Enterprise Ireland, Ireland’s trade and innovation agency, today announced that its Irish client base increased exports to the UK by 4% to €7.9bn in 2018. With increased business to the UK, Irish companies continue to contribute significantly to the economic success of the UK, with Enterprise Ireland clients employing over 100,000 people in the UK.
Commenting on the results, Marina Donohoe, Enterprise Ireland Director of the UK, Nordics, CEECIS & Russia said: “Irish companies are proven to be dynamic partners to their UK counterparts and in a post-Brexit era, Ireland wants the closest possible trading relationship with the UK as this benefits business on both sides of the Irish sea. Irish companies’ commitment to the UK market and maintaining the strongest trading relationship with the UK, is very much reflected in our clients export results and the opportunities that we see in the market. Despite the backdrop of Brexit uncertainty, we are pleased to see that exports to the UK, our number one trading partner, have remained steady and have increased by 4%. The growth was particularly strong across a number of key sectors for Irish exporters including construction and cleantech infrastructure, fintech, digital, aerospace and lifesciences. We are also seeing strong growth in the Northern Powerhouse region, and this year Enterprise Ireland opened a second office in the UK, based in Manchester, to support growth opportunities in this region.”
Globally, Enterprise Ireland announced that the agency’s clients recorded export sales of €23.8bn in 2018, representing a 6 percent increase on 2017. The Irish construction sector recorded the fastest growth up 14% on 2017. Ireland’s fintech sector exports grew by 15%, while cleantech grew by 9%and engineering grew by 5%. Consumer retail saw growth of 6%.