Ireland lures India Inc. as gateway to Europe

New Delhi, July 7 (IANS) With an open, globalised economy and only 12.5 percent corporate tax, Ireland is looking at investments from India, especially in hi-tech areas, both for the domestic market and as a gateway to Europe.

“Some 40 Indian companies have already set up shop in Ireland, notably HCL, Wipro, Ranbaxy and Tata Consultancy Services, and several more are in the pipeline,” John Kilmartin, director, Industrial Development Agency of Ireland, India office, told IANS.

“We have a host of other incentives for foreign investors,” Kilmartin said, listing them as nil capital duty, extensive network of tax treaties, tax relief on acquisition of intangible assets and 25 percent research and development credit.

Also, Ireland, which emerged as the world’s largest net exporter of medicines worth 55 billion euros, has already attracted Indian pharmaceutical companies such as Ranbaxy, Wockhardt and Reliance Life Sciences, among others.

“We are in talks with more Indian pharmaceutical companies in a bid to attract them to invest in Ireland given our strengths in R&D base, API process technologies and highly qualified workforce, apart from attractive cost and tax structures,” Kilmartin said.

“We attracted six investments from India last year and expect at least eight investments this year,” he added.

Ireland has been encouraging global pharmaceutical firms to set up their manufacturing base in the country and medicines account for nearly half the country’s total exports. In the last three years alone, the country managed to attract $3 billion of foreign direct investment in the biopharmaceuticals sector.

Ireland offers the advantage of providing access to the European Union, said India Ratings’ pharma analyst Avinash Lodha.

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