Overseas markets key to economic recovery - survey


JUST ONE in five business leaders believes the Irish economy will return to consistent strong GDP growth in 2013, with two-thirds of those responding to a survey predicting it will take until 2014 for conditions to improve. The survey was conducted among 365 chief executives as part of the Deloitte/Enterprise Ireland CEO Forum held yesterday.

Key to speeding up the process, according to the respondents, is greater participation by Irish companies in international markets. Almost three-quarters (72 per cent) of Irish chief executives identified overseas markets as being far more significant to Ireland’s economic recovery than the local economy.

“There is a growing realisation within Irish businesses that even relatively small firms need to be more focused on the opportunities abroad and less on the traditional home market,” said Brendan Jennings, managing partner of Deloitte.

Frank Ryan, chief executive of Enterprise Ireland, said the record export sales achieved by Irish companies in recent years, “clearly show that investing in internationalisation delivers for Irish companies”.

“We continue to support existing Irish exporters in securing overseas business but, knowing the opportunity that’s out there, we are also ramping up our efforts with more potential exporters to help them realise the opportunities that exist for them beyond domestic markets,” he said.

The survey highlighted widespread support for maths bonus points in the Leaving Cert, with the vast majority of respondents behind the Government’s stance on trying to promote greater participation in honours maths. In addition, four in five said that they were in favour of extending the bonus points concept to boost participation in science subjects.

However, there was some dissatisfaction when it came to Ireland’s investment in science, technology and innovation. More than three-quarters of respondents said investment is insufficient in this area, indicating that there was more that could be done.