Business in Ireland had a fairly tough time at the end of the first decade of the 21st Century. However, it has rapidly managed to put these problems behind it, and Ireland is now, once again, one of the fastest growing economies in Europe. In this article, we’ll examine a few of the reasons that explain how Ireland managed to return to rapid growth so quickly at a time when many other countries have struggled to turn the corner after the Great Recession of 2008, and explore whether the Irish story has some lessons for other economies.
Before we start, it’s worth remembering just how deep and difficult the Irish recession actually was. Following a boom time that significantly increased the cost of living in the country and also the general profitability of Irish businesses, things went wrong very quickly and a lot of Irish businesses and residents suffered immensely. However, it’s argued by some that by taking the ‘medicine’ required to fix the crisis early, and working to fix some of the underlying issues that had driven the economy into the state that it found itself in, Ireland found itself in a far better position than some other countries such as Spain or Portugal.
Ireland has also benefited somewhat from Brexit (although a Hard Brexit would cause significant problems for many Irish residents and businesses). Many UK companies that want to retain a presence in a European Union country after the UK has left the trading bloc have set up legal operations and domiciles in Dublin or other UK cities and there is the chance of staff being relocated to Ireland as a result of these decisions.
At the moment, things look good for the Irish economy and businesses in the country. However, there are a number of challenges that could easily derail this.