Irish firms achieved exports of €17.1bn last year – 18,000 new jobs

10 Jul 2014

Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon addresses last week's Female Founders Forum in Dublin. Photo by Conor McCabe Photography

Irish export companies put in their best performance in a decade, achieving exports of €17.1bn in 2013 and generating 18,000 new jobs in the same year, according to Enterprise Ireland’s annual report.

This translates into a net increase of 5,442 in the number of people employed by exporting firms, also the largest increase in a decade.

According to the report, Irish exporting companies spent €20.2bn in the local economy last year.

Total direct employment in Enterprise Ireland client companies stood at 175,750 and companies supported by Enterprise Ireland were employing and sustaining more than 300,000 jobs in the Irish economy.

For every 10 jobs created in an Irish exporting company it is estimated 13 additional jobs are created elsewhere in the economy in supply and service companies.

Enterprise Ireland added that the number of ministerial-led trade missions has doubled since 2011.

“Today’s report shows that the companies Enterprise Ireland supports continue to go from strength to strength,” the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton said.

“Results are up under virtually every heading, and most importantly, exports have increased to a record €17.1bn and employment has increased by more than 5,442 to 175,750.”

Innovation and export-led growth

In 2013, close to 860 companies were involved in significant R&D projects of more than €100,000 spend per annum, with almost 140 companies engaged in substantial R&D projects of more than €1m spend, both results up on the 2012 figures.

The number of CEOs and managers participating in Enterprise Ireland’s leadership and management development programmes increased to close to 1,100 in 2013.

Enterprise Ireland opened new offices in Istanbul, Turkey, and Austin, Texas, USA, growing its overseas network to 30 international offices.

A dedicated new global sourcing team has also been set up to work closely with IDA Ireland to help identify opportunities for client companies to win a greater share of the procurement spend by multinational corporations in Ireland.

In 2013, Enterprise Ireland invested in 104 new high-potential start-up (HPSU) companies, the highest number yet in a single year

More than 40 projects led by women achieving investment through either HPSU funding or through the Competitive Start Fund increased from 16 in 2012.

“The strong performance of our client companies and their capacity to continuously innovate, develop new products and services and win new export business against the toughest of international competition, represent a tremendous achievement,” said Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon.

“This success in the global marketplace has given rise to the highest net jobs creation recorded in the last decade.

“These companies are contributing hugely to the performance of the Irish economy. Driving continuous innovation and export growth leading to job creation right across the country will continue to be the major focus for Enterprise Ireland over the coming years. 

“As an agency, we are completely committed to this mission, and to working with our client companies to realise their ambitions,” Sinnamon said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years