Fears for com­pa­nies with UK ex­port fo­cus

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - NEWS -

AROUND 40 per cent of Ir­ish goods ex­porters traded ex­clu­sively with the UK in 2016. That’s ac­cord­ing to a ma­jor new sur­vey of the Bri­tish-Ir­ish trad­ing re­la­tion­ship by the CSO.

The fig­ures lay bare the po­ten­tial for a hard Brexit to wreak havoc on Ir­ish busi­ness, with SMEs set to be hit hard.

SMEs made up the large ma­jor­ity of the num­ber of en­ter­prises ex­port­ing goods to the UK, at 93 per cent of the to­tal num­ber of UK ex­porters. Mi­cro en­ter­prises (busi­nesses with fewer than 10 em­ploy­ees) alone made up over half the num­ber of firms ex­port­ing to the UK.

The agri-food sec­tor stands to be the most af­fected in value terms, with €3.4bn of goods ex­ported to the UK in 2016 - 24 per cent of the to­tal.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tive group the Ir­ish Ex­porters As­so­ci­a­tion (IEA) said more and more of its mem­bers have been look­ing to di­ver­sify their mar­kets since 2016 - a way of re­duc­ing ex­po­sure to the UK ahead of Brexit.

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