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Kildare > Business > The Irish Economy

The Irish Economy

Introduction to the General economy

County Kildare is situated in the east of Ireland, adjacent to the nation's capital, Dublin. It has a population of 135,000 and a land area of 1694 sq. km. In Kildare, Irelandcommon with the rest of the country it has undergone great economic and social change in the last decade. This has been led by a national economic revival referred to internationally as the "Celtic Tiger".

Since the mid 1990's, Ireland has experienced consistent growth rates of up to 10% per annum. This has been attributed to years of strong government planning through the implementation of five-year National Development Plans. These plans provided for large-scale investment in infrastructural projects and the focussed development of Ireland as a base for multinational export-oriented companies.

National Wage Agreements have formed an integral part of these development plans. Their success has been facilitated by the partnership approach adopted by the government and union representatives to economic development. These wage agreements have carefully controlled the cost of labour producing a highly skilled yet competitively priced labour force.

Generous incentives, especially targeted at the manufacturing and internationally-traded service industries have made Ireland an attractive base for multinational companies. Manufacturing and certain service industries are currently subject to a corporate tax rate of only 10% with no limits on profit repatriation. This is helped by Ireland's unique position as the only english-speaking member of the European Monetary System with access to a market of 370 million people of the EU.

In 1998 the national growth rate was 7% with a forecast for continued high growth levels into the new millennium. Despite high level of growth the economy has had little visible effects on inflation, currently measuring 1.2%. The "Celtic Tiger" has rooted itself firmly in Kildare whose natural and human resources have placed it in a prime position to benefit from the current national growth.

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