Irish Exports Grow By 5%

Irish exports grew by 5% in the year, which was double the World trade growth, and shows a return to competitive strength in many sectors of Irish industry.

Exports surged by €9 billion in 2012 to reach a new high of €183 billion.

Services exports were the main driver of export growth last year, with an 11% growth which consolidated Ireland’s ranking as the 9th largest global exporter of Services.

Manufactured goods exports showed no growth in the year. Growth took place in medical devices exports of 6% and in agri-food exports of 2%,however exports of computer hardware continued their long term decline and fell by 16%, and pharmaceutical and chemical exports showed no growth as the off –patent drugs peaked in impacting the sector in 2012.

Looking forward, the Irish Exporters Association is confident that export growth in 2013 will once again be over 5% and increase to 7% in 2014.

Mr John Whelan, Chief Executive of the Irish Exporters Association (IEA), stated at the launch of the Review: "’Ireland's export growth at twice the world trade average for 2012 shows a strong return to competitiveness in many our businesses."

"’Ireland is now seen as the prime location in Europe for hi –tech mobile, internet and social media technology companies. There is no doubt that there is a direct link between the increased success in this sector and our increased competitiveness, which if maintained will enable ensure significant long term jobs growth. Services exports now account for 49% of total exports and are expected exceed 50% next year."

The IEA chief executive gave a strong cautionary warning concerning the lack of growth in exports to the fast growing BRICS markets, where exports fell for the second consecutive year, said: "Our competitors in other EU countries have rapidly grown their exports to the BRICS countries to the point that they now account for 22% of total EU 27 exports, whereas exports from Ireland still only account for 4% of total Irish exports. This is a very worrying trend as 90% of global trade growth is expect to come from the emerging markets outside of the EU over the next decade."


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