News & Events

Exports by Enterprise Ireland companies surpass €20bn for first time

Increase in exports in all sectors - software, construction and manufacturing saw greatest increases - Focus on diversification into USA, Europe, and High Growth Markets paying off for Irish companies - Enterprise Ireland companies spend €23.7bn in the domestic economy in 2015

Enterprise Ireland companies saw an increase of 10% in exports in 2015, compared with 2014, amounting to an all-time high of €20.6bn. The export figure is now almost double what it was 10 years ago (€10.73bn in 2005). 

Enterprise Ireland is the agency responsible for helping Irish companies to export to international markets. 

Significant growth was recorded in exports across all sectors and in the majority of export territories according to the official figures published by Enterprise Ireland today (Monday). In particular there were increases of:

  • 32% in exports for internationally traded software companies to €1.8bn
  • 21% in exports for construction and consumer companies to €2.8bn
  • 11% in exports by manufacturing companies to €3.4bn
  • 3% in exports by food companies to €10.6bn


The results also show that exports have increased across most territories with exports to the USA and Canada increasing by 27% to almost €3bn; exports to the UK increasing by 12% to €7.5bn, and exports to Northern Europe increasing by 8% to €4.2bn. 

Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland said: “Enterprise Ireland’s role is to help Irish companies export globally. The 2015 export figure of €20.6bn demonstrates the scale of the success that Irish companies are seeing in terms of winning business at record levels internationally. Significantly, growth was recorded across all sectors and we are seeing that diversification into high growth markets is a focus for our clients. 

“The UK remains our largest export market, but we are seeing a trend whereby the exports to the UK as a proportion of our total client exports has declined from 45% in 2005 to 37% in 2015, as more companies have diversified their export strategies into Northern Europe, the USA and high growth markets including China, India, the Gulf and Brazil”.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD said: “Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD said: “Irish companies continue to deliver for the Irish economy and the figures announced today show the strength and capabilities of Irish companies competing at a global level. These companies have helped to create over 10,000 new jobs during 2015. One of the areas I am focusing on as Minister is to create an environment for job growth in our regions. A strong economy supporting people at work is needed to pay for services and to create a fair society. I would like to congratulate the exporters and also Enterprise Ireland for supporting these companies in achieving these record exports”.

A key aspect of Enterprise Ireland’s strategy was the co-ordination of trade missions to high growth economies including China, Africa and the Middle East.  This was backed up by a wide range of inward buyer visits, market study visits, international trade fairs, Embassy events and knowledge seminars, all aimed at linking Irish companies with international buyers, leading to increased exports and jobs for Ireland.

Enterprise Ireland clients also recorded a spend of €23.7bn in the domestic market, representing an increase of €3.4bn since 2013. The contribution of Enterprise Ireland client companies to the domestic economy is very important, particularly from a regional perspective, as it sustains and creates jobs both directly and indirectly.

Looking ahead, Enterprise Ireland said that it has ambitious targets, as set out in its Strategy 2014-2016, to achieve €22bn in exports in 2016, but that risks remained on the horizon due to wider economic factors.

“There are a number of risks to the continued growth in exports and the uncertainty associated with the UK referendum has already had an impact on clients exporting to the UK. We are hopeful that the UK will remain within Europe, but we will continue to work on our strategy over recent years of supporting our clients to diversify into new markets. Significantly, over the period 2005 to 2015, exports to Eurozone countries have increased by €1.92bn from €2.21bn to €4.13bn” concluded Sinnamon. 


For further information:

Conor O’Donovan, Enterprise Ireland,

01-7272912 / 087 9671342 or

Press Office, Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation,

01-6312200 or