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Dublin City is the principal centre for corporate and public administration, government, finance and business in Ireland. There are some 40,000 businesses in Dublin City, 37,000 are service related and the remainder are manufacturing companies.

The Irish economy continues to grow at an estimated 7.25%, the fastest economic expansion in Europe. Dublin is also the centre of Ireland's third level education system, providing courses for some 50,000 students. 60% of all 3rd level students are in Dublin, creating the main resource for new employment in Ireland. The four main colleges are University College, Dublin (UCD), Dublin City University (DCU), Trinity College and the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT).

The leading services sectors are tourism, retail, business and commercial service, banking, finance, insurance, telecommunications, software and teleservices and public administration. Dublin Corporation provides some 500 services throughout the City centre with a work force of over 6,000 people. Dublin is also home to Guinness Brewery, Ireland's most famous stout.

All but one of Ireland's national newspapers is based in Dublin. The Irish Times, the Irish Independent, the Sunday Tribune, the Sunday Business Post and Ireland on Sunday are all produced in the capital. The highly successful, Dublin based, Smurfit Group is responsible for several of Ireland's leading magazines including the Irish Tatler. Dublin also has a blossoming film and television industry. The nation's larger radio stations and programming have their headquarters in the City centre.

With over 100 overseas software companies using Dublin as their main European base, the City is fast earning the reputation as the IT centre of Europe. More than 60% of business application software sold in Europe is manufactured in Ireland. This sector employs over 9,000 within the Dublin area. Over sixty companies from abroad have established teleservice and shared service operations in Dublin over the past five years, which now employs around 5,000 people.

The very active Port of Dublin drives one of the biggest economic engines in the capital and is the largest commercial port in the country; handling 40% of the gross national import and export cargo. The Port handles over some 16 billion worth of goods each year. Plans to expand the Port capacity and improve terminal facilities are in place.

Tourism in Dublin is booming. About 20% of visitors from overseas travel here for business purposes, accounting for almost half of room occupancy in the city's hotels. Approximately half of Dublin's visitors come from the UK, followed by mainland Europe and the US. Tourists spend more than 600 million whilst in Dublin in one year, providing over 35,000 local jobs in the hotels, shops, restaurants and at visitor attractions in the City. With the Special Olympic Games to be held in Dublin in 2003 and the development of Croke Park into a state of the art stadium, Dublin can expect more visitors than ever over the next five years.

International Financial Services Centre

There are more than 800 overseas companies located in Dublin under the inward investment programme established and run by IDA Ireland. Within the IFSC, the main countries represented by number of companies is USA - 200, Germany - 70, UK - 56, Sweden - 52, Canada - 40, Holland - 36 and Japan - 13. Under an agreement between the Government and the European Commission, special rates and rent tax relief to corporate tenants of the Customs House Docks site was set up in 1993 and will run until the end of 2003. Companies whose new premises were complete before April 1998 can continue to avail of an ongoing ten years tax relief. 10% corporation tax on profits are guaranteed by the European Union until 2005 and an absence of withholding tax on interest payments made to non-residents. After that time, all IFSC companies will be subject to a new rate of 12 %. The IFSC has been very successful and has seen the arrival of US open trading floors with full facilities able to offer European customers 24 hour access to an open outcry market.

The Dublin Docklands continues to be developed over an area of 1,300 acres along the banks of the River Liffey; stretching from Fairview/North Strand on the north to the Great South Wall to the east, the junction of Ringsend/Sandymount on the South side and Butt Bridge to the west. The Docklands project will create over 30,00 new jobs and provide 11,00 new homes.

Business and Funding Organisations

The Dublin City Business Association has 800 members, all shop and/or property owners in the city centre. The Association represents merchants of department and specialty stores, transit companies, financial institutions and property companies. The DCBA essentially is the voice of retailing in Dublin and lobbys for optimum conditions for these businesses. The Association is responsible for promoting Dublin City as a attractive shopping destination and supports its members with local issues.

The Dublin City Enterprise Board encourages, supports and generates economic activity at a small business level in Dublin and will provide a wide range of support and financial assistance to start-ups and existing enterprises in the City. Examples of their small business clients include retail, craft sector, tourism: cafes, restaurants and hotels; light engineering and manufacturing, software, design, e-commerce, specialised food producers, language schools and multi-media: TV, film and computer games. Their flagship project, the Guinness Enterprise Centre, provides incubator space to new and established businesses, primarily in software, hi-tech engineering, IT, AudioVisual and Multimedia.

Networking for all City businesses is promoted throughout the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, offering all members marketing opportunities for the local business and international trade.

The Dublin Business Innovation Centre was established by private and public sectors with the support of the European Commission and is part of a network of over 100 BICs located throughout Europe. The DBIC promotes entrepreneurship and innovative projects. They provide venture consulting, incubation space and equity funding via the Dublin Seed Capital Fund.

Enterprise Ireland is the national support agency for indigenous businesses with over 10 employees. The fastest growing areas of EI clients are software, consulting, training, music and multi- media. Funding and support is available for Irish owned companies exporting their expertise in the areas of: technical and consulting services, media recording services, training service, publishing houses, international financial services, software development, commercial laboratories, health care services and research and development. Support can be obtained under the Small Industries Programme or the Enterprise Development Programme.

IDA Ireland focuses on inward investment into Dublin. Their premier programme being the International Financial Services Centre, attracting overseas companies to establish a base in the Dublin City area. Tax incentives and grants are part of the package which, in turn, creates new jobs and revenue. In total the IFSC employs more than 4,500 people.

Useful contact details for business enquiries

Dublin Corporation

Tel: (353) 01 679 6111
Dublin City Enterprise Board Tel: (353) 01 677 6068
Dublin Chamber of Commerce Tel: (353) 01 661 4111
Dublin Docklands Development Authority Tel: (353) 01 836 3122
Dublin Port Tel: (353) 01 855 0888
Dublin Business Innovation Centre Tel: (353) 01 671 3111
Business Information Centre Tel: (353) 01 873 3996
Enterprise Ireland Tel: (353) 01 857 0000
IDA Ireland Tel: (353) 01 603 4000
Irish Stock Exchange Tel: (353) 01 677 8808

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