Ireland is uniquely positioned as the only EU member that has a free travel arrangement with the UK and English as its first language. This combination of favorable characteristics has attracted top talent and foreign investment,
making Ireland the gateway to Europe for individuals, companies and investors.
Invest and work in Europe’s fastest growing economy
Ireland is a stable, competitive, secure and pro-business country, and has had the fastest growing economy in the Eurozone for the past 5 years. Ireland experienced the fastest GDP growth in the developed world last year, GDP grew by 3.3% in 2020 despite the impact of Covid-19. The country has the third highest GDP per capita in the world according to the IMF, which makes it one of the wealthiest and most productive nations globally.
Ireland has positioned itself as Gateway to Europe through the development of a highly educated workforce and a low corporate tax rate. Many global companies have used these advantages and set up their European headquarters in Dublin.
Position your child for a successful future
Ireland is a small country with a globally leading education offering. The education system is closely linked to the country’s economy and places a high importance on the relevance and applicability of skills. IMD, a premier business school, has acknowledged this in its World Talent Ranking and rates Ireland before the UK and the US in terms of skill readiness.
An Irish education positions your child for a successful future - from primary and secondary education to starting a career. A high share of graduates from Irish universities start to work at leading firms across the finance, healthcare and tech sector.
Primary & Secondary Education
Children attend primary school from around the age of 4 or 5 years until they are 12 or 13 years of age. The primary school cycle is 8 years long. Schools generally have 2 years of infant classes, followed by class 1 to class 6.Children are entitled to free primary and post-primary education. The majority of primary schools are state-funded which means that you will not have to pay annual fees for your child’s education. Pre-school education is available for children under a state-funded scheme.
The post-primary school system includes secondary schools, vocational schools, community or comprehensive schools and fee-paying secondary schools. The majority of Irish children go to secondary schools, which are privately owned and managed. The majority of secondary schools are free, but there are also fee-paying schools. The Irish secondary school year stretches from the first week in September to the first week in June.
Two of the top four universities in Europe for educating entrepreneurs are based in Dublin, namely Trinity College and University College Dublin. In addition, due to its access to the EU market, graduates are welcomed by many of the world’s top companies with headquarters in Ireland.
Learn More - Download the Education Guide
Get an overview of Ireland’s top schools and universities.
Ireland’s ecosystem hosts major tech companies and innovative startups
Dublin has developed into one of Europe’s leading hubs for high tech companies, from early-stage startups to major corporations like Facebook. The main reasons for this are Ireland’s pro-business environment, the highly educated workforce and the high quality of life that attracts further high potential talent to live here.
Many globally leading tech companies have their European headquarters in Ireland, including Intel, Google, Facebook, Huawei and Fujitsu. These companies make use of the country’s low corporate tax rate, Ireland’s English-speaking talent pool and the strong innovation culture. But the country is also well-known for its startup ecosystem, with more venture funding per capita than any other European country. In 2020, Irish startups have received €1.1 billion of venture- and growth capital. Ireland is home to over 2.300 start-ups and 280 innovation hubs.
Dublin is known for its entrepreneurial and cooperative culture, which is evidenced by the city’s top ranking in the European Digital Citi Index. According to the index, Dublin is the best city in Europe when it comes to mentoring and coaching of new founders. Irish startups are strongly focused on developing solutions in Health/MedTech, Enterprise Software and FinTech.
Quality of Life
Green environment, democratic values and excellent healthcare
Ireland is a great place to live and continually scores high on international surveys on standards of living and well-being. It offers an affordable cost of living compared to other parts of Europe with an inclusive, access-all education and health service.
The island of Ireland is well known for its natural beauty with its rugged coastline, green landscape, inland waterways and mountain ranges providing so much to explore outdoors for residents and visitors alike. Some of the most iconic attractions include the famed Cliffs of Moher, the Giant’s Causeway and the Ring of Kerry. Forbes recently named Ireland as one of the world’s most cinematic destinations.
Similar to many Asian cultures, family values and ties to home are very strong in the Irish culture, even in the country’s more urban areas. Across Ireland you will encounter many people who have either lived and worked abroad or have had a loved one who has, and it is perhaps this experience that makes them so uniquely warm to those relocating here.
Language & Culture
EU’s only English-speaking country
As the only English-speaking country in the Eurozone, Ireland is well placed for foreign investors making their first move into the European market.
Ireland has a very open and international culture due to large-scale emigration of Irish citizens abroad. Daily exposure to diverse cultures is normal here, which makes it easy to build a social life.
Ireland has also retained some of its ancient culture, with dances like the jig, Celtic language and local folklore.
Tax scheme driving innovation and growth
One of the key factors in entrepreneurs taking the decision to invest in Ireland is our favourable tax regime. The tax regime is designed to be competitive and to facilitate innovation and enterprise.
Ireland’s taxation rate for corporations is 12.5%, which is the second-lowest in the EU and it is a key feature of its economic policy. In addition, there is a 25% Research and Development (R&D) tax credit and there is an effective 6.25% preferential tax rate on income arising from intellectual property.