In this 2005 study (pdf), Adrian and I point out that, although people think of poor developing nations when they think of offshore outsourcing, U.S. companies actually invest more in Ireland, than in China and India combined. And now more of the same:
IBM, the world’s biggest computer services provider, will invest 46 million euros ($58.6 million) in its Irish technology campus over the next three years and create 300 new jobs, Ireland’s Minister for Enterprise said on Thursday. Micheal Martin said the investment would help IBM, which has operated in Ireland for 50 years, grow its Dublin-based software development operations, establish a Business Incubation Center and improve the company’s supply chain capacity. IBM employs more than 3,200 people in several operations around Dublin, including manufacturing, sales and marketing, software development, consultancy, customer support and treasury.
Article here. Turns out companies rather like places with low taxes and light regulations. After years of liberalization, Ireland now has the world’s third freest economy:
Ireland’s modern, highly industrialized economy grew by 80 percent during the 1990s. The country has one of the world’s most pro-business environments, especially for foreign businesses and investments, and Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, whose Fianna Fail party governs in coalition with the Progressive Democrats, has maintained this impressive inheritance.
Read the Heritage Foundation’s profile on Ireland here.