Feature Article
Who'll Get Your Vote? Chamber Elections Kick-Off on Monday

 

5 days of voting in the Chamber's Council Elections will get underway on Monday (28th January). This year we have 14 candidates vying for the 10 available spots on our Council. Details of all 14 candidates - and their manifestos - can be viewed on our websiteYour participation in the elections is a vital part of Dublin Chamber’s democratic process and we urge you to make your vote count. On Monday morning you will receive a unique voting pin, which will allow you to vote once for up to 10 candidates. Voting will close at 5pm on Friday 1st February and the results will be announced at the Chamber's AGM on Thursday 7th February 2019.


PwC Survey: Rising Costs Dampen Business Prospects
PwC's Anthony Reidy Looks Ahead to 2019
 

The Irish economy was the fastest growing in Europe last year - for the 4th year running. The prospects for 2019 are a little more uncertain with many firms worried about cost competitiveness, writes PwC's Anthony Reidy.


Ireland remains the fastest growing EU economy for the fourth year in a row.  However,  PwC’s recent survey of Ireland’s finance leaders highlights caution over the prospects of our economy in the year ahead.  While growth is on the agenda, many are struggling with cost competitiveness and maintaining the bottom line.  For example, 72% believe that costs will increase in the year ahead while just 44% expect profits to rise.  Clearly finding new profitable growth opportunities will be critical in the year ahead. 

 

This is even more important as a small, open economy dependent on international markets.  Commentators are suggesting global growth will slow and uncertainties around Brexit, potential for global trade wars and the changing tax landscape are likely to disrupt Irish businesses as we move forward.  In these more uncertain times, it is important that businesses remain resilient, be ready for shocks and manage the challenges that are within their control. 

 

There are some key actions for Irish businesses to get right to continue to be fit and healthy in this changing environment:

 

1. Intensify plans for no-deal Brexit:  Over two-thirds (68%) of Irish finance leaders reported to either not being prepared or not having made extensive plans for the consequences of Brexit.  With continuing political uncertainty in the UK, the risk of Brexit without a deal remains and would seriously disrupt trade between Ireland and the UK.  We advise businesses  to step-up their plans for a no-deal Brexit and the worst case scenario while hoping for a better outcome.  Doing nothing is not really an option.

 

2. Innovate for growth.  Look for opportunities for new markets and new products or adapt the products you have for new markets.  While expanding into new markets needs investment and time, in the context of Brexit, there may be demand for your products in places you never thought of with little adaption.   

 

3. Embrace constant disruption, keeping a firm eye on costs.  Disruption looks like it’s here to stay.  Organisations that have flexible and nimble operating models will be the winners.  It serves any company well to anticipate and prepare for disruption.  Our research highlights that top performing companies take disruption more seriously than their peers.  Set your priorities and have strategies that can cope with change.  Use digital to review core business models and redefine operations. 

 

 4. Prepare for the future of work: 68% of Ireland’s finance leaders are of the view that automation will shrink people numbers in their finance function in the next three years.  While the majority of businesses recognise which capabilities are important for their future success, many are failing to take the actions needed today to build or even introduce them into their organisations.  These actions include using data analytics to make workforce decisions and creating a compelling work experience for employees.  This gap will put these organisations at risk in the future when it comes to attracting, developing and retaining the talent they need to succeed. 

 

5. Seize the opportunities of automation and artificial intelligence.  Over half (57%) of Ireland’s finance leaders said that automation/artificial intelligence will have a significant or very significant impact on their businesses in the next three years.  Yet less than one in five (16%) admitted to being ready to seize the opportunities. It will be really important that organisations have the tools and skills to embed emerging technologies into their businesses to create operational efficiencies and enhance customer experience. 

 

6.Understand your customers:  Our experience shows that changing consumer habits remains a key challenge for businesses.  Consumers are complex, conflicted and highly segmented by age, bringing consumer markets to a turning point.  Consumer habits are being reshaped and replaced at an almost frantic pace – fueled by mobile and artificial intelligence - and businesses who want to capitalise on them will have to keep up and keep ahead.  The winners will be the businesses that most successfully anticipate these new habits and capitalise on the new trends to improve their customers' experiences.

 

7.Recognise the value of culture:  Organisational culture continues to rise as an important agenda item for business leaders.  A recent PwC global survey revealed that 65% of global business leaders viewed culture as more important to performance than their organisation’s operating model.  The research further  highlighted that an organisation’s culture is key in attracting top talent.  Focus on adopting the few critical behaviours that matter most  - tangible actions, for example such as to enhancing collaboration or teamwork, that if practiced more often at every level, can help shift the culture.

