“Moving the EMA to Ireland reinstates the country’s capability in pharma and medical devices. We view this as a continuity in business operations going by our country’s geographical proximity, cultural and language similarities with the UK”, said the IDA chief executive officer.
UK has been attracting more investments into pharma services compared to drug manufacturing. With UK’s likely exit from the European Union, Ireland has a stronger foothold in the region, he added.
Brexit and President Trump’s regime are expected to bring in more investments from global lifesciences sector into Ireland, said Shanahan.
Currently, Ireland tax incentive at 12.5 percent is lower than the US rate of 15 percent. Therefore it would make better business sense for US-based companies stay put in Ireland. In fact global pharma majors like Almac Group, MSD and Abbot along with Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Shire and BMS have increased their investments into Ireland. “Moreover, our lifesciences talent pool cannot be ignored by the US. In the last ten years, we have received an average capital investment of Euro 1 billion from global companies”, he noted.
IDA’s strategy is to grow investments from Asia and India. Presently 160 companies from Ireland are in India, but none yet in the pharma space. “However, we are in talks with several Indian pharma companies to either invest in Ireland or even enter into joint ventures or collaborations to spur the Make in India programme. Our presence in India will only be to bolster the growth of the Indian pharma, biotech and medical devices sector to ensure they are strong, successful and generate the required return on investment”, he said.
The biggest strength of Indian pharma is its scientific human resource pool. Ireland has its high value and highly regulated and zero defect process with ease of doing business. With India’s medical device regulation in place, IDA is in discussions to attract R&D and investments could materialise in 6-8 months. The Gujarat-based Sahajanand Medical Technologies has an R&D centre in Ireland, said the IDA chief.
India and Ireland have a promising trade relations. From larger perspective, Asia-Pacific region is the key to future. Ireland already has 170 companies from this region with 18,000 people working from here, he said.