The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, today said that the CSO goods exports figures show a remarkably robust performance by Irish exporters given everything that is happening in world markets.
The CSO’s figures showed that goods exports in December 2013 were up 14% on December 2012. Comparing December 2013 with December 2012 exports of medical and pharmaceutical products were up by 43% to €1.53 bn, food and live animal exports rose by 15.7% to €817mn with machinery and transport equipment up 27% to €1.020bn.
While Ireland’s goods exports for 2013 were down 5% to €86.9bn when compared with the record levels achieved in 2012, much of this relates to well known changes that have been taking place in the pharmachem sector.
The US continues to be our biggest single export market and exports there increased to €18.4bn in 2013. The continued growth of exports to the US demonstrates the inherent competitiveness of the economy in trading internationally.
Exports to key target countries of Brazil, India, Saudi Arabia and Russia also rose in 2013 compared to 2012. These grew by 6% to €1.8bn and reflect the investments in market development that have been made by the Department’s enterprise agencies and especially Enterprise Ireland. Exports to Singapore grew by 9% to €560mn. This reflects the importance of small Asian economies to our overall export agenda and the increased attention being given to building our presence across the wider Asian region and for which Singapore is a key gateway.
The agri food sector continued to perform well and exports of food and live animals were up 8 % with exports of dairy products increasing by an impressive 15%. This performance shows the quality and competitiveness of our agri business sector and the capacity of the sector to support export orientated employment across the regions.
Minister Bruton, speaking on his return from the first-ever joint trade mission with UK and Northern Ireland Ministers to Singapore as part of a four-day Enterprise Ireland mission to South East Asia, said: “The goods export figures for 2013 show a remarkably robust performance given everything that is happening in the pharmachem sector, and the very positive figures for December give some reasons to believe that the trend is going in the right direction again. Employment in exporting companies increased by over 12,000 during 2013 which bears out a very strong underlying performance by exporting companies despite the difficulties, and the services sector continues to perform particularly strongly.
“This week in Singapore and Malaysia I once again saw the incredible work that Irish companies are doing in world markets, growing their sales and ultimately creating more jobs back home. I am convinced that with the right supports from Government we can see further growth in our exports to help create the jobs that we need.”