Exports by Enterprise Ireland (EI) backed companies grew by a record
19% last year to €32.1 billion, fuelled in part by the inflationary
It was the highest level of year-on-year export growth recorded by EI supported firms.
“These are significant exports results and reflect the incredible
innovation and ambition of the Irish enterprise sector,” said Enterprise
Ireland Chief Executive, Leo Clancy.
“While the record 19% year-on-year increase in exports is influenced
by inflation in certain sectors, the results released today demonstrate
the continued strength of Irish products and services in international
When asked how much of that growth was driven by inflation and how much was volume growth, Mr Clancy said it was a mix.
He gave the food sector as an example.
“In this sector we have seen a 23% growth in exports and that is
consistent with what you are seeing from dairy companies’ own results in
recent weeks, so certainly inflation was a big factor there,” he said
speaking on Morning Ireland.
“But if you look at exports in the tech sector which were up 18%, or
the industrial life sciences sector, up 14% – we are seeing strong
growth there that isn’t as inflation linked,” he added.
Mr Clancy said today’s export figures for last year follow the strong growth reported in 2021, when inflation wasn’t as big of a factor.
The value of goods exported to the UK climbed by 13% to €9.2 billion,
with 29% of all exports from EI firms now going there, despite the
disruption caused by Brexit.
“I think we can often forget in the discussions about Brexit, that we
are the UK’s closest neighbour and we would expect that we will
continue to do well in the UK – and we are delighted that is the case,”
Mr Clancy said.
The eurozone accounted for €7.9 billion of the exports, an increase of 28%.
While there was a 13% rise in exports by EI backed businesses to North America, bringing that total to €5.5 billion.
17% of the total exports from EI assisted companies now go to the North America.
Exports to Asia-Pacific increased by 11% following a flat year in
2021, while Latin America exports grew by a quarter, with the value of
goods being sent to the Middle East, Africa and India climbing 13%.
“In recent years Enterprise Ireland initiatives have focused on
assisting companies to diversify their export markets, with a particular
focus on growth in the Eurozone,” said Mr Clancy, referring to moves
away from the UK market prompted by Brexit.
“Looking ahead we are very conscious of the current and emerging uncertainties for business in global markets.”
“We are working with clients to help them anticipate and transform
their business models to address areas such as sustainability, financing
Growth occurred across all overseas regions and in individual industry sectors, EI said.
Food and sustainability related exports increased by 23%, technology
and services rose by 18% and industrial and life sciences climbed by
Exports of food now account for 50% of the total exports by EI
clients, while engineering goods make up 21% and technology and services
But EI is also warning that many challenges persist, including around
inflation and market uncertainty, the Ukraine war and resulting
geopolitical tension, climate change and the evolution of technology.
“Irish business faced another challenging year in 2022, with energy
costs, inflation and supply chain disruption impacting the trading
environment,” said Simon Coveney, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and
“However, with a record €32bn in export sales, Irish business has
demonstrated its ability to absorb global economic disruption and
continue to compete and win in international markets.”
Enterprise Ireland backed companies now employ more than 218,000 people in every region and county in Ireland.