Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and
Innovation Richard Bruton today claimed Irish entrepreneurs are responsible for
the record Irish trade surplus in June of €4bn. The facts are that mainly
US-owned firms and depressed imports related to the weak domestic economy,
account for it.
The seasonally adjusted Irish trade surplus increased by 8% to
€4bn in June which is the highest surplus ever. The non-seasonally
adjusted trade surplus in June was €4.47bn comprising exports of €8.34bn and
imports of €3.87bn. This is the highest trade surplus since June 2001.
Minister Bruton today
welcomed the latest external merchandise trade statistics, which were released
today (23 August) by the CSO. The preliminary €4bn seasonally adjusted trade
surplus in June is the highest ever surplus.
The Minister added: “I am delighted that the recent good news on the
export front is continuing. It is indeed heartening to know that despite the
turbulent international markets into which we are exporting, our exports are
continuing to perform to an extremely high level. I have said repeatedly that my
priorities are to; get our costs down, get credit to good businesses and to
support the innovation and R&D agenda. These trade figures show what our
entrepreneurs can achieve when the conditions are right and only encourage me
further to pursue this agenda so that we can continue to support export-led
growth and recovery”.
The figures for the first five months of 2011 compared
with those for 2010 show:
Exports increased by 6% to €38,565m:
Exports of Medical and
pharmaceutical products increased by 14% or €1,362m, Organic chemicals by 7%
or €582m and Dairy products by 47% or €217m.
Exports to Spain fell by
16% or €239m.
In the first five months
of 2011, 52% of Ireland’s exports went to the US, Belgium and Great Britain.
Imports increased by 12% to €21,123m:
Imports of Other
transport equipment (including aircraft) increased by 34% or €497m, Medical
and pharmaceutical products by 22% or €318m and Petroleum by 17% or €305m.
Goods from Great Britain
rose by 18% or €952m, from China by 17% or €156m and from Germany by 16% or
€221m. 46% of Ireland’s imports came from Great Britain and the US in the
first five months of 2011.
Bruton said exports to the United States increased
by 11.8% to €9.08bn. He said the importance of the US market will be underpinned when he leads a trade mission there in mid September.
Exports to the EU
rose by 4.2% to €22.336bn in the first five months of 2011. Within the EU there
has been some very important export achievements to countries such as the Czech
Republic where in the first five months of 2011 exports grew by 95% to €235m and
to Sweden by 25% to €345m.
In addition, some high potential markets on which there has been a particular
focus recently have shown very substantial growth over the same period, with
exports to Brazil increasing by over 9% to €112m and exports to India, (where
the Minister led a trade mission earlier this year) growing by 30% to €83m.
Exports to South Korea increased by 5.3% to €141m.
This is a fairytale and 90% of Irish tradeable exports
are made by foreign firms not by Irish entrepreneurs; in fact many local units
of American firms generally do not have any control on the overseas destination
of their output. In true ministerial tradition, Bruton even claims credit for a
rise in exports to India. Tade with that market is merely a decimal point.
The Minister said: “Exports to
dynamic emerging economies and those of Asia show the benefits of helping
exporters concentrate more on these markets. For example I expect growth in
exports to South Korea will receive a major boost from the Free Trade Agreement
with Korea that started on 1 July.”
The Minister went on to say, “These are very welcome trends and show that
Irish business is rising to the challenge of seeking out new markets and winning
new business. These figures emphasise both the importance of trade to the
economy and its potential to be a significant contributor to recovery.”
The Minister also welcomed the fact that imports over the first five months had
risen across a broad range of categories. Commenting on this aspect of the trade
data Bruton said : “These show that businesses are increasing their
purchases of raw materials and inputs, which dovetails with the signs of
business recovery from the lower levels of economic activity over recent times”.
Commenting on the data for important exporting sectors the Minister said :
“The Government is devoting considerable effort to the food sector, which is
so important for Irish owned firms. It is indeed heartening to see that food
exports grew by over 19% to €3.151bn, while key high technology exports in areas
such as medical and pharmaceutical products grew at a very fast pace. We are
strengthening our already leading position in that area’
He also welcomed data released by Eurostat, the EU statistics body last week,
which showed that Ireland had the third largest trade surplus of the 27 Member
States for the five months January - - May 2011 (after Germany and the
Netherlands). Bruton said it was notable that many of the larger countries
had very significant deficits. In addition, the Eurostat data showed that
Ireland’s contribution to the EU’s total exports to other countries increased by
20% in June last, over the previous month.
This bragging is ridiculous when
Ireland is overwhelmingly dependent on foreign-owned firms.
IBEC, the business, said
new CSO trade figures show that Ireland's export-led economic recovery remains
on track. The value of Irish exports of goods during the first half of 2011
recorded a 6.1% increase to €46.9bn, compared with imports of €25bn. The CSO
figures also indicate that the volume of exports rose by nearly 8% during the
first five months, compared to a less than 1% increase in the volume of imports.
Commenting on the figures, IBEC head of trade Pat Ivory said: "The figures
demonstrate the crucial contribution trade is making to the economy. Ireland is
continuing to experience an export-led recovery, with strong exports of
traditional goods, such as dairy and meat products, as well as high-tech goods,
such as medical devices and chemicals. The highly open nature of the Irish
economy means that exports are making a substantially higher contribution to GDP
and economic recovery than in most other countries."