The recent history of Ireland’s economic development has been characterised by unprecedented growth and expansion. The key indicators combine to paint a very positive picture for the current status of the Irish economy. At the time of writing, there is full employment in the Irish economy (unemployment is less than 5 per cent); government debt (as a percentage of GNP) is at 34 per cent, down from 93 per cent in 1993; and GDP and GNP per capita are ahead of the related EU-15 measures. Furthermore, notwithstanding the recent economic downturn, which particularly affected software engineering and internet-related sectors, the Irish economy has continued to demonstrate impressive growth, and furthermore continues to attract considerable FDI (foreign direct investment) in the high value adding areas of information and communications technology (ICT), biomedical engineering and pharmaceuticals. However, there are growing concerns, despite these successes, about Ireland’s ability to maintain this level of economic growth, and also remain competitive in the face of intensifying international competition, particularly in the manufacturing and services sectors.