During the summer, the Irish Taoiseach (i.e. Prime Minister), Mr Enda Kenny, launched the Strategy for the International Financial Services Industry in Ireland 2011-2016. The aim of the strategy, which highlights our Government’s commitment to the financial services industry, is to protect economic activity and jobs and to continue to grow the international financial services sector in Ireland. To achieve this, the strategy proposes enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of our legal, regulatory and tax environment as they relate to the provision of international financial services.
To this end, it lays down a number of initiatives, including:
- Tax framework: An absolute commitment to maintaining our 12.5% corporation tax rate
- Regulation: The adoption of a regulatory regime that is credible, responsible and internationally respected, but also balanced and proportionate
- Development of new business lines: The improvement of Ireland’s position as a financial centre by:
– Prioritising Ireland’s growth as a global provider of vital shared services for international firms
– Establishing a hub for innovative services for finance, including fraud and anti-money laundering detection technology
– Enhancing the skills and operating environment to support Islamic finance
– Developing Ireland as a centre for excellence in green finance and carbon management
– Capturing a significantly larger share of the international payment services market
- Opportunities for growth: The identification of opportunities for growth in insurance, investment funds, banking, aircraft leasing, payment services, green financial services, Islamic finance, private equity and venture capital and cross-border pensions
- Control of business costs: A commitment to containing business input costs under the control of the Government and to endeavouring to ensure that reductions in public expenditure do not result in higher charges for services being passed on to private enterprise
- Integrated support for investment and growth: The maintenance of an ambitious investment programme for productive infrastructure, research and development and innovation
- Coordinated international engagement and marketing: The promotion of Ireland as a financial centre through marketing and business development activity. This is to include highlighting the stability and security of Irish Financial Services Centre firms and ensuring that those involved in the development of EU measures are aware of the potential impact of such measures on the Irish financial services industry.