Annual export increases show the need for more EU trade deals post Brexit, a Dublin-based Senator has said.
Figures from the Central Statistics Office show the value of goods exports in May this year increased by 10% when compared with May 2016.
Fine Gael Senator and EU Affairs spokesman, Neale Richmond, said: “These figures are extremely welcome showing the rude health of the Irish export industry, with particular growth in the pharmaceutical and agri-food industries.
“While it is heartening to see Ireland’s level of exports to the UK increase, the future for Ireland must lie in increasing exports further afield, using our EU membership as a tool to access new markets and also to expand in existing markets with less obstacles.
“In recent weeks, we have seen the EU conclude a very welcome trade deal with Japan, this trade deal will be worth billions to the Irish export industry building on the already healthy export in the Irish agri-food sector with an estimated increase of 33% in exports.
“Building on the success of the existing trade deal with South Korea and the recently agreed trade deal with Canada (CETA), Ireland’s EU membership will allow our export industries to continue to prosper. A focus on agreeing new trade deals with countries such as Australia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Mexico is a welcome move from the European Commission.
“These trade deals are the future for Ireland, we cannot rely solely on good trading relations with the UK in the post Brexit era.
“These welcome export increases show the need for more EU trade deals post Brexit that Ireland can take advantage of and use to grow our export industries.”