Exports from Enterprise Ireland firms top €16 billion

Latin America exports grow 24% in 2012

Exports to the Asia Pacific region grew 17 per cent to ¤1.02 billion in 2012. Photo: Reuters

Exports to the Asia Pacific region grew 17 per cent to ¤1.02 billion in 2012. Photo: Reuters

Fri, Apr 19, 2013, 13:54

Exports from Irish companies supported by Enterprise Ireland reached record levels last year topping €16 billion for the first time.

The figure is up from €15.2 billion in 2011.

The United Kingdom accounted for more than €6 billion of these exports, an 8 per cent increase on the 2011 figure, while more than €1.78 billion worth of these exports went to the United States and Canada, a 20 per cent increase on 2011.

Latin America saw the largest percentage increase, with export figures up 24 per cent on 2011, while exports to the Asia Pacific region grew 17 per cent to €1.02 billion.

The main growth sectors were the life sciences, engineering, packaging, electronics and cleantech sector which saw a 16 per cent increase in exports from €2.15 billion in 2011 to €2.49 billion in 2012.

Exports in the software sector also grew significantly, rising from €865 million in 2011 to €1.02 billion last year.

International traded services saw a rise of 14 per cent from €1.38 billion to €1.58 billion, while food exports increased by 2.3 per cent to €8.5 billion, from €8.3 billion in 2011.

Enterprise Ireland chief executive Frank Ryan said the companies Enterprise Ireland works with are responsible for 300,000 jobs and spend over €18 billon in the Irish economy each year.

Commenting on the export figures, he said it was “especially encouraging to see significant gains in established markets like North America, the high growth economies of Asia Pacific and record performances from advanced engineering, software and medical device sectors”.

Mr Ryan is due to retire in November, after 10 years at the helm of the body. Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Enterprise Richard Bruton today said the process to select a replacement head of Enterprise Ireland had already begun.

Mr Bruton said Mr Ryan has “never put himself out to draw all the applause” always putting people and staff first.