National Competitiveness Council

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The National Competitiveness Council (NCC) is an independent policy advisory body in Ireland. It reports to the Taoiseach on key competitiveness issues facing the Irish economy together with recommendations on policy actions required to enhance Ireland's competitive position. It was established by the Irish Government in May 1997 as part of the Partnership 2000 Social Partnership agreement. Forfás, Ireland's national agency for policy advice in the areas of enterprise, trade, science, technology and innovation, provides the research and secretariat functions for the National Competitiveness Council (NCC).


Council Members are appointed by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, and include representatives of the employer and trade union movements, including IBEC and ICTU. The composition of the Council also includes persons with relevant expertise in competitiveness. The CEO of Forfás and a representative of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, typically the Assistant Secretary-General responsible for national competitiveness, are automatically Council members, under the terms of reference of the Council.

Representatives from the Departments of the Taoiseach, Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Education and Skills, Environment, Community and Local Government, Public Expenditure and Reform and Transport and from InterTradeIreland attend Council meetings in an advisory capacity. The NCC meets four or five times each year.

Chairman of the Council[edit]

# Name Sector Appointed Retired
1. Brian Patterson Private Sector May, 1997 Unknown, 2001
2. William Burgess Private Sector Unknown, 2001 November, 2004
3. Dr. Don Thornhill Public Sector, Higher Education May, 2005 Incumbent


Each year the NCC publishes a report benchmarking Ireland's competitiveness performance.

Ireland's Competitiveness Scorecard (previously named Benchmarking Ireland's Performance), prepared for the Council by Forfás, provides a comprehensive assessment of Ireland's competitiveness performance, using over 125 statistical indicators. The indicators are drawn from data sources such as Forfás, OECD, Eurostat, CSO and others.

The Council also publishes Ireland's Competitiveness Challenge on an annual basis. The Competitiveness Challenge report focuses on the national competitiveness issues of most importance to the enterprise sector and identifies policy recommendations required to address these issues. Ireland's Competitiveness Challenge builds on the data published in Ireland's Competitiveness Scorecard which benchmarks Ireland's competitiveness across a range of statistical indicators.

Where appropriate, the NCC also issues statements on key competitiveness issues. In May 2012, for example, the Council published Ireland's Productivity Performance, 1980-2011 which maps Ireland's productivity performance over the last three decades relative to the UK, the US and the EU. In June 2011, the NCC released a study on the Costs of Doing Business in Ireland 2011. In the past, it has issued statements on Education and Training, Cities -Drivers of National Competitiveness, Wellbeing and Competitiveness, Prices and Costs, Innovation, Inflation, Labour Supply and Skills and Regulatory Reform.

As well as publishing statements, the NCC also regularly makes submissions on issues relating to Ireland’s competitiveness. For example, in November 2010, the NCC issued a pre-budget submission to the Minster and Department of Finance in advance of Budget 2011. In June 2008, the NCC issued a submission to the Commission on Taxation, while in November 2006, the NCC issued a submission to the National Development Plan 2007-2013.

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