U.S. Markets close in 1 hr 15 mins

Ireland's Enda Kenny expects more US investment

Luqman Adeniyi



Enda Kenny, the Taoiseach of Ireland — the country's equivalent of a prime minister — touts Ireland's static 12.5 percent corporate tax rate, easy access to the European market and large talent pool as reasons for other countries to continue to invest in the country.

Kenny told CNBC on Wednesday, Ireland has increased its foreign investment, reduced its budget deficit and now leads Europe in economic growth after coming through a "difficult period of recession."

In the joint interview, Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland, said that the country's economic prosperity has brought over 80,000 jobs to the U.S.

"What isn't so well-known is the impact of Irish companies in [the U.S.] marketplace," Sinnamon said.

Kenny said he expects Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) to continue growing its business, despite the technology company's large unpaid tax bill in Ireland. Last year, the European Union Competition Commission said Apple needs to repay 13 billion euros in "illegal tax benefits" because the company paid a lower effective tax rate to Ireland in 2014.

Ireland has appealed the EU decision.

Kenny said the Irish government disagrees "very vehemently with the European commission" and denies any favoritism for Apple.

"If the allegation was true that the Irish state was doing sweetheart deals with any company, any of the others could say, 'What about me?'" Kenny said.



More From CNBC