The Government has undertaken significant structural reforms to improve competitiveness. We have reformed wage setting mechanisms, improved access to finance for business and reduced the administrative burdens on business. Our cost base has improved making Irish firms more competitive internationally and Ireland a more attractive location for overseas firms. Improved competitiveness has facilitated indigenous startups and supported record levels of net job creation by Enterprise Ireland and IDA and jobs growth across the regions.
By making Ireland more competitive we have facilitated job creation, exports and enterprise. Since 2011, Ireland’s international competitiveness rankings have improved. We have moved from 24th to 15th in the International Institute for Management Development, IMD, world competitiveness yearbook and from 29th to 25th in the World Economic Forum global competitiveness report. In addition, we are 13th out of 189 in the World Bank’s report on doing business.
This improvement in international competitiveness has been hard won through structural reforms, pay restraint and productivity increases. We must however continue to do more to ensure our competitiveness gains are not eroded as the economy grows. Through the Action Plan for Jobs, the Government is maintaining its focus on measures aimed at improving our competitiveness position and creating a supportive environment for enterprise and sustainable full employment. The 2015 action plan places a particular focus on improving cost competitiveness, supporting competitive regions, aligning skills with enterprise needs and using research and innovation to secure future competitiveness.
The plan has set an ambitious strategic goal to further improve our international competitiveness ranking. Specific measures are being taken in the year ahead to reduce the administrative burden for over half a million business interactions by, for example, greater use of ICT, revoking outdated legislation, and greater awareness and promotion of health and safety best practice. Improvements to be delivered in 2015 include the roll-out of new company law which is reducing the administrative burden of company registration and filing systems, the new workplace commission, trusted partners for the issuing of work permits, and the integrated licensing applications service.
The National Competitiveness Council and the Cabinet Committee on Economic Recovery and Jobs will also continue to consider specific initiatives to improve our competitiveness. I am confident that the actions we are taking across the Government through the Action Plan for Jobs will support further improvements in our international competitiveness rankings.