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OECD calls for coherent and determined approach to Ireland’s regulatory reforms Back  
The OECD has just completed a review of Ireland’s regulatory reforms and is broadly supportive of the changes being made in the country.

The review came following a request by Ireland to have its national regulatory practices and domestic regulatory reforms reviewed following the high growth of the 1990s.

The OECD review found that Ireland’s regulatory reform is helping to manage the consequences of fast growth and to sustain growth into the future but warned of ‘bottlenecks’ to development.

According to the OECD ‘regulatory reform in Ireland began later than in many countries, but is now moving ahead on a broad front. Reform is opening up important infrastructure and policy bottlenecks to further growth, promoting efficiency improvements that can help manage inflation, and establishing a more competitive and flexible economy that can innovate, adapt and prosper as the sources of its current prosperity change.’

However the OECD called for a coherent and determined approach to be adopted.

‘Bottlenecks in physical infrastructure are constraining growth, as are labour shortages, and public sector capacities. Weak competition in key sectors is a risk to future performance. While recognising the substantial progress made in recent years, this report calls for a more coherent and determined approach to regulatory reform.’

However there are no specific recommendations made on the issue of financial services regulation, but the report does note the Government’s intention to form the twin pillar CBIFSA structure announced in February.

According to the report ‘Ireland has gained substantial benefits by pursuing trade liberalisation, welcoming foreign owned firms and integrating in the world economy. Today Ireland relies more on trade than almost any other OECD country. Ireland has been successful in attracting foreign investment, though its investment incentives have prompted some complaints. Nevertheless, global and regional economic markets will pose many surprises ahead, and further reform to Ireland’s domestic regulatory framework can help it better prepare for shocks.’

The report said that ‘the creation of independent regulators should be accompanied by a strategy to improve their accountability to the Parliament and ensure coordination with the Competition Authority.’

The review presents an integrated assessment of regulatory reform in framework areas such as the quality of the public sector, competition policy and enforcement, and market openness.

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