Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Questions (152)

Bernard Durkan


152. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the extent to which he continuously monitors this country’s economic competitiveness; if any particular issues have been identified as disincentives in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33659/13]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

The National Competitiveness Council (NCC) reports to me on key competitiveness issues facing the Irish economy and offers recommendations on policy actions required to enhance Ireland’s competitive position. The Council is supported in its work by Forfas, who monitor Ireland’s competitiveness on an on-going basis. The NCC has recently been reconfigured to provide greater synergy between the Council’s recommendations and the development and implementation of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs. Six leading industrial figures who have been assigned to assist with the implementation of the seven "Disruptive Reforms" as part of the Action Plan for Jobs were appointed to the NCC in May of this year.

Ireland is already rated highly internationally as one of the best countries in the world in which to do business, and we have built a strong competitive basis on which to compete on global markets. Ireland has moved up three places to 17th place in the IMD’s World Competitiveness Yearbook 2013 having being ranked 24th only 2 years ago, while Ireland is ranked 15th in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2012 Report.

There are a number of key areas where Ireland tops global competitiveness rankings, including:

- business impact of rules on foreign direct investment;

- inflation;

- FDI and technology transfer;

- availability of skilled labour;

- flexibility and adaptability of the labour force; and

- investment incentives.

While Ireland’s competitiveness has improved in recent years, we must continue to do more, though the Action Plan for Jobs, to ensure that these competitiveness gains are not eroded as the economy begins to recover. The 2013 Action Plan for Jobs includes a range of concrete measures to address issues which impact negatively on our competitiveness position. The implementation of these actions, combined with the Government’s broader agenda to enhance productivity, will play a key role in improving our competitiveness and realising our ambition of making Ireland the best small country in which to do business.