Life after Brexit: Reasons to be cheerful
Based on recent CSO goods export figures for the calendar year 2016, Irish exports are split evenly between the EU (51%) and non-EU (49%).
Of total goods exports to the EU, 78% is dominated by five countries: Belgium ( 25%), UK ( 22%), Germany ( 13%), Netherlands (10%), and France (8%).
Ultimately, the future for Irish exporters after Brexit will vary by sector. The high- volume, low- margin agri- food sector will face a harder time due to the perishability of its product and longer lead times into continental Europe. This is in stark contrast to the future of data processing and software and the ease with which such products and services can transcend international borders.
We have a resilient exporting sector and, as the world emerges postBrexit, we anticipate seeing Irish exporters having embraced innovation like never before and having successfully penetrated new markets. They’ll have found a new equilibrium.
Brexit will have presented the opportunity to really look at business models to become more competitive. It will have provided the opportunity to look at processes, products, costs, suppliers, overheads, tax structuring, and so on.
The infrastructure sector supporting the export sector will also have adapted, including connections, cargo hubs, etc. With the help of Government, Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia, and other agencies having opened doors, Irish firms will have an even greater global footprint.
While Brexit will cause a shake-up, it will bring opportunities. The UK will remain a very important worldwide economy and trading partner of the EU.
When the dust settles, Irish exporters will reap the benefits of servicing new markets in the EU and further afield. And many will continue to compete successfully in the UK on a new level playing field.