Why do you see potential for Irish companies in Germany?
Scheid: Ireland is the country that has experienced the strongest economic growth in the EU over the past two decades. Even if you remove all of the accounting effects by large multinationals, Ireland still comes out ahead of Poland and Romania in terms of its massive economic expansion. With that kind of growth, there are an increasing number of successful, innovative Irish companies looking to expand internationally. We believe that Germany offers the right market dynamics to foster these companies. When you add Brexit to the mix, the timing is right to look more closely at Germany now.
Are Irish companies already investing in Germany?
Scheid: Over the last decade there were around 80 investment projects by Irish companies in Germany. Strikingly, nearly half of them occurred since the Brexit vote in June 2016. There is strong growth and enormous potential, which compensates for Ireland’s relatively small size. Also interesting is that the range of industries covered is quite broad: investments cover food & beverages, pharmaceuticals, software, electronics and more.
Do you expect this “Brexit effect” to continue?
Scheid: Clearly the COVID-19 pandemic has made predictions difficult. But it remains true that Germany and Ireland are working hard to maintain and strengthen bilateral links. We think Germany is a natural partner to Ireland. Germany is open to international companies, remains an EU ally, and uses the same currency. It is an easy, low-cost, tariff free trading and investment partner, so I see the partnership growing naturally together in the coming years regardless of short-term risks.
For more information about how Germany Trade & Invest can help you establish your business in Germany, contact Robert Scheid at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit our dedicated website created to help international companies mitigate Brexit risks at www.gtai.com/brexit.