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What are the major industries in Ireland?

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Quick Answer

Ireland's economy is mostly based on services, with some industrial output and a relatively small amount of agriculture. The largest industries in the country are pharmaceuticals, chemicals, computer hardware and software, food products, beverages and brewing, and medical devices.

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Full Answer

As of 2014, Ireland has a relatively low corporate tax rate of 12.5 percent, making it an attractive market for foreign corporations. About 120 foreign pharmaceutical companies have plants there, including nine of the 10 largest in the world. The country is the largest net exporter of pharmaceuticals in the world.

Technology companies also have a strong presence in the country, with many locating their regional headquarters there. Some prominent examples are Amazon.com, Apple, Cisco, Dropbox, eBay, Facebook, Google, Hewlett-Packard, LinkedIn, Oracle, PayPal and Twitter.

Major consumer goods brands based in the country include Barry's Tea, Butlers Chocolates, Guinness, Kerry Group and Oatfield.

Ireland's agricultural output primarily consists of potatoes, barley, wheat, beef and dairy products and accounts for about 5 percent of the country's GDP.

Commercial aviation is a significant component of the country's industry. Ryanair is a low-cost airline that is headquartered in Ireland and has operating bases throughout Europe and in Morocco. Tourism is also significant, with about 6 million people estimated to visit the country annually as of 2014.

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