News & Events

St Patrick’s Day Programme offers unique opportunity to highlight Ireland as an outstanding location to invest in and trade with

Ahead of Ireland’s largest ever St Patrick’s Day programme, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney TD, along with Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Dara Calleary TD, and Minister of State for Employment Affairs and Retail Business, Neale Richmond TD again highlighted the importance of international trade for Ireland and the message that Ireland is an outstanding location to invest in and trade with.

This year’s St Patrick’s Day programme will see the widest engagement yet by Ireland worldwide, with Ministers reaching out to partner Governments and Irish communities on every continent. In all, 36 representatives of the State will bring Ireland’s message to 74 cities in 44 countries. 

Minister Coveney will be travelling to Australia, while Minister Calleary will travel to France and Minister Richmond will travel to Spain and Portugal.

Minister Coveney said: 

“St Patrick’s Day offers an unparalleled opportunity to promote Ireland around the world and forms a key element of the Government’s ‘Global Ireland’ strategy which seeks to promote Ireland as an outstanding location to live, visit, work, invest in, trade with, and study.”

The Ministers recalled that 2022 was a record year for Irish trade with the latest trade data from the CSO showing that Ireland’s international trade exceeded €1,000 billion for the first time.

In 2022 exports (goods and services) reached €545 billion, an increase of €86 billion, or 19%, over 2021.

Imports for 2022 (goods and services) were valued at €494 billion, an increase of €97 billion, or 25%, over 2021.

Minister Calleary said: 

“Ireland’s exports and imports play critical roles in global value chains and are integral to our economic wellbeing. Our success as a trading nation has been significantly aided by our growing reputation as a global centre for innovation and development. This is the message that Ministers Coveney, Richmond, and I, along with other Ministers, will be carrying around the world over the St Patrick’s day period.”

The Ministers noted that Ireland is the fastest growing economy in the EU and is home to nine of the top ten US technology companies, all ten of the world’s leading pharma companies and 14 of the world’s top 15 med-tech companies.

Minister Richmond added:

“As one of the most globalised economies in the world, trade forms the backbone of our economy, spurring economic growth, job creation, and raising living standards.”

Today, 1.3 million jobs in Ireland, nearly half of the workforce are underpinned by international trade and investment.

Minister Coveney’s visit to Australia will include Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra and Perth. In France Minister Calleary will visit Paris, Strasbourg and Lyon, while Minister Richmond’s visit to Spain and Portugal will include both Madrid and Lisbon. The Ministers will be taking the opportunity to promote Irish trade and meet business leaders, as well as engaging with political counterparts and meeting the Irish diaspora in the different locations they visit. They will be acknowledging a number of important milestones that occur this year: the centenary of Ireland’s joining the League of Nations; the fiftieth anniversary of our accession to the then EEC; and the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. 

Notes for editors


The latest Goods Exports and Imports release from the CSO shows that the value of goods exports from Ireland in 2022 rose to €208 billion, the highest level on record. 

The value of Goods Exports increased by more than €42 billion, or 26%, when compared to 2021. 

The largest increase was in exports of Medical and Pharmaceutical Products which increased by €17 billion to €80 billion (+28%) and in Organic Chemicals which increased by €11 billion to €37 billion (+42%).

The US continues to be Ireland’s biggest single goods export market, accounting for €63,032 million or 30% of total goods exports in 2022.

The EU accounted for €80,639 million (39%) of total exports in 2022, an increase of €18,976 million (31%) on 2021.

Exports to Great Britain in 2022 were €17,167 million, which is an increase of €2,749 million (19%) compared with 2021.  Exports to Great Britain accounted for 8% of total exports in 2022.

The CSO’s recent International Accounts release indicates that Ireland’s Services Exports and Imports were valued at €337 billion and €354 billion respectively in 2022, both showing significant increases on their 2021 values. The highest category of exports was Computer Services (68%) and of imports was Business Services (43%).

Trade and Investment Strategy

The goal of the Government’s Trade and Investment Strategy 2022-26, Value for Ireland, Values for the World, is to see Ireland grow sustainably, diversify export markets and provide for Ireland’s continued economic wellbeing. The strategy addresses not only trade and investment issues but also climate and sustainability by setting out a principled and holistic approach to trade policy.

The strategy identified seven priority actions namely:

  1. supporting Ireland’s economic and trade ecosystem;
  2. reviewing and refreshing our Local Market Teams;
  3. optimising Ireland’s position within Global Value Chains and Supply Chains;
  4. communicating Ireland’s interests as a trading nation;
  5. maximising Ireland’s return from EU Free Trade Agreements;
  6. inaugurating a new annual Team Ireland Trade Mission Week;
  7. taking steps to reap the benefits of the EU Single Market.

Implementation of the Strategy is overseen by the Trade and Investment Council which is chaired by Minister Coveney with Minister Calleary as deputy chair.