More than half of exporters report rise
Some 58 per cent of Irish exporters experienced an increase in exports this year, despite the weak economic environment, according to the Irish Exporters Association’s 2012 export survey.
The report also found that 80 per cent of those surveyed expect exports to increase in 2013. According to John Whelan, president of the Irish Exporters Association, the survey shows “exports are being less severely affected by the economic crises”, though he stressed the challenges that exist for exporters, particularly as global trade patterns change.
“The reality is that we are in a time of rapidly changing economic balance across the globe with the traditional trading blocks in the so-called developed world slowing down dramatically and the developing world beginning to dominate trade.”
Planning on investing
Some 71 per cent of respondents intend to target new markets in the coming year, including China, India, Brazil, Russia and South Africa. Just over half surveyed recruited new sales or marketing staff over the last 12 months, with 86 per cent planning on investing in new product or service development over the next two years.
Patrick Burke of Grant Thornton, the consultancy group which helped compile the joint report, said the willingness of Irish businesses to look further afield for opportunities was “encouraging”. However he highlighted the importance of adequate financing arrangements for companies, after 72 per cent of companies said that access to finance had not improved over the last year.
The report highlighted a low take-up of Government schemes aimed at exporters. Over 26 per cent cited lack of awareness as the main reason, while almost one in four described the effort involved in applying for government support as “prohibitive”.