Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Kerry CEO: Ireland as Europe's 'gateway'

By CNN Wire staff
January 17, 2013 -- Updated 1734 GMT (0134 HKT)
  • Kerry CEO McCarthy says the Irish economy will be "much wiser" once it recovers
  • Ireland has a corporation tax of 12.5%, which is lower than many of its European partners
  • McCarthy says that Kerry Group and Ireland have benefited from EU membership

(CNN) -- Multinationals see Ireland as the "gateway" to Europe, says the boss of the country's largest food company.

Stan McCarthy, chief executive officer of Kerry Group, told CNN that the Irish economy is "very progressive."

He added: "I think it [Ireland] recognizes that it cannot rely totally on its own market and it has to look internationally to develop an economy. We have been very successful at attracting multinationals into Ireland."

This attraction is mainly the result of Ireland's low corporation tax, which currently stands at 12.5% and has led to a number of companies becoming headquartered in Ireland.

The tax rate is far less than France's, at 33%, and the United Kingdom's, at 24%. This is an issue that has riled Ireland's European partners, given the country's request for sovereign aid from the eurozone's rescue funds in 2010.

Prior to the financial crisis of 2008, Ireland was described as the "Celtic Tiger" of Europe, due to its rapidly expanding economy and booming property sector. But following a collapse in its banking sector, the country fell on hard times.

McCarthy is confident the Irish economy will come back "much wiser" and "pragmatic" than before, with a focus on prudence.

He told CNN: "I hope the Celtic Tiger does not come back in terms of legacies that still exist."

On Europe, McCarthy told CNN that Kerry Group is not "turning its back" on the continent and insists that European Union membership has been very positive for the food company and Ireland.

He added: "Prior to Ireland joining the EU we didn't have exposure to the international markets that we enjoy today, we were somewhat insular in our thinking and it has certainly provided us with the opportunity to take a much more global perspective."

CNN's Oliver Joy contributed to this report.

Part of complete coverage on
Marketplace Europe
January 16, 2014 -- Updated 1631 GMT (0031 HKT)
Marketplace Europe visits Latvia to see how the Baltic country has made its transition to the Euro from the Lat.
January 16, 2014 -- Updated 1630 GMT (0030 HKT)
CNN's Nina Dos Santos visits Latvia to speak to the country's outgoing Prime Minister and the prospects for the eurozone's 18th member.
January 2, 2014 -- Updated 1640 GMT (0040 HKT)
Malta is the gateway to Europe and on the frontline of the immigration flows. Isa Soares reports from a detention center on the Mediterranean island.
January 2, 2014 -- Updated 1641 GMT (0041 HKT)
CNN's Isa Soares speaks with people on the streets of Valletta who say their country can't cope with more migrants from Africa and the Middle East.
January 9, 2014 -- Updated 1006 GMT (1806 HKT)
Malta cannot afford to continue supporting migrants from war-torn countries in its over-crowded detention camps, the country's foreign minister has told CNN.
December 26, 2013 -- Updated 2123 GMT (0523 HKT)
Slow recoveries, bailouts, and youth unemployment. Richard Quest speaks to Europe's top CEOs about the issues of 2013.
December 26, 2013 -- Updated 2114 GMT (0514 HKT)
CNN's Richard Quest speaks to economist Bob Parker about defining moments of 2013 and about what to expect in 2014.
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 1815 GMT (0215 HKT)
Estonia is setting the pace for other European nations with a thriving economy and its tech industry, according to the Baltic nation's leader.
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 1903 GMT (0303 HKT)
The Baltic nation of Estonia is developing its oil shale energy reserves in a bid to become energy self-sufficient.
November 29, 2013 -- Updated 0925 GMT (1725 HKT)
Europe must stop being nationalistic if it wants to help a lost generation of workers, the regional boss of U.S. conglomerate General Electric says.
November 14, 2013 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
Peer at the windows and you'll spot big colorful chairs, plastic plants and a huge bed, but this is no department store.
November 19, 2013 -- Updated 1006 GMT (1806 HKT)
There once was a time, many years ago, when the sounds of bagpipes struck fear into the stomachs of Englishmen.
November 11, 2013 -- Updated 1116 GMT (1916 HKT)
Greece is on the way to economic recovery as investor faith returns to the recession-ridden eurozone nation, an executive at Greece's largest bank has told CNN.
November 8, 2013 -- Updated 1200 GMT (2000 HKT)
Could Greece's famous spice help the country's farmers through a four-year long economic crisis.
November 1, 2013 -- Updated 1307 GMT (2107 HKT)
One of the masterminds behind the euro says Europe would have suffered a far worse fate if the single currency had never been created.
October 31, 2013 -- Updated 1741 GMT (0141 HKT)
Nina Dos Santos visits the Dutch city where the European treaty carrying the city's name came into force 20 years ago.
October 25, 2013 -- Updated 1510 GMT (2310 HKT)
As Spain continues its drive to slash budgets and cut spending, one of the nation's favorite pastimes is under threat as ministers look for ways to boost productivity.
October 24, 2013 -- Updated 1617 GMT (0017 HKT)
The high commissioner of Brand Spain talks about getting the country back on its fee and attracting business.