Ireland is growing to be an attractive destination for investment by US multinationals. In recent years, many have set up European headquarters there. Now new laws introduced in Switzerland seem to be benefiting Ireland further - with a number of multinationals including internet giant Yahoo deciding to relocate their European headquarters to Ireland.
Despite Ireland’s economic crisis, the country continues to enjoy an influx of multinational investment-- lured by an attractive corporate tax rate of 12.5%.
Ireland is home to over a 1000 multinationals. 78 new companies entered last year. That’s 1.5 new companies a week.
Here in Ireland grand canal dock, dubbed the Silicon valley of Europe, its home to the European headquarters of both Google and Facebook and the hope here by the Irish government is to attract other companies like this including those looking to relocate from other jurisdictions.
In recent months - changes in Switzerland’s laws have prompted even more companies to look to Ireland.
One of those changes is the proposed "Minder Initiative" - which would allow shareholders in Switzerland to have a vote on executive pay and salary caps. It’s a move that has worried many multinationals operating there.
In addition, the European Union has been pressing Switzerland to eliminate some of the tax advantages long enjoyed by foreign companies.
Earlier this year Switzerland received a blow when Yahoo announced it was moving its European headquarters from Switzerland to Ireland. Others have now announced plans to follow including U.S energy giant Weatherford.
Engine Yard, one of the many tech multinationals in Ireland says finding talent will not be a problem for companies that relocate.
It remains to be seen if Switzerland will do anything to curtail such loses but for now Ireland stands to win.