Ireland’s drop in Competitiveness ranking illustrates need for swift remedial action

Commenting on today’s (24 May 2018) IMD Competitiveness Yearbook Rankings 2018, Ian Talbot, Chief Executive of Chambers Ireland said,

“This morning’s announcement that Ireland has dropped six places, to 12th place, in the IMD Competitiveness Yearbook Rankings 2018 is disappointing. This is a discouraging development for the business community particularly as we face into the uncertainties regarding Brexit and a growth in protectionist measures.

We must ensure that we take the right steps to improve Ireland’s competitiveness but also that we do it with a sense of urgency. The time for waiting is over, we must now see action. Government commitments to infrastructure must become a reality.

The Government recognises the need to better streamline judicial review of strategic infrastructure projects but as a matter of urgency we must prioritise an end to end review of our planning system, including addressing third party planning rights and spurious objections, to provide greater certainty on the timeframes for approval of any infrastructure projects going forward.

Ireland’s reputation abroad plays a crucial role in enhancing our competitiveness. We must ensure that our international reputation remains at the strongest possible level by taking action in relevant areas and effecting timely implementation. Ireland has a very compelling offering, particularly as the largest remaining English speaking, Euro denominated country in the European Union. The issues that led to this fall in competitiveness ranking are within our control and open to improvement. Let’s galvanise ourselves to do the necessary and secure our reputation as a top country in which to do business.”