Ireland is third on globalised states list


ERNST & YOUNG STUDY:IRELAND HAS been ranked the third most globalised nation, according to an index to be published today by Ernst & Young at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The country also recorded the most significant increase in the globalisation index between 1995 and 2008 and was ranked the most globalised nation between 2000 and 2002.

The report, which was produced with the Economist Intelligence Unit, measures the integration of 60 countries within the world economy. Ireland came third behind Singapore and Hong Kong, but ahead of Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Israel and Finland.

The index is measured by a country’s openness to trade, movement of capital, exchange of technology and ideas, labour movements, and cultural integration. It was compiled after a survey with 520 senior executives worldwide and interviews with businesses.

Ireland’s high ranking was attributed to the strength of its technology sector.

“In recent years, Ireland has positioned itself as a hub in the global exchange of technology, as a result of its safe operating environment and educated workforce,” said the report.

“It may not be the originator of all the innovation that passes through its doors, but the country’s role as a conduit for research and development – through manufacture, packaging and export – has been an important contributor to its high level of globalisation.”

E&Y’s global chief operating officer John Ferraro said growth in globalisation paused over the past two years due to the economic crisis, but that “the globalisation march has resumed” with an increase in trade and capital flows forecast this year.

Almost half the business executives surveyed for the index expected to increase their international activities over the next three years, he said.

Mark Otty, E&Y’s managing partner for Europe, said: “Governments need to think about how to create a competitive environment to win business as it moves around the world.

“Historically Ireland has been very good at that, but the rules may be changing – and how is Ireland changing?” asked Mr Ferraro.

Colm Devine, a partner with Ernst & Young in Dublin, said that while Ireland’s economic conditions remained challenging, it was “extremely well-positioned” to take advantage of opportunities in international business expansion.