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EU MEMBERS > Ireland
Ireland business environment
Doing business in Ireland

Ireland is a small, modern, trade-dependent economy. GDP growth averaged 6% in 1995-2007, but economic activity dropped sharply in 2008 and Ireland entered into a recession for the first time in more than a decade with the onset of the world financial crisis and subsequent severe slowdown in the property and construction markets. Agriculture, once the most important sector, is now dwarfed by industry and services. Although the export sector, dominated by foreign multinationals, remains a key component of Ireland’s economy, construction most recently fueled economic growth along with strong consumer spending and business investment. (CIA World Factbook)

Currency: EUR
Key exchange rates:
Interest rate: 1%
Current inflation: 4%
Inflation target: 2%
Tax rate: 21.5

Major Irish owned companies:

CRH plc
CRH plc is an international building materials groups, headquartered in Ireland and operating in 34 countries worldwide. CRH aims to become an international leader in building materials, delivering superior and sustained shareholder returns.
Ryanair is an Irish low cost airline, operating 81 aircraft on 729 routes across Europe and North Africa from its 31 bases. Ryanair is the third largest airline in Europe in terms of passenger numbers. Ryanair is now planning to launch a long-haul airline, offering first class service at low costs.
Independent News & Media PLC
Independent News & Media PLC [INM] is a leading international newspaper and communications group. Covering four continents, 10 major markets and 22 individual countries, INM has market-leading newspaper positions in Australia (regional), India, Indonesia, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa. In the United Kingdom, it publishes the flagship national title, The Independent, as well as being the largest newspaper group in Northern Ireland.

Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland
The Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland is the central bank of Ireland. It is a member of the Eurosystem, and its main roles include maintaining price stability and producing and distributing the euro currency.
Allied Irish Banks
Allied Irish Banks is a leading commercial bank in Ireland. The bank has one of the largest branch networks in Ireland and offers a full range of personal and corporate banking services.
William Fry Solicitors
William Fry is one of the leading law firms in Ireland specialising in the commercial, corporate and financial services for Irish companies. William Fry advises a substantial number of leading Irish and international firms, covering both the public and private sector.
Arthur Cox
One of Ireland's largest law firms, Arthur Cox covers all aspects of corporate and business law, specialising in mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance.
Grant Thornton
Ireland's 6th largest accounting and business advisory group based on fee income (approximately € 40 million) with more than 400 partners and staff, operating from 3 locations.
BDO Simpson Xavier
BDO Simpson Xavier is a member of the BDO International Network and Ireland’s leading adviser to entrepreneurial and growing owner-managed businesses and the people behind them. The firm provides a range of services that include audit, tax, corporate finance, financial services, corporate secretarial, consulting, family business advisory, wealth management and corporate recovery services.
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Ireland flag
Ireland map
Capital: Dublin
Official languages: English, Irish
Government: republic, parliamentary democracy
EU accession: 1973
Area: 70,182 km2
Population: 4,156,119 (July 2008 est.)
Internet TLD: .ie
Calling code: +353
Eurochambres, the European Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, is one of the key representatives of business to the European institutions. It voices the interests of over 19 million member enterprises in 45 European countries through a network of 2000 regional and local Chambers represented by 45 national - and one transnational - organisations. More than 90% of these enterprises are small or medium enterprises, with chamber members employing over 120 million employees.

Eurochambres is the sole European body to serve the interests of every sector and size of European business - due to the multi-sectoral membership of Chambers - and the only one so close to business, as a result of the Chambers’ regional focus.
Chambers Ireland is the country's largest business organisation, with 60 member chambers representing more than 12,000 businesses across Ireland. The chambers work together to develop the community both economically and socially.