Ireland: A small country with big investment opportunities


Wednesday, April 13, 2021


On Wednesday, 7 April 2021, another online discussion took place under the banner of regularly held “Stammtisch” meetings organised by the Association for Foreign Investment. This time, the main guest was Cliona Manahan, Ambassador of Ireland to the Czech Republic. The principal topic was Brexit and its impact on the foreign investment-market in Ireland and the EU as a whole, as well as practical examples from which the Czech Republic could draw inspiration. The ambassador was joined by Ladislav Müller of the Enterprise Ireland agency and Erik Bolebruch of CzechInvest.

In her opening remarks, the ambassador described the current economic situation in Ireland. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s economy grew by 3% in 2020, making it the only economy to achieve growth in the eurozone. Of key importance for Irish business was the conclusion of the trade agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom, which has now largely resolved the uncertainties and problems hindering Irish business.

Just as all countries are dealing with the impact of COVID-19 on their various industries, Irish companies are solving their own problems. Aviation, travel, restaurants, certain retail segments and mechanical engineering were sectors in which Ireland was very strong and are now among the worst affected by the pandemic. Therefore, the Irish government has implemented a number of measures aimed at helping businesses overcome the current problems.

Conversely, there are sectors in Ireland that are thriving and achieving record levels in international trade. Ireland is the second largest medical-technology exporter in Europe. In financial technology, it has become a leader in the area of payments. In agricultural technology, Ireland is currently considered to be a global centre for innovation, developing solutions that help face the most difficult challenges in this sector. In the area of high-tech construction, the country has outstanding results in the implementation of large and complex high-tech construction projects around the world. For a small country, Ireland brings has a major impact on numerous industrial sectors around the world.

In the final part of her remarks, the ambassador presented Ireland’s approach to climate change, which indisputably requires a global response. As she mentioned, however, “The past year has taught us that when human will and scientific ingenuity come together, no challenge is insurmountable.”

The course of the online Stammtisch held at lunchtime was again made more enjoyable with catering from long-term AFI partner Zátiší Group, which prepared a delicious menu in the spirit of Ireland, including Irish beef brisket.

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