Privatization of Ireland's Commercial State Owned Enterprises

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Privatization of Commercial SOEs Irish SOEs are in a wide range of sectors, including monopolies and competitive sectors, and both growing and declining sectors. Their turnover amounted to 5.8% GDP in 2008 and employed over 41,000 people. The bulk of revenue is from fees from goods and services, although they gained significant revenue from subsidies. Ireland has one of the lowest rates of SOEs. (The Role of State Owned Enterprises: Providing Infracture and Supporting Economic Recovery) A significant portion of Ireland's National Development Plan comes from SOEs. Instead of an overall strategic plan, Ireland approaches issues on a case by case basis. SOEs are often required to implement multiple, sometimes conflicting, objectives. For example, they may be required to achieve loss making policy goals while operating commercially. If goals and relative priorities are unclear, it can affect performance negatively. Privatization is designed to improve provisions of infracture, services, and performance of firms over the long term. It is supposed to be complemented with policies that promote effective regulation and competition. If it is deemed appropriate to privatize, there is a strong opportunity for the State to sell assets when the conditions in financial markets are favorable. The key economic challenge for Ireland is to reignite productivity and export to drive growth. The internationalization of SOEs can enhance the performance of firms with the access of

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