The Director of the OECD's tax policy and administration unit has said there is no pressure on Ireland to change its 12.5% tax rate. 

"There is no question about the 12.5% rate, even the French have understood that Ireland will not change the rate," Pascal Saint-Amans said.

He said the implementation of the OECD's anti base erosion and profit shifting measures – better known as the BEPS process, a series of internationally agreed reforms of the corporation tax regime – has had the effect of broadening the tax base, and making Ireland's 12.5% tax rate even more attractive.

Mr Saint-Amans was in Dublin for a meeting with Minster for Finance Michael Noonan and officials, to exchange views on the international tax agenda in the wake of the recent G20 summit in Hangzhou, and the ECOFIN meeting in Bratislava.

Earlier, Mr Noonan had said there was no pressure on Ireland from Europe to change its tax laws or to alter the tax incentives for companies to invest in Ireland.

Speaking at an event in Limerick marking the announcement by US IT firm WP Engine that it is to set up a Limerick base with 100 new jobs, Mr Noonan said the EU recognises the right of sovereign governments to set their own tax rates.

He said Ireland's corporation tax rate of 12.5% is well known now, and in case there was any doubt about it, he will be confirming it in Budget 2017 in two weeks.

Speaking on the Budget, he said it is one of the big issues facing the new Dáil and TDs are finalising matters on it now.

He said there are lots of different inputs, including from three independent ministers, as well as the Fine Gael parliamentary party, and Fianna Fáil supporting it from outside.

However, he said at this stage there does not seem to be conflict around Budget 2017 and he is confident he will put a good budget through.

Asked if it was his desire to stay in Cabinet until the next election, Mr Noonan said he did not know when the next election will be and he was being asked to commit to a target which nobody knew yet.

He said he was given a job to do, and he is doing that and will continue to do it.

Meanwhile, Mr Saint-Amans also said the American corporation tax rate of 35% was too high and needed to be reduced, while at the same time broadening the base or items that the reduced rate would apply to. 

This would be done by ending tax breaks and deductions.

He said this would encourage money that is currently held untaxed offshore to be brought back into the United States, benefitting the US economy and government finances. 

Mr Saint-Amanssaid there is a bi-partisan view in Washington that corporate taxation in the US must be reformed, and that the BEPS process facilitates that reform. 

But, he said, there was no agreement yet on exactly how it would be reformed.

He declined to comment on the specifics of the Apple case taken by the European Commission against Ireland over its tax treatment of the US multinational, saying he had not read the European Commission’s opinion. 

However, he suggested that most of Apple's tax liability belonged with the US, as this was where Apple's intellectual property was developed, and it was fundamental to the OECD/G20 approach that taxation should be aligned with activity that generates profits - in this case the research and development that produced the intellectual property that Apple makes the bulk of its profits from.