Category: Archive

‘Second class’ Ireland ahead?

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Jobs and investment may soon favor the poorer countries of the European Union, such as Poland, to the east of the continent.
An EU report said that recent Irish governments could have done more to see this possibility coming and to forestall it.
The report noted that Ireland, despite its advances, is still never accorded the recognition of success that goes to the Scandanavian countries.
The Irish business and employers’ organization, IBEC, said recently that Ireland was in the second group and was lagging behind the northern countries.
“To get into the first division, we have to make a lot of improvements, especially in competitiveness, our infrastructure and telecoms. And, of course, the big one is our labor costs,” said Cathal Lynch of IBEC’s Brussels office.
One of the most damning indictments of Ireland’s performance is in the EU’s innovation survey, where the country is ranked in mid-table. Of the 18 indicators, Ireland did well in only four: science and engineering graduates in the 20-29 age bracket; high-tech European Patents Office Patents per head of population; home Internet access, and high-tech manufacturing value added.
Hourly labor costs are growing at more than double the average EU rate, while the Irish Exporters Association reported falling market shares in 10 of the 14 EU countries.

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