 

Notwithstanding the external risks, Ireland’s FDI flows continue, we have a strong export sector, robust job growth and low inflation.  With a strong international and domestic economy, a highly talented skills base and, as the only English speaking country post-Brexit, Ireland is in a good position to manage any global slowdown. However, we need to continue to work hard on our infrastructural deficits including housing, watch our competitiveness, including wage inflation, and ensure that we are as prepared as we can be for a possible no-deal Brexit.

 

Sources: 

PwC 2018 Irish CFO survey:  www.pwc.ie

PwC 2018 Future of Work report: www.pwc.com

PwC 2018 Global Culture Survey: www.strategyand.pwc.com

24 Firms Take Part in Successful Hong Kong Mission

Last week we took more than 20 of our member companies to Hong Kong on a 5-day business mission. Attendees enjoyed a jam-packed week of meetings and site visits to improve commercial links and drum up new business. Here's a selection of some of the best pictures taken on the trip by our intrepid photographer Conor McCabe.


What Should Your Business do to Prepare for a No-Deal Brexit?

What should your business be doing to prepare for the potential of a no-deal Brexit? Chambers Ireland have put together a series of resources on their website, including Government contingency plans and links to the European Commission’s preparedness notices. The documents highlight a number of  areas that should be immediately considered in the event of a no-deal.


Chambers Ireland have compiled a number of resources on their website, including Government contingency plans and links to the European Commission’s preparedness notices. We strongly recommend that you circulate this link to your members for their information. In order to support your members, we have highlighted several areas that should be immediately considered in the event of a no-deal.

 

Please note the following information sheet is only a brief overview and should in no way be considered comprehensive. However, with no-deal approaching, these are areas that demand immediate attention. Chambers Ireland has assembled this information to provide helpful information on the potential exposures which may arise in a “no-deal” Brexit. However, we are not professional advisors or consultants and would strongly advise companies to take independent professional advice in relation to Brexit.

 

Customs, Tariffs and Administration

Once the UK leaves the EU and customs union, any import or export moving to and from Ireland and the UK will require customs declarations.

  • • Businesses will be required to obtain an EORI number, which can be applied for through Revenue. Businesses can either apply themselves, or choose to engage with a customs agent, that files the declaration on their behalf. In addition, Revenue has outlined a number of ways that will help to ‘ease the customs burden’ and to make it easier for business trading with the UK.
  • • Customs duties will apply to goods moving to the UK from Ireland and, vice versa. Irish importers and exporters will be required to assign classification codes to their goods to determine the rate of duty. The rate of the duty will then depend on the assigned commodity code. Code classification will become a Brexit cost to trade that companies trading with the UK will become accustomed to
  • • As the UK will no longer be a part of the customs union, additional administration requirements and resources may be required to deal with new border arrangements. Businesses should consider whether deliveries can be shipped prior to 29 March 2019 and whether extra supplies of key raw materials can be stored to avoid logistical uncertainties.
  • • Separately, the UK government has set up a grants scheme for businesses that complete their customs declarations available on their website. You can apply if your business completes customs declarations and is established in, or has a branch in the UK

VAT

The EU’s current VAT regime allows businesses within EU member countries to immediately reclaim the charge on goods bought from other EU member countries. With the UK leaving the EU in March in a possible no-deal scenario, the UK will be outside of the EU’s VAT regime.

  • • Businesses may be required to pay the VAT on goods imported from the UK at the point of entry while waiting up to two months to reclaim the money, which poses a definite risk to businesses’ cash flow, particularly for SMEs.
  • • Business should begin to revaluate budget plans and to account for potential increased costs when trading with the UK. For more advice, please consult your accountant.

Cash Flow and Currency

Cash flow management has become a key concern for businesses running up to the UK departure from the EU. 

  • • Businesses should begin to introduce strategies to ensure continued ability to make payments, follow up with UK based creditors and debtors and agree on priorities and consider the location of bank accounts and forecast anticipated receipts and payments, including tariffs.
  • • While the UK does not use the single European currency, business should become aware of the exposure to the Sterling currency and mismatches between assets and liabilities, as well as whether currency clauses need to be inserted. A no deal Brexit is likely to result in an increase in volatility of the Sterling / Euro exchange rate and you should ensure strategies to mitigate any additional exposures are considered. Enterprise Ireland’s Brexit Unit has identified key business questions about the financial implications of currency fluctuations on business.

