Exporting for growth

Updated: 27 July 2022

For Irish exporters looking to grow sales, there’s a world of opportunity. The global economy is changing fast and despite the global financial crisis and other short-term factors, Irish exports increased to their highest level on record in 2018, rising by 15% to €140 billion¹.

The internet, improved logistics, and access to local export assistance has made exporting more viable for even the smallest businesses, and with success in export markets crucial to the long-term growth of Irish businesses and the Irish economy, exporting overseas can provide some exciting opportunities.

The European Union accounted for half of all exports last year. Goods worth €71 billion were shipped to the EU during 2018, a 13 per cent increase on the prior year.¹

Exports to non-EU countries were valued at €69,851 million, a 17 per cent increase on the previous year. The US was the largest non-EU destination, accounting for 28 per cent of total exports.¹

Benefits of exporting

Exporting can be a profitable way of expanding, spreading risk and reducing dependence on the local market. Typically businesses that export, see better prospects for growth, create more jobs, pay higher wages and tend to adapt new technology and best practise techniques faster. All of which leads to a more efficient and productive business.

Putting your export plan in place

Exporting isn’t simply an add-on to your existing business, it should be part of an overall strategy to develop your business. When planning to export here are some things to consider:

  • Do desk research to identify the most suitable and your competitors.
  • Use your networks for opportunities to leverage from existing customers in Ireland which have overseas operations.
  • Review the opportunity to develop your products and services to capitalise on new market opportunities.
  • Know the challenges such as competition, cultural differences, and export controls, and how will you address them.
  • Factor in the amount of capital you can commit to export production and marketing.
  • Have realistic expectations regarding return on investments from international activities.

¹Central Statistics Office