The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, and Enterprise Ireland, the state agency responsible for helping Irish companies export to international markets, has announced that the agency’s clients recorded export sales of €23.8 billion in 2018, representing a 6% increase on 2017.
It reports that the Eurozone region, which is a key focus of Enterprise Ireland’s diversification strategy, saw growth of 7.6% to €4.8 billion, with Germany, France, and the Netherlands each exceeding €1 billion in exports.
Fighting Through Uncertainty
According to the statement, exports to North America increased from €3.87 billion in 2017 to €4.08 billion in 2018, an increase of 5.5%.
Despite the uncertainty of Brexit, exports to the UK were up 4% when compared with 2017 to €7.9 billion.
The overall dependency of Irish exporters to the UK, however, declined to 33%, a target Enterprise Ireland has set for 2020.
“I am delighted to see Irish exporters achieve record levels of export growth of €23.8 billion against the backdrop of Brexit uncertainty," said Heather Humphries TD, minister for business, enterprise and innovation.
"Increasing the export sales of these companies translates into sustaining and creating high-quality, sustainable jobs across the country – something that this Government is firmly focused on through the Future Jobs Ireland framework," she said.
“These record export results show the resilience of Irish exporters to grow their global footprint in uncertain times. Our target is to increase exports to €26 billion per annum by 2020 which we are on track to do. However, a hard Brexit and challenging global trading conditions will negatively impact on export growth for the year ahead." said Julie Sinnamon, chief executive, Enterprise Ireland.
The survey also released a Brexit survey of over 2,000 clients, which found that Brexit had already negatively impacted 40% of exporters, rising to 60% in the food sector.
The survey had such results as 38% of companies surveyed expect revenue to be negatively impacted in 2019; 40 % of companies expect profitability to be negatively impacted in 2019 and 29% of companies expect their ability to invest to be negatively impacted.
"Market diversification has been a vital component of the Government’s Brexit supports strategy and so I want to commend the many businesses that have been successful in penetrating new export markets," said Pat Breen TD, minister of state for trade, employment, business, EU digital single market and data protection.
"My Department, through Enterprise Ireland, will continue to provide extensive supports, schemes and advice to ensure businesses are prepared for Brexit. These measures assist businesses in identifying the risks they face because of Brexit and offer support for the actions they need to take to mitigate these risks,” he said.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Helen Galgey. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.