On Wednesday November 13th I had the pleasure to attend a reception to launch the Irish Exporters Association’s “Export Ireland Survey & International Trade Finance Review for 2013”. The reception was hosted by Grant Thornton and they were also sponsors of the publication.
The main objective of the publication is to research and measure the opinions and expectations of companies in Ireland in relation to their export activities. Every year hundreds of companies participate providing their highly valuable input. The results allow the main stakeholders in the Irish economy to have a better understanding of the state of the Irish export industry and allows the IEA to present the findings to Government and propose actions to be taken to improve export performance.
Irish Export Industry
Speaking to Simon McKeever, CEO of the Irish Exporters Association, he said “Our survey provides an insightful annual temperature check on the challenges and opportunities affecting the Irish Export Industry. This year the survey shows positive momentum with increased plans to introduce new products and services over the next 2 years, and a positive trend in the number of sales people recruited over the last 12 months. “ However we cannot afford to be complacent. Our competitiveness remains an issue for many small businesses. We need to encourage more Irish firms to export, to help them identify opportunities and to win business successfully overseas. We are grateful for the professional expertise brought to the survey by our economic adviser Philip Halpin and the continued support of our partner Grant Thornton.
My thanks to Simon for granting me permission to use content from their publication. It is an excellent survey/review and I would urge any company involved in the export business or considering entering new markets to contact the IEA to discuss the findings in more detail and see how they can be of help.
There are seven main parts to the survey and these are:
- Challenges in the marketplace and opportunities facing exporters
- Currency issues
- Trade Finance and Banking
- Payment Issues
- Credit Management
- Support for Exporters
- Grant Thornton Review
The Guest of Honour was Mr Michael Noonan, Minister for Finance, Mr Patrick Burke, Partner Grant Thornton welcomed the guests, Mr Colin Lawlor – President of the Irish Exporters Association spoke on behalf of the IEA and Mr Philip Halpin, Economic Advisor to the IEA presented the findings.
The publication showed that the “green shoots” are coming alive as we emerge from our deep recession; they also tell us about the challenges our exporters feel as they develop new markets.
Some interesting points to emerge from this excellent report show that:
- 80% of businesses expect exports to increase in 2014
- 70% of respondents are targeting new markets
- 88% plan to introduce new products and services over the next two years
- 51% of exporters have recruited new sales staff over the past twelve months
- 45% expect to increase their R&D spend in 2014
- 95% of respondents export to ensure sustainability of their business
- 61% see exporting as having helped them understand their home market more