Morning business news - April 29Tuesday 29 April 2014 13.44
KPMG hosted a business breakfast in Dublin this morning to highlight the potential of new markets to Irish companies.
Attendees heard about how the global market is changing dramatically, and how companies from countries like Ireland can get in on the action in big economies like China.
“I’m quite sure China will become the largest economy in the world... the question is when,” according to KPMG’s Peter Fung.
Mr Fung also said the new leadership in China was realistic about the level and type of growth required, and the need for improvements in areas like the environment.
He said Irish companies could potentially benefit from moves towards privatisation in China, particularly in the area of joint partnerships with state companies.
“The government has stated they would like state-owned companies to engage in mixed ownerships,” he said. “That would most likely mean privately-owned companies in China but it could also include multinational companies too.”
Meanwhile, the issue of the pharmaceutical patent cliff was also discussed at the breakfast event.
According to economist Lorcan Feerick, the expiry of some key patents owned by companies based here may not have had much of an impact on the real economy here, but its impact on Ireland’s GDP may make it look like a bigger issue to the European Union.
“GDP is used as a measure across the world for economic growth and prosperity, and the fact that the patent cliff is having an impact is unfortunate but I don’t see the EU changing the way they measure growth,” he said.
“It wasn’t an issue in the past when these large pharmaceutical multinational companies were having quite a positive impact on that measure for us,” he said. “I don’t see them changing that view now that it is beginning to pull back on that measure.”
Mr Feerick also said that the economic recession here has ultimately seen a sharp rise in the number of self employed people in the country.
This could mark the return of an entrepreneurial spirit in some, he said, but could also be caused by people failing to find more regular employment in the current climate.
Pfizer's move for rival AstraZeneca has set off a takeover battle for one of the biggest prizes in the global pharmaceuticals sector.
The £60bn approach has also raised political concerns on both sides of the Atlantic.
Shares in AstraZeneca jumped 15% yesterday after Pfizer publicly urged the London-listed company to enter talks over what would be the biggest foreign takeover in UK corporate history.
The US drugmaker's plan would see it moving the merged group's tax domicile to the UK if the deal was successful.
Elsewhere, Yahoo has announced two original TV series that will be shown on its website and mobile app, making it the latest technology firm to join the growing market for digital video content.
Yahoo said its first two original series will be comedies titled: Other Space and Sin City Saints.
The firm said it has got 500 million streams on Yahoo Screen in the US since it launched its comedy line up on the website seven months ago.
According to reports the social networking site LinkedIn is to hire another hundred staff in Ireland, adding to its existing 400.
It is also reported that the new staff will be part of a drive to boost non-US business for the company.
Ireland hosts the company's global headquarters for all territories outside of the US and Canada.