- by Patrick Cooney on 12/04/2021

Irish companies are continuing to broaden their reach across the globe, selling internationally has become even more important in a time when online retail and trade is becoming the primary means of selling products and services. This week based on the latest figures from the UN's COMTRADE database (1), we've analysed the main countries other Irish companies are currently trading into.

Looking at the European markets, like 2019, Belgium appears to be the most important export market in terms of value of goods exported, equalling $20.44B, 11% of all exports in 2020. These exports to Belgium are predominantly in medical & pharmaceutical products and organic chemicals (2). It should also be noted that a proportion of goods that enter through Belgium ports are shipped onto other markets.

Continuing with Europe, Germany came in second with a value of $19.33B (11%) followed by the UK with $16.51B (9.2%). However, the top trading partner in 2020 which equals more than Belgium, Germany and the UK combined is the United States, which accounted for 32% of all exports in 2020, $56.93B.

The US appears to be a market that more Irish companies are looking towards, as it has shown a slight increase of 1% compared with 2019 (3).

China is the second largest consumer outside of Europe, purchasing $11.25B worth of Irish exports. It too showed export growth on the previous year, an increase of 1.2% and now accounts for 6.2% of Irish exports (3).

Other countries on the list include Netherlands consuming 5.4% of our exports, France with 3.3% and Italy with 2.9%.

Top 10 Export Markets 2020

(Millions of USD)

  1. USA: $56.93B
  2. Belgium: $20.44B
  3. Germany: $19.93
  4. United Kingdom: $16.51B
  5. China: $11.25B
  6. Netherlands: $9.77B
  7. France: $5.89B
  8. Italy: $5.27B
  9. Switzerland: $3.68
  10. Japan: $3.18B

With more and more companies looking to export to new markets, as uncertainty continues to grow given the current economic environment surrounding the pandemic, not to mention Brexit, it is important to perform background checks, proper due diligence, and full credit risk assessments before supplying goods abroad and selling on credit to international businesses.

CRIFVision-net offers our customers the ability to complete these checks and receive reports on over 200m companies trading across the globe through our International Search facility, which is already available from within your Vision-net.ie account, simply login and search for any company in the world.

To find out more, simply contact us today on:

Email: info@vision-net.ie

Phone: 01 903 2660


(1) Trading Economics - United Nations COMTRADE Database (tradingeconomics.com/ireland/exports-by-country)

(2) Enterprise Ireland - Exporting to Belgium and Luxemburg (www.globalambition.ie/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/BELGIUM-BENELUX.pdf)

(3) Central Statistics Office - Top Trading Partners 2019 (www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-ti/irelandstradeingoods2019/toptradingpartners2019/)

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