Ireland - Country Commercial Guide
Market Challenges

Learn about barriers to market entry and local requirements, i.e., things to be aware of when entering the market for this country.

Last published date: 2021-10-08

As a small open economy, Ireland will always be vulnerable to geopolitical and global economic pressures.  It is still early days in understanding the full impact of Brexit on the Irish economy.  The uncertainty around global tax reform will impact business decisions, but Ireland’s position as an exporting nation remains strong.

Like other nations, Ireland is increasing its resources to fight cyber-attacks, and the government’s refusal to concede to a recent ransomware attack on its national healthcare system has set a strong precedent to not give in to malicious behavior.  The government is also prioritizing legislative measures to implement an investment screening regime around foreign direct investment in Ireland.  The planned legislation is expected to be enacted quickly to give effect to EU Regulation 2019/452 in Ireland.

Demand in sectors most impacted by the pandemic included the hospitality and tourism sectors while down is expected to rebound with the forthcoming easing of all restrictions. In terms of business supports, the roll out of nationwide broadband and other physical infrastructure projects can be slow.  The growing data center footprint is also raising concerns over the security of energy supply in the longer term. 

Project Ireland 2040 outlines the Irish government’s plan to provide for regional development and to improve the nation’s infrastructure with a focus on green and digital economies.  The plan is based on the premise that one million extra people will be living in Ireland in 25 years’ time.  While there are calls from industry groups for an increase in capital spending, suppliers continue to face significant price pressures at current levels when doing business with the public sector.  Strong competition from Irish and European suppliers dictates that U.S. exporters must offer a combination of innovative and high-quality products at competitive prices.