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PROFESSIONAL SERVICES & FINTECH Position Paper: Steps Needed to Strategically Position Ireland to Access EU and Global Markets, Post Brexit
26 April 2019|Lobbying

Guaranteed Irish - What We do

January 2019

Introduction

Guaranteed Irish, the national symbol of trust and provenance, is a business membership organisation championing 550 + homegrown and international businesses operating in Ireland. We award the Guaranteed Irish symbol to companies which create quality jobs, contribute to local communities and are committed to Irish provenance.

Guaranteed Irish celebrates 45 years this year supporting all businesses in Ireland. Having positioned themselves as the voice of certainty for industry, both indigenous and international, Guaranteed Irish is calling on the Government to ensure Ireland is Brexit ready.

This year Guaranteed Irish has designated May as ‘Professional Services & FinTech Month’ and, throughout the month, will highlight the contribution its professional services and financial technology members make to Irish jobs, local communities and the Irish economy.

Members of Guaranteed Irish in the financial services, blockchain and fintech sectors include Matheson, FDB Insurance Plc., Wexford Insurance Ltd., Noone Casey, Acorn Life, Kokoon Technology, Titan Solutions, Grand PAYE Rebate Ltd., Prestige HR Ireland, Quest Recruitment, Mojoco, TransferMate Global Payments and GeoDirectory.

In anticipation of Guaranteed Irish Professional Services & FinTech Month, Guaranteed Irish held a roundtable discussion on how to strategically position Ireland to access EU and global markets, post Brexit.

The roundtable discussion was held under the Chatham House Rule. The discussion was attended by a number of key decision makers in the Irish professional services sector including CEO’s from global Headquartered financial institutions and IT companies based in Ireland including Viatel, Transfermate, Northern Trust, ESB and Sustainable Nation Ireland.

The other panelists were:

  • Michael Jackson, Managing Partner, Matheson- (Co-Chair)
  • Carmel Logan, Tax Partner, KPMG-(Co-Chair)
  • Conal Mc Coille, Economist, DAVYS
  • JP Kehoe, VP, Scout Secure

All attendees shared their concerns, of operating a business in Ireland post Brexit, the challenges in the export markets and what is required to ensure they remain based in Ireland post Brexit.

This position paper sets out the key issues emanating from the event, as well as the key actions required by the Government, to successfully link indigenous and international businesses headquartered in Ireland to sustain quality jobs and prosperity in Ireland, in a post-Brexit economy. 

The four main areas Guaranteed Irish have called on the Government to review include:

  1. Tax
  2. Talent
  3. Infrastructure
  4. Regulation

Guaranteed Irish calls the Government to prepare for Brexit by looking at four main areas to ensure Ireland positions itself as a competitive and attractive proposition for investment for new market onlookers, post Brexit.

Each of the four areas are addressed in detail below.

  1. Tax concerns:
  • The rates of income tax are unattractive to migrants returning to this country, the cost of living in Ireland is too high to compete global.
  • The corporate tax rate must remain at 12.5% to ensure Ireland continues to be viewed as an attractive for investment to global markets.
  • Ireland must retain its single market membership to remain competitive for international investors.
  • We need to be more competitive against Asian markets, to attract further FDI as Europe’s only English speaking member.
  • Ireland needs to reassess its overly prescriptive financial admin systems to allow them to become more progressive and competitive.
  • We must advocate for bureaucracy coming from the EU in order for Ireland to remain competitive and viewed an easy to do business with in light a UK exit.
  1. Talent concerns:
  • We need to review the role of Information & Communications Technology (ICT) in our education system and look to increase levels of participation in our schools.
  • Ireland needs to review the attractiveness of apprenticeships sectors such as construction, agriculture, food and hospitality. Apprenticeships must be viewed as career starters for the entrepreneurial as well as in skilled trades.
  • There is a need for practical applications to apprenticeships across the pharmaceutical sector. Ireland must act upon this demand for new talent pools in differing sectors.
  • There is inadequate quality services within Ireland to attract external talent or ex-pats back to Ireland in areas such as housing, broadband, Income tax, liveability.
  • We must match industry needs with training, as there is currently a mismatch across many sectors including the pharma and medtech industries.
  • Ireland needs to develop a funds industry training course.
  • There is need to develop regional eco systems, where training is aligned with local investment and local industry.
  • The Government could further invest in internationally accredited universities, while profiling schools to new markets to attract the best external talent and further FDI.
  1. Infrastructure concerns:
  • Over regulation is a cost to businesses that needs to be re-examined by Government. We needs appropriate regulation that allows us to be transparent but that is also business friendly and keep businesses competitive.
  • There needs to be a key focus on exports, the Government must devise a plan to target new markets for Ireland to export to. There is a need for subsidies from Government and EU to support the Irish economy in this regard.
  • In light of Brexit, there is an significant opportunity for Ireland to be positioned as the Western world’s gateway to the East. The EU must assist Ireland in achieving this, firstly, by reassessing outside state aid rules. There is a need for some flexibility in this regard.
  • The Government must recognise the need for greater connectivity outside of the island of Ireland as well as internally with fibre broadband.
  • A low carbon economy presents a huge opportunity for Ireland. There is an opportunity for Ireland to become a leader in green finance (€28bn activity in Ireland to date), post Brexit. The Government could propose the introduction of green bonds.
  • If Ireland is to reap rewards and maximise opportunities from Brexit, we need to be infrastructure ready now, this includes housing, roads, fibre broadband and transport services. The call to front load capital expenditure investment that is allocated in National Development Plan until 2030 is untimely. We need a reactive approach.
  1. Regulation concerns:
  • The Government must position Ireland as confident, transparent, accountable but efficient in relation to regulatory controls. There is a need to establish an intra industry regulatory forum for inward investment. Ireland must be attractive to do business with.
  • International businesses need to be able to acclimatise upon arriving in Ireland, network and get support from other businesses here.
  • There is a need to reassess our approach to State aid and Ireland’s adherence, in relation to other EU member states.
  • Ireland has the opportunity to position itself as a R&D hub for Europe across IT, Fintech, Pharmaceutical (Healthcare) and MedTech.
  • The Government could invest in a regulatory forum, to showcase Ireland’s commitment to transparency and efficiency, making Ireland more attractive as an investment destination.
  • There is a need for regulatory clarity in Ireland post Brexit. The Government could increase its commitment to EU partners.
  • The Government must increase the Irish presence in Brussels, and retain the current tax regime.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IRELAND

As the only remaining English speaking country in the EU, Guaranteed Irish believe that Ireland needs to integrate itself, with a stronger presence, with the EU. This will ensure that constant lobbying on behalf of Ireland, and the protection of its tax regime, will protect Ireland.

At home, Guaranteed Irish believe both EI and the IDA need further assistance to manage, hold and grow further inward USA investment, attract new markets and create new opportunities, particularly in the sustainable energy space. Ireland must be an attractive investment destination and regulatory compliance must be made easier and more efficient. EI need faster access into more new markets, as the current new market entry process is insufficient.

Guaranteed Irish is facilitating its business members who export in working with embassies in new markets and welcomes new embassies opening in Ireland in recent months. 

ENDS