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UK economic uplift good for Ireland

Friday, May 23 14:08:51

Robust economic indicators from Britain should also be good for Ireland, the British Ambassador, Dominick Chilcott said today.

Speaking at the Annual Luncheon of Accounting Technicians Ireland in Dublin today, he said that trade with the UK supports 200,000 jobs in Ireland - about 10pc of total Irish employment.

On the other side of the coin, trade with Ireland also supports 210,000 jobs in the UK.

The Institute used the opportunity of the event to launch a new Higher Level Apprenticeship Accountancy Programme in Northern Ireland together with Chartered Accountancy Ireland, Southern Regional College and Belfast Metropolitan College.

The Ambassador said that the recent visit to the UK by President Michael D. Higgins had exceeded expectations. He said it reinforced the progress made by the Queen's visit to Ireland in 2011 and gave new energy and momentum to relations between Britain and Ireland.

Commenting on economic matters, he said one of the consequences of the economic crisis that started in 2008 was a reminder to Britain and Ireland of just how important both countries are in economic terms to one another.

"The UK is Ireland's largest export destination, 16pc of Ireland's industrial exports and 19pc of its services go to the UK. Overall, the UK is Ireland's largest trading partner. In the other direction and perhaps more surprisingly, Ireland is the 5th largest recipient of UK industrial goods, far larger than its population would suggest. The UK sells more goods only to the US, Germany, France and the Netherlands," he said.

"In all, trade flows across the Irish Sea amount to more than $1 billion per week ($59bn or E43 billion in 2012). Trade with Ireland supports some 210,000 jobs in the UK; trade with the UK supports 200,000 jobs in Ireland (about 10pc of total Irish employment," he added.

He said the support loan of some E4bn from Britain to Ireland in 2010 was indicative of shared friendship and solidarity but it was in Britain's national interests too and a recognition of the increasing economic inter- dependence between the countries.

"It's never been less true that 'England's difficulty is Ireland's opportunity'," said Mr. Chilcott. "These days we sink or swim together. The recent encouraging economic news from Britain should be good for Ireland. Unemployment in Britain has fallen below 7pc. The IMF and OECD predict that the UK economy will grow at 3pc this year, faster than any other major developed economy."

President of Accounting Technicians Ireland Peter Johnson said, "Accounting technicians are trained to the highest standards of financial management and contribute strongly to the achievement of robust governance and financial management procedures in businesses throughout Ireland. They have particular strengths to offer small and medium enterprises where qualified accounting expertise plays an important role for hard pressed management in understanding the underlying and recurring financial trends within their businesses."