|Ireland has a well-deserved reputation for craftsmanship and attention to detail. Many international companies have taken advantage of Ireland's competitive cost and skill base for their own consumer product activities. In fact, Ireland is considered home for approximately 100 overseas companies producing consumer goods here. Products range from domestic appliances to personal-care items, from clothing and textiles to leisure and sporting goods, representing some of the best-known brand-names in the world.
For instance, did you know that Ireland is the world's largest exporter of tennis balls? Over 30 million of them are produced to exacting International Tennis Federation standards each year in Ireland. Two sports specialists, Penn Racquet Sports and Tretorn, supply more than half of all first class tennis balls sold in Europe today. Other recognised leaders with their main European manufacturing facilities in Ireland are Hasbro - games; Lowe Alpine - camping equipment; Wilson - sports socks and AT Cross - writing instruments.
In household products Braun, part of the US Gillette Group gains competitive advantage by manufacturing in Ireland. Leading multinational consumer product companies such as Whirlpool and Colgate Palmolive have selected Ireland as location for shared service centres. In vision care, the world's largest contacts lens facility is operated by Bausch & Lomb in Waterford.
So, why have so many multinational companies chosen Ireland as the base for their consumer products activities? Ireland has a large, young and flexible workforce that is well educated and equipped with appropriate technological and business qualifications. The operating costs in Ireland are also lower than in most other European countries.
Profits derived from eligible manufacturing and qualifying services are subject to a tax rate of 10% until 31 December 2002. From 1 January 2003 a corporation tax rate of 12.5% will apply to trading profits in all sectors, including manufacturing and international services. The tax position of companies carrying out approved activities prior to 31 July 1998 will remain unchanged.
To find out more about what Ireland can offer your Consumer Products company contact the Industrial Development Agency (IDA) Ireland.
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