A bounce in the German-Irish trade has been welcome by President Michael D Higgins as evidence of the strong & strategic bilateral relationship.
At the beginning of a 3-day state visit to Germany, the President paid tribute to the Irish firms which have contributed to the development of Germany & have made it the 3rd largest export market, worth €23Bn annually.
Mister Higgins told a business audience in Berlin that he was affirmative that the Irish Industry & the relationship between the two countries will withstand the uncertainties of Brexit & an emerging wave of protectionism.
He said that the Irish Industry has steadily shown itself to be ground-breaking & adaptable in the face of change & uncertainty & he was very confident that the Irish firms will face the new challenge with their determination & customary strength.
In 1962 when the Irish Trade Office initiated its German Office, the worth of exports was €7.6 million mostly in sewing machines and livestock. At present, the exports are three times that and are inclusive of medical equipment, mobile communications, & pharmaceuticals.
Enterprise Ireland has 600 firms selling over €1Bn of goods & service into the German market, up 6 percent last year and up to a 5th in two years.
The state agency is in the middle of a push to lessen dependency on the United Kingdom and boost by 50 percent eurozone & international exports by 2020.
Eurozone exports of the agency’s client companies increased by 8 percent in 2018 to €4.8Bn, the 2nd largest market after the United Kingdom.
Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Ireland, Julie Sinnamon defined the developing German-Irish trade relationship & and broader EU business relations beyond the United Kingdom as “critical” for Ireland as a no-deal Brexit becomes “increasingly possible”.