London, Dec 26 (IANS) Banks and more than 100 UK companies are inquiring about relocating to Ireland after Britain's historic vote to leave the European Union (EU), a media report said.
Martin Shanahan, the Chief Executive of the Industrial Development Agency (IDA), on Sunday said many of the corporations looking to move were based in London, the Guardian reported.
Shanahan said that while Ireland would try to make capital out of the UK voting to leave the EU, Brexit was not the outcome he or anyone else in Ireland favoured.
The IDA has a target to create an extra 80,000 jobs in the country by 2019, many of them from new US firms setting up their European base in Ireland.
Shanahan told the Guardian that Ireland's low 12.5 per cent corporation tax remained sacrosanct as one of the Irish Republic's key fiscal policies.
Ireland will be the only English speaking country left in the EU after Brexit, giving Shanahan and his IDA colleagues extra impetus in their attempts to woo companies, some of which are based in the UK.
He said: "We have seen a huge increase in the amount of inquiries and activities across the globe. It's not just our office in London, or our office in Dublin. We are receiving inquiries in Asia, in the US, in New York in particular. The figure that we have used to date is over 100 related inquiries."
"For the financial services sector it is the fact that they need to have access to the European market and they need a jurisdiction in which they can do that. Ireland is extremely attractive because we are English speaking, have a common law system, there is the close proximity to the UK."
Despite criticism from fellow EU nations such as France that Ireland operates sweetheart tax deals (a favourable contractual arrangement) for some of the biggest corporations on the planet, Shanahan predicted there would be no change to the 12.5 per cent corporation tax regime.
"Investors place great store in the fact that Ireland has been unwavering and consistent. They know exactly what they are getting, the fact that it is 12.5%. I do not see any circumstances, and this has been confirmed by the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, that it will change any time in the near future, or even the long-term future for that matter," he added.