Aidan Regan: First step in debate on foreign direct investment is to agree on what it is
Until we have publicly accessible measurements that clearly distinguish between real and phantom FDI, we can‘t reliably assess the productivity of the multinational sector or its benefit to the domestic economy
There are typically two camps when it comes to debating the effects of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Ireland.
One thinks that foreign-owned multinational enterprises (MNEs) are only here to dodge taxes, particularly those in big tech and pharma, and that the state has been captured by their business interests.
The other thinks that US multinational enterprises are deeply embedded in the Irish economy with positive spillover effects, and anyone who criticises these multinational sectors, ...