World Bank report, drawing on Engineers Ireland evidence, ranks Ireland in 24th place for Doing Busi

World Bank report, drawing on Engineers Ireland evidence, ranks Ireland in 24th place for Doing Business

26 November 2019 at 13:45

World Bank report, drawing on Engineers Ireland evidence, ranks Ireland in 24th place for Doing Business

Waterford found to be the most efficient in Ireland for construction permits and getting electricity

Engineers Ireland has welcomed the publication by the World Bank of Doing Business in the European Union 2020: Greece, Ireland and Italy. The report measures the ease of doing business in 24 cities as part of the World Bank’s broader Doing Business series benchmarking 190 economies on business regulation and enforcement. Overall, the World Bank ranked Ireland 24th as a place to do business, while Waterford was ranked as the most efficient city in Ireland for dealing with construction permits and getting electricity.

Regulations relevant to five stages in the life of a small to medium-size domestic firm in Ireland including starting a business; dealing with construction permits; getting electricity; registering property and enforcing contacts, were measured in five Irish cities over the course of the last year. In each of these areas, the study highlights good practices that can be leveraged to empower local entrepreneurs and firms.

Engineers Ireland partnered with the World Bank for two of its five indicators, which were ‘Dealing with Construction Permits’ and ‘Getting Electricity’. The professional membership body for 25,000 engineers identified expert members with direct experience of building, and of obtaining electricity for warehouses, to provide information on the operations, regulations and costs involved for each of the five Irish cities: Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Waterford.

The quality of service was very highly rated for construction permits and electricity in Ireland. On the building quality control index, the only EU countries ranked higher than the five Irish cities were Luxembourg, Bulgaria and Malta. Meanwhile, on the reliability of electricity supply and transparency of tariffs index, Cork, Dublin and Limerick all received the maximum score while Galway and Waterford received one point less.

In terms of the efficiency of each of the cities, dealing with construction permits and getting electricity takes the least time in Waterford, 158 days and 44 days respectively. These procedures take considerably longer in Cork (200 days for dealing with construction permits) and Dublin (85 days for getting electricity). The report notes that the time taken to obtain a Fire Safety Certificate is particularly high in Dublin (90 days) due to the higher volume of applications.

Commenting on the report’s findings and recommendations for Ireland, Engineers Ireland, Director General, Caroline Spillane, said: “The World Bank’s Doing Business report offers important insight on the regulatory and engineering systems at national and local level. Engineers Ireland welcomes Ireland’s very positive performance in the building quality control index and electricity supply reliability index; these indices demonstrate the quality of engineering services in Ireland.”

Ms. Spillane continued: “However, the results also show the importance of implementing Project Ireland 2040 and investing in national and local services to improve Ireland’s competitive edge. We must ensure that the strong growth in Dublin is balanced with investment and growth in Ireland’s other city-regions, which have more capacity in many areas. Also, it is critical that local authorities and other bodies are adequately resourced to deliver services and to develop new information systems.”

Ms. Spillane concluded: “Engineers Ireland was delighted to collaborate with the World Bank on this important study and will continue to work with national and international policy-makers to deliver evidence-based solutions for Irish society. This partnership in 2019 with the World Bank, complemented our contributions also this year to the European Commission’s Country Report Ireland 2019 on infrastructure and to the International Energy Agency’s Ireland 2019 Review on energy policy.”


Editor’s note

The ‘Dealing with Construction Permits indicator covered: Procedures, time and cost to complete all formalities to build a warehouse and the quality control and safety mechanisms in the construction permitting system.  The ‘Getting Electricity indicator covered: Procedures, time and cost to get connected to the electrical grid, and the reliability of the electricity supply and the transparency of tariffs.

About ‘Doing Business in the European Union 2020: Greece, Ireland and Italy’

Doing Business in the European Union 2020: Greece, Ireland and Italy assesses the regulatory environment for businesses and its impact on local entrepreneurs in 6 cities in Greece (Alexandroupoli, Athens, Heraklion, Larissa, Patra and Thessaloniki), 5 cities in Ireland (Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Waterford) and 13 cities in Italy (Ancona, Bari, Bologna, Cagliari, Florence, Genoa, Milan, Naples, Padua, Palermo, Reggio Calabria, Rome and Turin). The report is available at:

The study measures regulations relevant to five stages in the life of a small to medium-size domestic firm: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property and enforcing contracts. 

About Engineers Ireland

With over 25,000 members, Engineers Ireland is the voice of the engineering profession in Ireland. Engineers Ireland was established in 1835 making the organisation one of the oldest and largest professional bodies in the country. Members come from every discipline of engineering, and range from engineering students to fellows of the profession. For more information, see

Other Engineers Ireland contributions to international reports this year:

European Commission’s Country Report Ireland 2019 (published in February) is available here:

International Energy Agency’s Ireland 2019 Review (published in April) is available here: