This sponsored supplement was produced by Focus Reports.
Project Director: Andrey Muntyan
Project Coordinator: Isabella Romeo GomezProject Assistant: Alina Manac
Project Publisher: Julie Avena
Cover Photo: Andrey Muntyan
Barry O'Leary, head of the IDA, Ireland's inward investment agency, reels off a long list of investments into the country.
O'Leary notes that these announcements came in the first six months of the 2012 fiscal year alone.
According to a report by the Irish Times, 2012 was Ireland's best year for foreign direct investment in more than a decade. It seems that Ireland—the country that Prime Minister Enda Kenny promises will be the best small country to do business in by 2016—has become more attractive for foreign direct investment (FDI) in the wake of an economic crisis that has ravaged its domestic economy.
From what he has seen along his globetrotting route, Smith believes, "Ireland has never been more competitive around the world. The Irish have a clear vision of who they are: their brand, their identity, and their fit in the value chain. I am confident that any manager in the country will have roughly the same impression of what Ireland can offer their business; in other markets, you will find that opinions differ on the country's positioning in the chain. Some of the emerging markets, in particular, don't really know who they are yet—and if you are competing without a clear vision of your value, you will get beat by a country like Ireland any day of the week."
As Colin Kavanagh, Partner and Head of Life Sciences at local law firm Arthur Cox, puts it, if a company is a player of scale in this industry, then they have likely already invested in Ireland—"and if they haven't, they're thinking about it, or they have a good reason not to." Many of those that have already invested are now diversifying their operations away from what has classically been a pure manufacturing base to include more complex value-added activities like product and process development.
Yet as multinational investment in infrastructure reaches new heights and indigenous players ramp up overseas expansion, some industry actors face a more uncertain scenario. On the local market, innovator sales operations have been challenged by recession-driven austerity. A new price-cutting agreement has sent a clear message that the government will increasingly delink its approach between courting investment from the industry and supporting an unsustainable drugs bill. For generics marketers, long-expected regulations should open up new possibilities—but the full ramifications of prospective legislation are as yet unclear. According to Anne Nolan, head of the local innovator group Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA), companies looking to reach the 4.5 million-patient Irish market must contend with a health system that has changed as much in the last four-five years as the UK's National Health Service (NHS) has changed in the last 40.