- by Patrick Cooney on 01/03/2022
2021 was a year of continued Covid-related challenges and restrictions but also one of positive economic growth. The Irish economy, comparable to many of its EU peers, experienced particularly strong H2 growth. Overall, it recorded a 7.3% growth in domestic demand and 2022 is set to be another year of positive demand growth.
However, as we emerge from the manifold challenges of a global pandemic, 2022 will also see us confront an even bigger global challenge, namely global warming.
This scale and urgency of this challenge means that it is incumbent on all of us, particularly those of us in decision making positions or with the ability to influence decision making, to ensure it is at the forefront of our decision making in 2022. For corporates, this means investing in meaningful ESG strategies with the power to deliver tangible change, all the while ensuring that they are working toward being part of the solution to global warming, and not part of the problem.
In parallel, the effects of the Pandemic will continue to be felt across the Irish economy, with some sectors more vulnerable to continued restrictions and changing consumer behaviour than others. Where possible, we must resist the temptation to seek to return to how things were done in the past, and instead support these industries in plotting a new and prosperous way forward in the months and years ahead.
Brexit has been an underlying source of economic and political uncertainty since the 2016 referendum. In April 2021, the EU ratified the EU-UK Trade Deal. This development should enable the Irish and wider EU business community to approach 2022 with greater clarity and greater certainty. Ireland is now the only English-speaking EU member state and it is critical that it continues to strategically build on this USP to maximise inward investment.
This decade will be defined by exciting new opportunities for digital transformation. These new innovations will enhance how we interact with the rest of the world, both in a personal and professional capacity, and at an organisational and institution level. In a very short space of time, we have already seen how businesses have quickly evolved and adapted as their customers spend more time at home, and the impact this has had on how we interact with others, make purchases and engage with our favourite brands.
Equally, we have seen a significant rethinking of the traditional 9-5 office culture, with the widespread adoption of remote, hybrid and flexi working. People are making new choices about where they want to live and creating new expectations about flexibility, working conditions and life balance. Business processes are different, and the mix of digital/human touch is creating new opportunities. We must continue to embrace these opportunities, whilst also recognising and investing in the universal importance of human connection.
Above is a snippet from our Annual 'Business In Ireland' Review for 2022 to read the full review below: