As of Jan 2020, Ireland is home to over 1,500 international companies employing a combined total of over 250,000 people in Ireland. Like Singapore, Ireland continues to be one of the most favourable global locations for foreign direct investment (FDI).

Investors include both the world’s largest and most successful companies, plus a growing number of emerging, high- growth businesses, from sectors such as technology, life sciences, financial services and fintech, internet, engineering and business services. These companies undertake a range of strategic activities in Ireland including advanced manufacturing, research and development (R&D) and global business services.


Ireland is your perfect gateway

Using Ireland as a regional hub for European operations offers a significant number of advantages to companies from around the world.

As a member of the EU, Ireland allows companies barrier free access to Europe’s 500 million consumers and the ability to trade across Europe from a single location. Ireland’s time zone also makes it the perfect location as an interface to Europe and the USA for Asian companies.

The Irish Government, through the state agency for FDI, IDA Ireland, provides a warm welcome and free assistance to both SME’s and large MNC’s to set-up and run their European operations quickly and easily from Ireland. IDA Ireland helps companies to execute their plans swiftly and remains in contact throughout the lifetime of a company’s operations in Ireland to provide assistance where required.

Key incentives for foreign investors include the pro-business attitude of the Irish Government, Ireland’s committed membership of the European Union and access to its markets, its highly skilled, educated and English-speaking workforce, a very favourable corporate tax regime and the general ease of doing business in Ireland.

There are, in fact, many reasons to invest in Ireland, from the favourable corporate tax regime of 12.5% and supportive business environment, to the availability of a well-educated workforce: Track Record, Talent, Tax, Ease of doing business, Education, Europe, Cities & Clusters, Connected Research and Cutting-edge Companies

Ireland’s ability to continually attract foreign multinationals is a testament to the breadth of incentives available to prospective investors, as well as its sophisticated, but flexible, pro-business environment.

strong track record

Ireland’s performance as a hub for foreign direct investment is unrivalled. We continue to attract businesses from sectors such as technology, engineering, life sciences, global business services and financial services. To date, over 1,500 foreign-headquartered companies have chosen Ireland as their strategic location in Europe including:

  • 9 out of 10 US Technology Companies
  • All of the world’s top 10 Pharmaceutical Companies
  • 14 of the world’s top 15 Medical Devices Manufacturers • 20 out of 25 of the World’s Leading Financial Institutions
  • All 10 of the world’s largest Born on the Internet Companies
  • 8 of the top 10 Industrial Automation Companies
  • 3 out of 6 global Games Publishers
  • 9 of the top 10 Aircraft Leasing companies

Increasing numbers of High Growth companies are locating in Ireland to scale up and internationalise their operations. The exciting commercial and creative mix on offer, together with a business-friendly environment and speed to market are key motivating factors. In addition, Ireland is regularly ranked in the top 3 countries globally for:

  • Productivity and efficiency of companies and large corporations by international standards
  • Openness to foreign investors
  • Investment incentives which are attractive to foreign investors
  • Inward investment by quality and value of projects


Ireland’s population is currently approx. 4.8m people, a third of whom are under 25 years of age, giving Ireland the youngest workforce in the EU.

Our young workforce is capable, highly-trained, highly adaptable and well-educated. 53.5% of Irish 30 - 34 year olds have a third-level degree which ranks higher than any other country in the EU, and which is well above the EU average of 40%.

Ireland is the only Eurozone country in which English is the principal language.
Ireland’s young population is also culturally diverse.

With 17% of the population being international, Ireland has proportionally the 3rd highest international workforce in Europe and over half a million Irish residents speak a foreign language fluently.

Ireland remains an attractive location for young, educated Europeans, with 11% of workers coming from other EU countries.

Companies such as Google employ people from over 65 countries speaking over 50 languages in Ireland.

The IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook also ranks Ireland 1st in the world for availability of skilled labour, worker motivation, flexibility and adaptability of workforce, attitudes towards globalisation, and the ability to attract and retain talent. Ireland is also highly ranked for its availability of senior management.


Tax Regime

Ireland has one of the most favourable tax regimes in the world attracting hundreds of foreign companies to the Emerald Isle:

  • A corporate tax rate of 12.5% which applies to all Irish corporate trading profits.
  • Generous 25% R&D Tax Credit incentive for research and development
  • An extensive network of double taxation agreements. • An excellent Intellectual Property (IP) regime which provides a tax write-off for broadly defined IP acquisitions.
  • An attractive holding company regime, including participation exemption for gains on disposals of most shares
  • An effective zero tax rate for foreign dividends (12.5% tax rate on qualifying foreign dividends, with flexible onshore pooling of foreign tax credits).
  • An open and transparent EU-approved stable tax regime, which complies fully with OECD guidelines and EU competition law
  • Generous domestic law withholding tax exemptions.


Ease of doing business

Ireland’s business environment makes it easier to do business in Europe than you think possible. As an English-speaking country, operating a common law system similar to the Singaporean legal law system, it is one of the most accessible litigation platforms in the world with a dedicated commercial court.

Ireland prides itself on having an accessible, efficient, bureaucracy-free system, for instance, the ability to register a company in Ireland takes just a few days with minimum red-tape.

The presence of clusters of leading global companies across sectors means the local supply base is already tuned to the needs of companies.
Plus, Ireland’s workforce is ranked 1st in the world for flexibility and adaptability according to IMD.



Ireland’s education system is ranked in the top 10 in the world where 53% of 30 to 34-year old’s have successfully completed third level studies compared to the EU average of 40%. Ireland’s 98% participation rate in education amongst 18-year olds is also the highest in Europe.

Irish IT specialists are the best educated in the EU. 82% have third level qualifications compared to the EU average of 62% and Ireland has the fastest-growing tech worker population in Europe.

Ireland has the 3rd highest numeracy and literacy rates amongst 10-year olds in Europe and we are implementing a comprehensive and forward looking National Skills Strategy & Action Plan for Education which aims to make Irish education the best in Europe by 2026.



Ireland has been a member of the European Union since 1973 and provides easy access to the European market of 27 countries and over 500 million consumers. Through Ireland, companies can also access the wide network of existing EU trade agreements.

Ireland is the only English-speaking member of the Eurozone and companies have access to the entire EU labour force of approximately 250 million with no requirements for work permits or visas for EU employees.


If you are interested to know more about investing in Ireland, please refer to or contact IDA's ASEAN representative here in Singapore: Tel: +65 6238 0774

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