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And now for some good news about the crisis...

by Frank Schnittger Mon Mar 30th, 2020 at 02:16:22 PM EST

Perhaps its time to focus on some relatively good news in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The OECD estimates that the Irish economy will suffer the mildest shock of any OECD economy as a result of the crisis, a reduction of 15% in GDP. How anyone can make such estimates with any precision at this stage in the crisis is beyond me, but there is perhaps some logic behind that prediction.

The Irish economy is heavily invested in sectors where working from home is widely possible such as financial services and software development, and also in the pharmaceutical and medical devices sectors which may grow as a result of the crisis, and may actually make a major contribution towards combating it.

Medtronic, (based in Dublin and Galway) has just made the design specification and software of one of their ventilators public to enable it to be more widely produced by other companies, and a collective of medical equipment design engineers from a number of companies have just completed the design of a "battlefield" emergency ventilator which could be manufactured rapidly all over the world.

In case anyone doubts that a small country like Ireland could have the expertise to make such major contributions, it should be noted that Ireland currently hosts 9 of the world's top 10 pharmaceutical companies and 18 of the top 25 medtech companies, many of which have been located here for several decades. A total of 180 multinational and indigenous pharmaceutical and medTech companies are located in Ireland, many of which have major manufacturing or research facilities located here.

The pharmaceutical sector employs approximately 50,000 people in 120 companies in Ireland and is responsible for 55 billion euro of exports - about 50% of total Irish exports to the EU. An important aspect in the development of the sector has been its success in diversifying from the original bulk active ingredient plants to higher value activities. The MedTech sector employs nearly 25,000 people in over one hundred companies and generates €9.4 billion annually.

That said, much of Ireland success in attracting big pharma, MedTech, and software companies to Ireland is undoubtedly because of the relatively low rate of corporate taxes and some controversial and now discontinued schemes by which some corporates could reduce their tax costs still further. Medium term risks to the Irish economy include Brexit, international corporate tax reform, more in-market digital taxes, and the rise of economic nationalism particularly in the USA. Key to ongoing success has to be to further embed those companies in Ireland by further diversifying their activities here, and growing the indigenous sector as much as possible.

In the short term, however, these industries may help to cushion Ireland from a precipitous fall in activity during and immediately after the crisis and perhaps even make a valuable contribution towards lessoning its impact in other countries.

Caveat ... consumer confidence and purse!

What Coronavirus Could Mean for the Global Economy | Harvard Review |

In truth, projections and indices won't answer these questions. Hardly reliable in the calmest of times, a GDP forecast is dubious when the virus trajectory is unknowable, as are the effectiveness of containment efforts, and consumers' and firms' reactions. There is no single number that credibly captures or foresees Covid-19's economic impact.

Instead, we must take a careful look at market signals across asset classes, recession and recovery patterns, as well as the history of epidemics and shocks, to glean insights into the path ahead.

Don't spend time listening to the [stock] market makers. ☹

by Oui on Mon Mar 30th, 2020 at 02:34:43 PM EST
a stabilisation of the numbers...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Mar 30th, 2020 at 06:25:59 PM EST
Gabriel Scally: North and Republic must harmonise Covid-19 response | Irish Times |

In the North, community testing and contact tracing were abandoned on March 13th and, as in the rest of the UK, testing will be largely reserved for hospital inpatients and health service staff. In the Republic with its network of over 40 community testing facilities, the aim is to reach 100,000 tests per week by the end of April, whereas the North has set a goal of performing just under 8,000 tests per week.

by Oui on Tue Mar 31st, 2020 at 01:17:57 PM EST
Just writing a diary on this very topic - the differences between Ireland, north and south. It's going to be a disaster...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Mar 31st, 2020 at 01:46:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Any calls for checkpoints at the border?
by rifek on Tue Mar 31st, 2020 at 03:17:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Mar 31st, 2020 at 05:10:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Chris Evans interviews Terry Waite on Corona Virus isolation

Terry Waite: 'People were surprised I had a sense of humour' | The Irish Times |

by Oui on Tue Mar 31st, 2020 at 02:06:10 PM EST
Ireland's pharma industry gears up to make key ingredient for Covid-19 testing
Ireland's pharmaceutical industry has indicated it is gearing up to produce key ingredients for Covid-19 testing which the State is struggling to source on the international market.

The industry could produce enough reagent - a key laboratory ingredient which is in short supply - to enable around 500,000 tests to take place, said Matt Moran, director of the pharmaceutical industry lobby group BioPharmaChem Ireland.

He told The Irish Times that he was hopeful of being able to make a firm announcement soon. "We are looking at making it, and are trying to source the raw materials at the moment."

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Apr 2nd, 2020 at 10:09:38 AM EST
by generic on Thu Apr 2nd, 2020 at 09:38:29 PM EST

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