Chemicals/Machinery and Product Regulatory Issues

It is critical for Irish companies to know which products they use (transportable pressure equipment, pressure equipment, gas appliances, ATEX equipment, machinery, PPE, lifts and chemicals) have supply chain links to the UK, including the sourcing of such products via distributors, especially for chemicals. In a “no-deal” the UK will become a 'third country' and the following will be a concern for Irish business;

  • • Unless Irish companies can source products from another EU supplier, the Irish company may become an EU importer after Brexit with legal responsibility for the compliance of the product with EU law
  • • Where companies use notified bodies based in the UK to undertake any 3rd party conformity assessments which are required under relevant EU law they won’t be able to rely on these post Brexit. They will need to source a notified body legally designated to carry out conformity assessments in the EU.
    1. • The HSA is there to support businesses. Contact them at 1890 289 389 or emailing at; o Chemicals: chemicals@hsa.ie
    2. o Other products: wcu@hsa.ie
    3. o Accreditation: inab@inab.ie

Data

Rules governing the use of data flows to and from the UK and the EU under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be subject to change in the event of a ‘no-deal’. While data transfers from businesses operating within the UK to businesses operating within the EU should not be impacted by a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, businesses operating in Ireland or the EU may be forced to review existing and new contracts to facilitate future data transfers to the UK. Business should map any personal data being transferred to the UK from their organisation. Organisations should update the company/group Privacy Notice and other relevant documentation.

  • • For further information, please visit the Irish Data Protection Commission’s dedicated page on data transfers in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit

 

Free Movement of People

Under a no-deal Brexit, UK citizens will become third country nationals under EU law. Ireland outside of EU agreements has a Common Travel Area and associated rights secured with the UK. This gives Irish nationals the right to continue to enter and work in the UK, and vice versa, without restriction. However, this agreement does not apply to the other 26 Member States.

  • • Once Brexit comes into effect free movement of UK citizens to the EU and vice versa will cease to exist. So if your company has staff, who are EU citizens (but not Irish or UK citizens) and they are working in NI or the rest of the UK, they will be required to make formal applications under the “Settlement Scheme” by 31 December 2020. This scheme will open to the public on 21 January 2019 and will be launched regardless of a withdrawal. It is vital that businesses begin to identify employees exposed as a result of Brexit.
  • • The DFA has published information about migration post-Brexit on their website to help Irish business navigate migration issues that may arise.
More News
Dublin Chamber in the Media
 

Dublin is finally about to get a U2 Visitor Centre. Planning permission was granted this week for the centre, which will be located on Hanover Quay. Dublin Chamber was pleased to support the proposal in a submission to Dublin City Council last year. The Chamber's Graeme McQueen appeared on RTE's Morning Ireland this week to outline why a new U2 Visitor Centre is good news for Dublin's tourism offering. Listen back to the interview here.

 

Ever wanted to take a boat trip along the River Liffey? Good news - you'll soon be able to with the launch of a new passenger ferry in Dublin's Docklands. The service, which will cost €2 per trip, will run from The Point on the northside, over to Sir John Rogerson's Quay on the southside and then back over to a stop next to The Convention Centre. More details here.

 

The Chamber welcomed the announcement by Salesforce last week that it will create 1,500 new jobs in Dublin. Our full reaction is here. We also reacted to the news that Dublin Airport saw a record 31.5m passengers pass through its gates in 2018. The strong performance provides yet further validation of why we need MetroLink to be built.


Great Place to Work Talent Search
 

Has someone in your organisation got a hidden talent? To raise money for the Make-A-Wish Ireland Foundation, Great Place to Work are running a talent competition. Read on to find out how you can enter and be in with a chance of winning a prize worth €1,000.


Has your organisation got talent? Great Place to Work are offering the opportunities to let those talents shine with its new Talent @ Work competition.

 

Getting involved is easy: from the 7th January, submit a 60-second video of your best act to www.talentatwork.ie. Each entry costs €50, with all proceeds going directly to the Make-A-Wish Ireland Foundation.

 

An independent judging panel will select the best 3 entrants and they will perform at the ‘Great Place to Work Awards’ in front of 1,000 people in the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road on Wednesday 27th February. A prize package worth €1000 is up for grabs.

 

Terms &Conditions;

Entries will be accepted from January 7th 2019 following the official launch.

Closing Date for Entries is February 14th 2019

For any questions in the meantime please contact our Talent@Work team at hello@talentatwork.ie

Any organisation with a minimum of 5 employees can enter.

#talentatwork

 

Chamber News Roundup

** AGM Notice **

The Chamber's Annual General Meeting will take place in the Intercontinental Hotel on Thursday 7th February from 5pm. We hope to see lots of members there.

 

** Room Hire **

Looking for room hire in the city centre? We have some great room rates available for members here at 7 Clare St. Take a look at our rooms here and for further information contact  Ruthe@dublinchamber.ie.

 

** Looking to Export? **

The Chamber's Export & Consular department, based here at 7 Clare Street, are experts when it comes to helping companies ship goods abroad easily, to register products in export markets and to visit export customers. Read on to learn more about the service and the special member discounts available. Contact richard@dublinchamber.ie for more details.

 

** RSES Submission **

The Chamber this week made a submission to the Eastern & Midland Regional Assembly on the Draft Regional Spatial & Economic Strategy. You can read the full submission here.


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