Enterprise Ireland has cautioned that 2020 will be very challenging for many Irish exporters due to Covid-19.
The state agency responsible for helping Irish companies export to international markets warns that the first half of 2020 paints a different picture to 2019 and Irish companies trading internationally have been impacted in every market due to the global nature of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Enterprise Ireland said Covid-19 has had a negative impact on order books and international market confidence. New contracts won by Enterprise Ireland-backed companies declined by 12% in the first half of 2020.
The organisation said that approximately 1,000 client companies are impacted by Covid-19 and that there are 300 companies who are very exposed to Covid-19 and also have high levels of exports to the UK. Of these 1,000 companies 75% reported that their exports have been impacted by Covid-19 and more than half saw a negative impact on cashflows.
The agency has warned that the impact on exporters for the latter half of 2020 will be very challenging and that they face the dual challenge of both dealing with the Covid-19 impact on their business and also the impending January 1st Brexit deadline.
Speaking this week, CEO of Enterprise Ireland, Julie Sinnamon said, "Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic we’ve seen many Irish businesses pivot in response to emerging market needs in areas such as contact tracing, traveller safety and confidence in airports and hygiene transparency in the hospitality sector. Agility and diversification are essential as we seek to trade successfully in a radically changed world."
She added, "The second half of 2020, however, is expected to be one of the most challenging facing Irish businesses in recent history. Not only have many businesses been impacted by a significant reduction in customer demand from markets across the world due to Covid-19, but they are also facing the largest structural change to trading with the UK in over fifty years."