Ireland – often seen as the golden child of the struggling euro zone -- has been hailed as a great place for growth, but chief executives from the country told CNBC it needs to remain competitive in order to thrive.
"Ireland has come a long way," Danny McCoy, chief executive of IBEC (the Irish Business and Employers Confederation), which is hosting a business conference in Dublin Wednesday, told CNBC.
"One of the factors not given much notice is the huge balance of payments surplus in contrast to the U.K. and U.S. which is indicative of the business community that's been trading very successfully here over the last couple of years."
But he admitted there were problems.
"We are a trading nation and so any upset at the European and international level is going to affect Ireland," he said. "But we still are looking at a very strong growth rate in 2015 and all the indicators are at record levels, such as manufacturing and consumer sentiment."
Ireland was hailed as a poster-child for austerity after its relatively speedy recovery from its financial crisis – caused by a burst housing bubble - and following its international bailout in 2010.
Fast forward a few years, and, after implementing tough austerity measures, the country exited its financial aid program in 2013. Last year, it was the fastest growing economy in the European Union, with gross domestic product (GDP) expansion of 4.8 percent.