by Richard Buckley, Editor, Business Eye

The latest research unveiled by InterTradeIreland today shows that for over half (51 per cent) of Irish exporters, Northern Ireland is the destination for more than 50 per cent of their exports. Northern Ireland accounts for between 10 and 12 percent of total exports from Ireland to the UK as a whole and accounted for seven to eight per cent of imports.


Given that the population of Northern Ireland makes up less than three per cent of the UK total, this shows the closeness of the economic ties between the two jurisdictions.
  • The reports finds a very significant share of cross-border trade is accounted for by firms that trade simultaneously in both directions. These two-way traders make up around 18 per cent of firms but accounted for over 60 percent of exports, and over 70 per cent of imports.
  • The report highlights a high level of ongoing product turnover among trading firms who regularly introduce new products to the market, with many goods traded for one year only. This pattern is consistent across companies of all sizes, as well as between food and non-food firms – showing a high degree of innovation among cross-border traders.
  • Aidan Gough, Director at InterTradeIreland, said: “This report shows the disproportionate importance of cross-border trade for businesses across the island. The high degree of connectivity in supply chains, which the report underlines, shows the importance of firms planning for a number of post-Brexit scenarios. Now is not the time for complacency or apathy in relation to Brexit.

    All companies in Northern Ireland should ask themselves key questions about where they buy their supplies from, as well as where and how they sell their products. An easy way to get started is to access help and support from InterTradeIreland’s Brexit Advisory Service.”

    Companies that trade across the border were also revealed to be more likely to introduce new goods and services, with 35 per cent introducing products for just one year.

    The integrated nature of the supply chain and strength of cross-border trading relationships means that for many firms, the all-island economy becomes a ripe test-bed for new product innovation. There are fewer barriers to innovation because of previous supply chain knowledge and experience of bringing a product to market,” Aidan added.

    For further information on funding and advice available visit http://www.intertradeireland.com/researchandpublications/

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    Ken Nelson, InterTradeIreland Chairman; Kerry Curran, InterTradeIreland Policy and Research Manager and Aidan Gough, Director InterTradeIreland.

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