Some 20 per cent of foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in the Republic won’t proceed as planned this year because of the Covid-19 crisis, according to a new report from EY. Charlie Taylor has details of the forecast, which would see the State still performing better than many other European locations.

Michael Smurfit, the 83-year-old entrepreneur and businessman, features in this week’s Business Interview. He tells Ciarán Hancock about cocooning in Monaco (where he’s friends with Prince Albert), why lockdown is a mistake and why he doesn’t fear his own health declining. He also reveals his best and worst deals, and describes his personal experiences with US president, Donald Trump.

Revenue fears that up to 3,000 taxpayers have given bank and personal details to fraudsters trying to steal cash by offering people fictional tax refunds, writes Barry O’Hallloran. The problem has emerged in the wake of taxpayers receiving scam texts purporting to offer tax refunds and then following a bogus link.

The Irish business of restaurant chain Carluccio’s will be wound up next month following its British parent’s rescue by food magnate, Ranjit Singh Boparan. Barry also has that story.

He reports too on a claim that up to €100 million needs to be spent on at least one Irish port to support the development of a thriving offshore electricity industry.

And with aviation’s period of turmoil here for the long haul, Barry also has an update on the ongoing industrial relations problems at Cityjet.

Mark Paul is worried this week about SMEs, which he argues have been used as cannon fodder in the Government’s great lockdown experiment. He believes the Government is getting comfortable with a welfare mentality towards retail and hospitality, likening cheap loans and grants to methadone. What SMEs really need, he argues in Caveat, is to be allowed to freely start up their businesses again.

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In his regular economics column, John FitzGerald puts forward the case for investing in public transport now so that we can enjoy pay-offs – quality of life, time savings and lower greenhouse gases – down the road.

Olive Keogh explores the idea of automation and the impact it will have on the workplace – could it lead to there not being enough jobs to go around? She considers a book on the subject by Daniel Susskind, where he says humans still hold a few trump cards.

Separately, Mark O’Connell has some guidance for those who are injured while working from home and wonder who might be responsible.

Our Wild Goose this week is Aoife Monaghan, a Derry dentist who is lucky to live in the British Virgin Islands. She tells Barbara McCarthy about how she has been won over by Caribbean island life.

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