EU industrial competitiveness report

The EU reported that Ireland comes out as one of the top performers in Europe, with high and increasing competitiveness. The others in the top grouping are: the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, with high and improving competitiveness.

The report highlights that the domestic economy is growing and creating jobs again. Business – crucially including SMEs- and consumer confidence is returning. Ireland is successfully competing internationally and it has an excellent business environment. However, it also highlights the large debt burden and key challenges remain in areas such as restoring credit channels for SMEs; strengthening activation mechanisms; tackling skills mismatches; reducing business (including legal) costs and increasing competition.

Key positives:

  • 1st country to successfully exit its EU/IMF programme, meeting all programme targets.
  • Trade in services and investment grew strongly.
  • Significant improvements in the labour market, unemployment is down to a sub euro-area average of 11.7 % from a high of 15 % two years ago – including reductions in youth and long-term unemployment.
  • One of Ireland’s strengths has always been its well-educated, productive and flexible workforce. It has the highest % of employees in the manufacturing sector with high education attainment levels and it has the highest tertiary education attainment rate in the EU at 51.1%.
  • Ireland is the best performer in the EU for both energy intensity and CO2 intensity thanks largely to the importance of services and high value-added manufacturing.
  • Ireland is now the most globalised economy in the western world
  • Ireland is ranked 15th overall in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report, has one of the most favourable business and entrepreneurial environments in Europe.

See the full report here: Competitive Ireland_Sep2014