Thursday, 7 November 2019
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
119. To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation her views on the way in which Ireland has fallen to its lowest ranking in the 12-year history of the World Bank ease of doing business global rankings in its 2020 report; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46002/19]
Improving our competitiveness and ensuring that Ireland is an attractive location to do business remains a key economic priority for this Government. We continue to monitor Ireland's competitiveness and analyse the factors that are crucial to attracting further investments in the country.
The World Bank Ease of Doing Business 2019 report compares the ‘ease of doing’ business across 190 economies using quantitative indicators. The report assesses the impact of 10 areas of business regulation: starting a business; dealing with construction permits; getting electricity; registering property; getting credit; protecting minority investors; paying taxes; trading across borders; enforcing contracts; and, resolving insolvency.
In the latest report, Ireland is ranked 24th globally (and 6th in the euro area). While these rankings represent a fall of one place from the previous year, the World Bank report also suggests that Ireland has become a better place to do business in the past 12 months, as Ireland’s ‘doing business’ score improved. The primary reason Ireland fell one place in these rankings was because other countries improved relatively more than Ireland over the past year.
However, as competitiveness is a broad term, it is important to look at a range of indicators to ensure we have a holistic view of Ireland’s competitiveness. My Department considers a range of competitiveness indicators, including: (i) two other international competitiveness rankings - the IMD Competitiveness Yearbook (where Ireland is ranked 7th globally), and the WEF Global Competitiveness Report (24th). My Department also consider hard indicators such as the Harmonised Competitiveness Indicator (HCI) and Unit Labour Costs, which both suggest that Ireland is becoming more competitive.
Given Ireland’s performance in these, and a wider selection of indicators, my view (and one shared by the National Competitiveness Council) is that Ireland remains a competitive economy.
However, the fall in the World Bank rankings underline the fact that there is no room for complacency. The National Competitiveness Council (NCC) will issue recommendations on the actions needed to improve competitiveness in its forthcoming Ireland’s Competitiveness Challenge 2019 report before the end of the year. These recommendations will be brought to the attention of Government and responded to in due course.