Enterprise Ireland, the state agency of the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment responsible for helping Irish companies to enter and expand in international markets, saw exports by companies it supports increase by 19% to a record €32.1bn in 2022.
This is the highest ever level of growth for Enterprise Ireland-backed companies in export value. Growth occurred across all overseas regions and in individual industry sectors.
Exports to the Eurozone increased by 28% in 2022, with the Eurozone now representing 25% of all exports by Enterprise Ireland backed companies. Expansion in trade with the Eurozone has taken place in tandem with strong Irish exports to the UK post-Brexit.
Exports to the UK increased by 13%, reaching €9.2bn. The UK now accounts for 29% of all exports by Enterprise Ireland backed companies.
Exports to the Eurozone increased by 28%, reaching €7.9bn.
Exports to North America increased by 13%, reaching €5.5bn. North America now accounts for 17% of all exports by Enterprise Ireland backed companies.
Increases in exports were recorded across all sectors with Food and Sustainability increasing by 23%, Technology and Services increasing by 18% and Industrial and Life Sciences increasing by 14%.
The results were announced at the Enterprise Ireland summit which is taking place today at the RDS in Dublin where business leaders and key stakeholders met to discuss future opportunities for Irish enterprise.
Welcoming the results, the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney, TD, said:
“The very positive results reported today by Enterprise Ireland are a testament to the resilience and vision in the Irish enterprise sector and the Government’s policy to assist Irish business in that vision.
“Irish business faced another challenging year in 2022, with energy costs, inflation and supply chain disruption impacting the trading environment. 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.
“Regional growth is a major pillar of my Department’s strategy to support our economy. Enterprise Ireland-backed companies now employ more than 218,000 people in every region and county in Ireland. The record export sales which show a 19% year-on-year increase in export value and increased employment is proof that our enterprise policy is working well.”
Enterprise Ireland CEO Leo Clancy said,
“These are significant exports results and reflect the incredible innovation and ambition of the Irish enterprise sector. While the record 19% year-on-year increase in exports is influenced by inflation in certain sectors, most notably in the dairy industry, the results released today demonstrate the continued strength of Irish products and services in international markets. This is due to Ireland’s hard-won reputation for quality, service and innovation.
“Among the very positive aspects of this year’s export results is the 28% increase in exports to the Eurozone, with this region now representing 25% of client exports. 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.
“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 and skills.”
Minister of State for Employment Affairs and Retail Business, Neale Richmond, TD, said,
“The Government is determined to continue to assist Irish companies to compete and win in international markets. It is important that Irish businesses are supported as they adapt to a rapidly changing economy, from the challenges posed by digitalisation to the reduction of emissions and the opportunities presented by a low-carbon global economy. Enterprise Ireland does such important work to guide businesses through these challenges and I look forward to working with them to benefit Irish businesses.”
The Enterprise Ireland Summit marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of the agency and a range of prominent contributors will reflect on that journey and look forward to the future opportunities for Irish enterprise.
Speakers include Prof Philip R. Lane, Executive Board member of the European Central Bank, Edmond Scanlon, CEO of Kerry Group, Dr. Patricia Scanlon of Soapbox Labs and Dan Flinter, first CEO of Enterprise Ireland.
According to Leo Clancy,
“Scaling Irish businesses, focused on international growth will play an increasingly important role in job creation and economic progress in the coming years.
As we reflect on a record year of export growth in Enterprise Ireland’s 25-year history, we also seek to drive the future enterprise agenda as Irish businesses adapt to increased digital adoption, the new low-carbon economy and the skills challenge.
Today we are also unveiling a new brand identity for Enterprise Ireland that reflects our journey with Irish businesses and how we support them in winning in international markets and creating high-quality jobs in Ireland.”
Other key figures from the 2022 export results include:
Total sales by companies supported by Enterprise Ireland (domestic and export sales) totalled €62.3bn
In 2022 Food exports account for 50% of total exports, with Non-food accounting for 50%
Food and Sustainability sector highlights:
Primary meats and food technology exports increased by 17% to €4.59bn
Dairy, Beverage & Food FDI exports increased by 28% to €9.312bn
Prepared consumer foods, seafood and horticulture exports increased by 11% to €1.91bn
Climate, sustainability and agritech exports increased by 12% to €364m
Industrial and Life Sciences sector highlights:
Engineering exports increased by 21% to €2.33bn
High tech construction & housing exports increased by 17% to €2.79bn
Life Sciences exports increased by 8% to €2.48bn
Materials, Print & Packaging exports increased by 6% to €0.92bn
Technology and Services sector highlights:
Retail, consumer and Online exports increased by 16% to €1.25bn
Fintech, financial and business services increased by 14% to €2.38bn
Digital tech sector increased by 23% to €2.57bn
International Education, Ed Tech and Professional Services increased by 21% to €1.17bn
Export results for other territories
Exports to Asia Pac, which were relatively flat in 2021, increased by 11% in 2022 to €2.36bn
Exports to Latin America continued to grow, albeit from a low base, and increased by 25% in 2022 to €325m
Exports to the Middle East, Africa and India increased by 13% to €1.59bn