Irish exports grow 10% to hit record €18.6bn

Exporters’ reputation as the economic engine of the country was further cemented yesterday as figures revealed that exports hit record levels in 2014.

Irish companies sold an all-time high €18.6bn worth of goods and services last year, with growth of 10% spread across all sectors.

The figures, released by Enterprise Ireland as part of the Government’s latest update on the action plan for jobs, illustrate the steady growth of the sector since 2010, when total exports stood at €13.9bn.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said: “

These exports directly supported 8,500 extra jobs created in these companies last year.

“This does not happen automatically, but if we implement the right policies we can improve on this in future years as part of our drive towards sustainable full employment by 2018.”

Enterprise Ireland chief executive Julie Sinnamon said the results validated the agency’s investment in indigenous industry.

“Significantly, growth was recorded across all sectors and in all international markets,” said Ms Sinnamon. “These results are reflected in the record jobs performance by Enterprise Ireland clients in 2014 [which] recorded the highest net job gains in the history of the agency and further validate Enterprise Ireland’s investment in indigenous industry.”

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said among the Government’s new set of goals were to see more people returning to work here than emigrating. “Getting the unemployment rate down from 10% to 5% will actually be much more difficult than getting it from 15% down to 10%,” Mr Kenny said. “The Tánaiste and I have discussed this — we don’t want to leave anybody stranded.”

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