ATHENS - Being "very open for business" is important for Irish jobs, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said Thursday as Dublin faced heat from the United States over a tax dispute involving Apple (IW 500/9).
"We have set out... to be recognized as a government that is very open for business," Kenny told reporters during a working visit to Greece.
"Ireland has a thousand multinationals based in the country, so exports have been in double digits for a number of years, we've had our most successful year in terms of exports and inward investment," he added.
"Our intent has been to create that environment where business can actually create jobs," the PM said, without directly referring to the Apple issue.
Earlier this week, a U.S. Senate committee said special arrangements negotiated between Dublin and Apple meant an effective corporation tax rate of less than 2%, far below the country's standard corporation tax of 12.5%.
Irish Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore has countered that loopholes enabling such rates are widespread in other jurisdictions.
The issue crept into a European Union summit on Wednesday, Kenny denied "special" deals and said Dublin would continue to compete for international business using a "transparent" tax regime.
Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan has insisted that Dublin operates a fully transparent tax system, arguing that a standard-rate corporation tax of 12.5% should not be compared like-for-like with other countries given differences in labor and other types of taxation.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013