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News & Events

Tánaiste and Minister Troy welcome record goods exports of €160.8bn for 2020

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD and the Minister of State for Trade Promotion Robert Troy TD today (Monday the 15th of February 2021) welcomed the latest Goods Exports and Imports release from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), with preliminary figures showing that the value of goods exports from Ireland rose to €160.8bn in 2020, the highest level on record.

The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar TD said:

“These results show that Ireland’s export-led trading sector has proven to be extremely resilient during 2020, an unprecedented year globally. Exports are now at historically high levels. 

“These companies employ hundreds of thousands of people here and steady tax receipts have allowed us to support struggling businesses with grants, wage subsidies, a rates holiday and a VAT cut.

“Although we also saw growth in exports to non-EU countries, the majority of the growth went to the European Union. Ireland continues to benefit from a connected, multi-beneficial trade relationship with the EU.

“The Government will continue to help companies diversify and discover new markets, while also helping our indigenous enterprise sector to weather the current challenges and adapt to Brexit. 

“Our multinational sector helped Ireland recover during our last recession and will be crucial as we rebuild after the pandemic.”

The latest Goods Exports and Imports statistics were also welcomed by Minister for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Robert Troy TD, who commented:

“Export growth in Ireland in recent years has been very strong and the value of goods exports rose to its highest level in 2020. Our exporters and enterprise agencies have been working hard to counter the challenges posed by the Covid 19 pandemic and Brexit and today’s trade data shows that companies in Ireland are still performing strongly in international markets.

“2021 is the year we make Trade Promotion a priority, because as a small open economy, trade and its promotion are key, and diversifying our export markets has never been more important. The Government is committed to strengthening our trade links and opening up new trade markets between Ireland and the rest of the world, and supporting companies to adapt and succeed in a post-Brexit environment.  While the UK will remain a major market for Irish companies, expanding the Irish export market in markets beyond the UK will continue to be a priority.”

The value of goods exports increased by €8.3bn or 5.4% when compared to 2019.

The US continues to be Ireland’s biggest single goods export market, accounting for €49,845 million or 31% of total exports in 2020.

The EU accounted for €63,859 million (40%) of total exports in 2020, an increase of €7,211 million (+13%) on 2019. As the UK had exited the EU on January 31st 2020, the data comparing EU trade in 2019 and 2020 excludes the UK for both periods for comparative purposes.

Exports to non-EU countries (excluding the UK) were valued at €82,457 million in 2020, which is an increase of €2,360 million (+3%) on the 2019 level of exports.

Exports to Great Britain in 2020 were €12,399 million, which is a decrease of €1,183 million (-9%) compared with 2019. Exports to Great Britain accounted for 8% of total exports in 2020.

The largest increase in goods exports was in Medical and Pharmaceutical Products which increased by €12,557 million to €62,078 million in 2020 (+25% when compared with 2019). These accounted for 39% of all exports in 2020.

Exports of Chemicals and related products increased to €1.05 bn. This represents an increase of 13.8% on the 2019 value

The CSO figures can be viewed here: 

Goods Exports and Imports December 2020 - CSO - Central Statistics Office