Gavin Duffy: Export stats point to worrying future

 

Dublin, Thursday, 4th October, 2018: Independent Presidential candidate Gavin Duffy today said that the latest statistics pointed to how many Irish exporting companies were facing a worrying future because of uncertainty over Brexit.

Attending the British Irish Trading Alliance dinner in Dublin today, Gavin Duffy said figures published by the Central Statistics Office revealed how many Irish businesses only had the UK as their export location.

The Independent candidate said: “The vital importance and the value of the UK export market is underscored by the CSO figures released this week. These figures indicate that of the 8,600 Irish exporting businesses, 80% of them do business with the UK. In fact, 3,400 Irish exporting companies trade exclusively with the UK. This underscores our economy’s deep exposure to Brexit.

“If you look at the number of US multinationals that are based in Ireland – thanks to Ireland’s access and gateway to the EU – they are facing uncertainty as are Irish companies because of Brexit. Exporters use the UK landbridge to get their output to Europe. If that is no longer available next April, they may take decisions that could be damaging to the Irish economy.”

Mr Duffy said our UK trading links were vital. “Overall the value of our exports to the UK in 2016 was €14.8 billion, with the agri-food sector the biggest at €3.5bn; SMEs account for 60% of all Irish-UK exports. This latest data does not even take in to account the services side of the Republic’s trade with the UK.

“Irish goods exports to Britain were down 7% in the first six months of 2018, and a weaker Sterling which is currently trading at just under 89p against the Euro, does not help our exporters.

“In terms of tourism Britain remains our biggest source market for overseas tourists, even though it fell by 5% last year, against the backdrop of a volatile sterling. Britain accounts for 38% of all overseas visitor numbers and 21% of all spending by overseas tourists.”