Ireland: The Gateway to Europe

Ireland: The Gateway to Europe

Did you know Ireland is the gateway to Europe, the Middle East and Africa for many major multinationals?

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Ireland: The Gateway to Europe

Multinationals in Ireland

1,200 multinationals including ICBC, Huawei, Google, Apple, Facebook, Citigroup, Pfizer, and Microsoft all use Ireland to serve European and global markets.

  • “1st in the eurozone for ease of doing business.” Forbes, 2012 
  • “1st in the world for business legislation for foreign investors.” IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook, 2011 
  • “1st in the world for availability of skilled labour.” IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook, 2011 
  • “1st in the EU for starting up new businesses.” Global Innovation Index, 2012 
  • “1st in Europe for real corporate tax rates.” IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook, 2012 

Five world class sectors

Financial Services

Over 30,000 people are directly employed in financial services in Ireland’s capital, Dublin, making it one of Europe’s major financial centres.

In the funds space, for example, €900 billion is domiciled in Ireland, while in aircraft leasing, 50% of the world’s commercial aircraft fleet (over €83 billion in assets) is managed from Dublin.

Information Technology and Gaming

Ireland already hosts 9 of the world’s top 10 IT companies, including the likes of Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple, plus an emerging generation of gaming software developers.

Ireland is the recognised global destination to domicile and / or base your IT functions – an ideal fit with Ireland’s competitive tax environment, neutral political stance, and educated workforce.

Healthcare and Pharma

Tax deductable IPR spend; the highest rates of university education in the EU and a 25 per cent R&D tax credit all attract investment.

Eight of the world’s top 10 pharma companies and 15 of the world’s top 20 medical device companies are already in Ireland.

Agribusiness, Food and Beverage

Ireland’s agricultural output can feed a population more than 10 times its own size.

Ireland’s premium quality exports (including dairy produce, infant formula, beef, pork, poultry, seafood, whiskey, cream liqueur and beer) mean Ireland is a major net exporter of food produce globally.

Recognised for its high standards of management and technology, Ireland has strong credentials in organic food, food safety, and supply chain traceability.

Renewable Energy

Ireland has huge wind and marine power potential, and is interconnected with the UK grid at competitive feed-in tariffs.

Ireland is emerging as a centre for marine and smart grid technologies, with academic, industrial research and manufacturing credentials.

Why Ireland?

Learn more about the Eurozone’s only English-speaking nation

  • Full access to the EU’s 27 national markets - equivalent to 500 million people with an average GDP per capita of over USD30,000
  • Because Ireland is a small state within the EU, there is faster and easier access to government decision makers, and, if necessary, market ideas can be discreetly tested in advance of a full European launch 
  • A Corporate Tax rate of only 12.5%, compared with over
    30% in Germany and France 
  • Preferable double tax treaties with many Asian countries, including China, allowing reduced dividend and withholding taxes and certain tax-free capital gains not commonly available elsewhere in Europe
  • Use of the Euro currency, removing currency barriers for accessing the major European markets of Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium
  • High labour productivity allowing a small base to coordinate your pan-European and North American operations (Ireland also has both the EU’s highest graduate rates and best availability of skilled labour).

Best Eurozone countries for business

  • 1st Ireland 
  • 2nd Finland 
  • 3rd Belgium 
  • 4th Netherlands 
  • 5th Luxembourg

Source: Forbes, 2012

Our location

Time Zone

A globally convenient time zone overlaps the Asian and American working day, based on European Summer Time, April – October.

Direct Flights

Direct flights bring you to major markets: 

  • All of Europe: < 3 hours
  • East Coast US: < 6 hours

Discover more

Learn more about this business-friendly, politically neutral nation

  • Strong historic and two-way migration links with the US, UK, Australia and Canada 
  • A colonial experience shared with some of Asia, including China’s Treaty Ports, Hong Kong and Malaysia
  • Now a proudly independent and politically neutral country within the EU 
  • Under one hour’s flight from London, under two hours from Germany and France, and just six hours direct flight from New York
  • Ireland also conveniently sits between European and North American time zones, with one hour’s time difference to Germany, and just five hours between Ireland and New York
  • Easy access to Ireland’s famously beautiful landscape, with plenty of activities including golf, hiking, angling, surfing, sailing and other favoured corporate pastimes
  • A culture that emphasises personal relationships, flexibility and business pragmatism. In common with many Asian countries, Ireland values its long history, with a high respect for education and culture.

What others say

“Ireland is renowned globally as a business friendly country with a competitive corporate tax rate of 12.5% and a well educated workforce. Ireland is also the only English speaking country in the Eurozone. For these reasons, a large number of Global Companies have setup their international / European headquarters in Ireland.

Similar to Asian cultures, Irish culture is friendly and welcoming. Asian professionals and students are well received and respected within Irish society. Dublin, the capital of Ireland, has a sizeable Asian community with a large number of Asian shops and traditional Asian restaurants - making you feel like it’s a home from home.“

Chen Tian MBS Finance, QFA
Assistant Director
Bank of Ireland Corporate Banking

“We have been very happy with the development of our business in Ireland to date and with the quality of support and assistance we have obtained from our advisers and the IDA in developing our business over the last few years.“

Alex HOU
Deputy General Manager
ICBC International Leasing Co., Ltd.

How KPMG can help

KPMG can help you throughout your global expansion. Our services include:

  • New market identification and prioritisation 
  • Market entry, growth and commercial strategy
  • Target / partner identification and introductions 
  • Integrated due diligence (financial, commercial, tax) 
  • Talent recruitment and retention 
  • Financing, tax and regulatory support 
  • Customs and trade support 
  • Location assessments and site selection support 
  • Review of existing business model and commercial assumptions with robust challenge and counter-suggestions
  • Cultural acclimatisation and relationship-building with State and Private Sector introductions.


For more information, contact:


Barrie O’Connell
Ireland-China Desk
T:+ 353 87 744 2039


Mei Dong
Outbound Strategy
T:+86 10 8508 5809


Brian Daly
T: +353 87 744 1278

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