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North America A Growing Market For Irish Exporters

by Jason Gorringe,, London

17 May 2017

Enterprise Ireland has said that export growth to the UK slowed from 12 percent in 2015 to just two percent in 2016.

Enterprise Ireland, the state agency responsible for helping Irish companies export to international markets, has published a report on the export sales of its clients in 2016.

Enterprise Ireland said that there was a six percent increase in export sales in 2016. Up 19 percent year-on-year, exports to the US and Canada helped to drive growth, while there was a 16 percent increase in exports to the Asia Pacific region. The Eurozone accounted for EUR4.2bn (USD4.7bn) in export sales, and is now the second largest market for Irish exporters.

The UK remained Ireland's largest export market in 2016, accounting for EUR7.55bn in export sales, or 35 percent of net Irish indigenous exports. However, the slowdown in export growth to the UK was attributed to the effects of the Brexit vote.

Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon said: "The fact that the growth of exports to the UK has slowed suggests that the impact of Brexit on Irish companies has already started. Companies cannot afford to wait until the Brexit negotiations conclude – they must act now. While diversifying from the UK might have been a desirable objective for Irish companies in the past, Brexit means that it is now imperative."

To cope with the challenges presented by Brexit, Enterprise Ireland has announced a Eurozone Strategy with the aim of increasing exports in Eurozone countries by 50 percent by 2020.

Sinnamon said: "Ireland remains steadfast in our commitment to the EU and we will continue to benefit in terms of trade and investment with our European partners further strengthening our exporting footprint."

"We have to work on the basis that Brexit will create new barriers to Irish trade with the UK. On the other hand, Eurozone markets can provide currency stability, proximity, and potential for growth and opportunities for Irish companies," she added.

TAGS: Asia Pacific | investment | Ireland | accounting | United Kingdom | Canada | United States | currency | trade | European Union (EU) | Europe

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