Dublin – Ireland’s capital city – is one of the world’s most visited cities by tourists far and wide. The home of Guinness, U2 and other internationally recognised icons sees thousands of visitors to its streets every month. Ireland’s cultural heritage has also helped put Dublin on the map, with Irish roots found in every continent on the planet and the Irish peoples’ friendly charm assuring a respectful and attractive name for the capital city. But why is it that Dublin has recently become such an important place for businesses to establish themselves and operate from?
There are several potential reasons that both seldom and in conjunction with one another contribute to Dublin’s success in the global business diaspora.
Ireland prides itself for having a competitive and provocative rate of 12.5% corporate tax. This rate is extremely attractive to foreign investment, particularly when compared to other E.U. capitals such as London (20%), Paris (33.3%), Berlin (30%), Luxembourg (29.2%) and Rome (31.4%).
There’s no beating around the bush; any company that’s looking to set up a branch – if not an E.U. headquarters – will be very interested in a lower rate of tax. But with other E.U. capitals such as Sofia (10%), Cyprus (12.5%) and Budapest (9%) offering equally competitive rates, surely there are other factors to consider when choosing a new home for your company.
Ireland has the youngest population in the European Union with an average age of 34 years. For those thinking of long-term investment, this is a great asset for employers. The workforce is not too young – meaning inexperienced and undereducated – or too old – meaning nearby retirement. With that in mind, although the population of Dublin is only approximately 1.2m – the workforce is multicultural, with people from all over the world living and working in Dublin.
Previous VP of Global Ad Operations for Google and LinkedIn’s current VP and Managing Director EMEA, John Herlihy, told IDA Ireland one of Google’s main reasons for setting up their European headquarters in Dublin was “the people – the talent.” Mr. Herlihy also highlighted Ireland’s multiculturalism: “The quality of work of the young Europeans in Ireland, both Irish and non-Irish. We have people from over 65 countries speaking over 50 languages working in Dublin.”
Since their EMEA HQ establishment in Dublin in 2003 with just 100 people, Google now employs over 6,000 people both directly and indirectly out of their Dublin offices and last year opened its second data centre, at a cost of €150m.
In a statement from Mr Herlihy, ‘Google was the ﬁrst of the new wave of tech companies to locate in Ireland and we proved beyond doubt that you can drive business from Dublin into multiple locations when you hire the right people with great sales skills.’
There are few global corporations exceeding Google in size, which is of great benefit to Ireland when attracting other multinational giants.
The companies mentioned so far are all from the United States, like many other global corporations who have expanded their businesses worldwide. With modern communication technology and air travel, it’s not hard to have a steady presence in foreign locations in which your company operates. But as anyone in the industry will tell you, nothing compares to having people based abroad with your own workforce who are familiar with their environment.
Ireland has always had a healthy relationship with the United States, and is geographically one of the closest European locations to the U.S. It is also important to note that Ireland is located far from any current war-zone or politically unstable area, which any business will welcome with open arms.
This, among other factors, makes Dublin a very obvious choice for cross-Atlantic investment both now and in the future should Ireland continue to expand its grasp of the global corporate industry.
With all of these elements in mind, Dublin is currently undergoing a substantial identity transition within the international community. Once known for its traditional music, folklore and stout, Ireland’s capital is in the midst of developing an important reputation for being one of the world’s leading corporate cities.