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Inward Investment and Irish Exports over the Recession and Beyond


  • This paper forms part of an IRCHSS-funded project entitled ‘‘Turning Globalisation to National Advantage’’. Earlier versions of the paper have been presented at the Institute of International and European Affairs, the Economic and Social Research Institute, NUI-Galway and the 2nd Lehigh International Conference on the Irish Economy. The helpful comments of seminar participants are gratefully acknowledged.


With the collapse in domestic demand, the performance of Ireland’s export sectors will remain key to the stabilisation of the economy. The paper analyses the performance of Irish exports in internationally comparative terms and assesses the contributions of both foreign-affiliate and indigenous firms across both manufacturing and services. Since almost 80 per cent of Irish exports are generated by foreign affiliates, medium-term export prospects are highly dependent on trends and developments in global market conditions for foreign direct investment. The paper discusses the likely impact on the country’s medium-term prospects of technological developments in key sectors and possible changes in the international regulatory and corporation tax landscapes.