006, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image. The ocean is normally black in true-color, photo-like satellite images such as this one, but a large phytoplankton bloom lent the water its brilliant blue and green hues. Phytoplankton are microscopic plants that grow in the sunlit surface waters of the ocean. When enough of the plants grow in one place, the bloom can be seen from space. |
Irish Economy 2012: The
Irish Exporters Association (IEA) today launched its
annual publication, the 'Top 250 Exporting Companies in Ireland.' Internet
giant Google has been named as Ireland's largest exporter with export turnover
having increased by 55% from €6.5bn in last year’s listing to €10.1bn in the
current year (from the 2010 accounts). The IEA says the Irish operation is now
Google’s largest outside of the US, and employs staff from 40 different
countries. However, the UK is Google's biggest overseas market and advertising generated
there, as well as in other countries, is booked in Ireland for tax purposes. Google UK
has a payroll of about 1,000 servicing customers in its market and it reported a
loss in 2010. The IEA says: 'Ireland’s position as a global services export hub
is boosted by internet companies,' but this is the realm of fairytales.
outsize data dictated by tax strategies of companies such as Microsoft, Facebook and so on, does not even
provide an additional tax benefit for Ireland.
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore,
speaking at the launch said: “Today’s
event acknowledges the top exporting companies in Ireland, north and south of
the border, and provides an excellent indication of how Ireland’s export firms
are reacting to the current challenging international economic environment. I
would like to extend my congratulations to all the companies who feature in the
list of Ireland’s Top 250 exporters.”
John Whelan, chief
executive of the IEA said, “The continued success in attracting to Ireland the
‘born on the Internet’ companies is clearly evident in the Top 250 report,
with Google expanding its sales by over 50% and Facebook entering the Top 250
for the first time with export sales of €229m. PayPal Services Europe
also features for the first time with exports of €92m. The internet companies
are one of the drivers of the fast growing services export sector which last
year accounted for €79bn in exports, and 46% of total Irish exports”.
The Top 250 publication also brings into focus the continued shift from
dependence on the domestic market to international markets by indigenous Irish
companies, with the top five indigenous companies Smurfit, Kerry Group, Glanbia,
Glen Dimplex and Irish Dairy Board Ltd showing international sales of €17.3bn
but with less than 50% of the sales being directly generated in Ireland.
Outward direct investment has developed as the key route for Irish companies to
internationalise and grow their business, with Outward Direct Investment (ODI)
from Irish companies now exceeding Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). In 2010,
Irish ODI was €261bn and FDI held in Ireland was €185bn, stated the IEA.
This claim again should not be taken at face value. A company such as CRH has
very little valued added in Ireland.
“Outward direct investment is now commonplace amongst a wide range of large and
medium sized Irish owned companies and is seen as a complimentary process to
traditional exporting. It can be a more suitable means to gain market share in
other countries for some products and services. Also in-country presence through
ODI can help overcome trade barriers where market access is limited,
particularly in emerging economies. Continued trade finance, capital market
access and banking support for such ODI is essential to enable firms develop
scale and have the capacity to compete internationally,” said Whelan .
Whelan says the 'services export sector...last year
was valued at €79bn,' and accounted for '46% of total Irish exports,' but we have shown that at least a
third of Irish services exports are overstated.
Johnson & Johnson feature as the third largest exporter with export sales of
€9.8bn, Pfizer in 5th position with €6.8bn in export sales, Stryker the medical
devices manufacturer in 7th position with exports sales of €5.5bn, then Boston
Scientific, Forest Laboratories, Gilead Sciences and Astellas all part of
Ireland's largest top 20 exporters.
In 2011 the export trade of Pharmaceuticals and the Medical Devices was over
“It is striking to see that our largest exporter is now Google with exports
from Ireland of €10.1bn, just ahead of the exceptional Microsoft export
performance. But also there are a new breed of fast growing ICT now operating
from Ireland all adding to the sectors export growth, such as Facebook, EA
Games, LinkedIn, Gilt Groupe, Big Fish Games, Quest Software, Marketo and
ZeniMax. These companies alongside investments from existing companies based in
Ireland, such as Dell, EMC, HP and Microsoft in the cloud computing area have
secured the long term stability of the sector. This glittering assemblage of
ICT companies in the Top 250 has earned Ireland the title ‘Internet Capital of
Europe,” said Whelan.
The Irish workers at Google and Microsoft are the most productive on the
a global revenue per employee of $777,140 in fiscal 2011 and $27m in Ireland;
Google had a global revenue per employee in 2010 of $1.33m and $8.52m in
There is a significant market in Ireland for spin
and delusion. So, why worry about challenges when Facebook can sell advertising
in Germany and book it in Ireland?
However, what's good for Google or Facebook is
not necessarily much good for Ireland.
Irish Economy 2012: At least a third of value of
Irish services exports is overstated
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