A survey of Enterprise Ireland client companies attending this year’s International Markets Week showed contrasting fortunes for Irish exporters in 2020. While one in three saw their exports decline, some sectors, such as Lifesciences and Digital, saw export sales grow by 30%.
Enterprise Ireland statistics show that export contracts signed by supported clients also fell 10% between January – September this year, compared to the same period last year.
Despite the impact of Covid-19 and the approaching Brexit deadline, many Irish exporters remain resilient and optimistic. According to the survey results, 57% expect to grow their exports in 2021 and 83% intend to hire new staff in 2021. More than eight in ten exporting companies are either confident or very confident about the international trading environment in 2021.
Speaking at the official launch of International Markets Week, Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English said, "The exporting sector will continue to be a strong engine for growth and jobs in the Irish economy as we rebuild after the pandemic. I’m heartened to see that over half of companies expect to grow their exports next year and that 83% expect to hire new staff. This is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of Irish business owners."
He added, "Irish business is facing two major challenges – to recover from the impact of Covid-19 and mitigate any disruption to trade from the impending Brexit deadline. The Government has provided targeted grants and advisory services to address both these vital issues through our agencies, including Enterprise Ireland and I would urge every exporting company to seek advice and support now."