Doing business in Ireland

22 March 2017
door Regina Coeli

Until the economic crisis hit Ireland in 2008, the Republic of Ireland experienced a rapid rate of growth reaching almost 10% from 1995 until 2000. This rapid growth led to Ireland being called the Celtic Tiger with many international companies setting up offices there, including Google’s EMEA office and Apple’s European Headquarters.  Naturally, there are many famous Irish companies including  fashion retailer, Penneys whose Primark stores are to be found throughout Europe, and  Diageo – the owner of Guinness beer. Should you wish to start doing business in Ireland, keep the following tips in mind. 

Top ten tips for doing business in Ireland

  1. The Irish are very interested in people, so it’s important to ask how people are doing.
  2. Shaking hands is common when greeting everyone and when leaving, whether it’s at a business meeting or a social gathering.
  3. The Irish are more like the British or the Americans in their short-term orientation rather than long-term orientation like the Germans or the Chinese. In other words, this year’s figures are more important than the figures in ten years’ time.
  4. The Irish have a relatively relaxed sense of time, so don’t expect them to turn up right on the dot in social situations, but definitely within the first 15 minutes. However, initial business meetings are expected to start on time.
  5. The Irish are very flexible and creative. A business plan is often a guideline or a starting point, not a rigid, structured plan to be followed exactly. 
  6. Even though the Irish come across are very laid-back and easy-going in terms of relationships, they are tenacious negotiators. They appreciate facts rather than boastful, unsubstantiated claims.
  7. Third-party contacts are important when doing business in Ireland. It’s sometimes about who you know rather than what you know.
  8. Business relations are especially developed on the golf course.
  9. When at the pub with colleagues or friend, everyone is expected to buy a round of drinks for the group – and not just for yourself!
  10. Refusing a drink could be perceived as insult in Ireland.

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