Our Work


The National Competitiveness and Productivity Council takes a broad definition of competitiveness: "Competitiveness refers to the ability of firms to compete in markets. Ireland’s national competitiveness refers to the ability of the enterprise base in Ireland to compete in international markets".

National competitiveness is a broad concept that encompasses a diverse range of factors and policy inputs including education and training, entrepreneurship and innovation, Ireland’s economic and technological infrastructure and the taxation and regulatory framework.

For the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council, the goal of national competitiveness is to provide Ireland’s people with the opportunity to improve their living standards and quality of life. Improving living standards depends on, amongst other things, raising incomes and providing employment. To raise incomes and grow employment, productivity gains are necessary but in an economy with a small domestic market, this requires a healthy exporting sector to achieve economies of scale necessary for productivity gains. For a vibrant exporting sector, Ireland must maintain its national competitiveness.

The Framework Model

Following detailed consideration over the past year, the NCPC has chosen to adopt a new Competitiveness and Productivity Framework. This is used as the theoretical framework for analysis of competitiveness and productivity. These two concepts overlap and interlink with each other through the drivers that determine them in achieving the overarching goal of sustainable growth and well-being. 

Although the Framework emphasises the importance of both competitiveness and productivity, the NCPC posits sustainable growth and well-being as being the ultimate outcome that policy is seeking to achieve. Delivery on both elements is key to achieving the overarching goal and it is for this reason that sustainable growth and well-being are placed at the centre of the Framework. The Competitiveness and Productivity Framework also includes six drivers: Business Environment, Macroeconomic Sustainability; International Environment; Technology and Innovation; Education and Skills; and Infrastructure. 

Key Outputs

Each year the NCPC publishes an annual report Ireland's Competitiveness Challenge on the key competitiveness and productivity challenges facing the Irish economy and suggests specific policy actions to address these challenges.

As part of its work, the NCPC also periodically publishes:

  • A Competitiveness Scorecard;
  • The Costs of Doing Business report;
  • A Productivity Statement; and,
  • A series of competitiveness bulletins and other papers on specific competitiveness and productivity issues.