Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Questions (93, 94)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

93. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the degree to which the potential for growth in trade has been noted between this jurisdiction and African, American and Asian countries with particular reference to the need to maximise all options with a view to continued improvement in economic performance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41393/13]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

94. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which the level of trade has developed over the past five years with countries within the EU, the Americas, Africa, Asia and Australia, and the degree to which potential for development for such markets continues to exist; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41394/13]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 93 and 94 together.

As the Deputy is aware, the Government Trade Tourism and Investment Strategy (hereafter referred to as “the Strategy”) identifies 27 priority markets, including those with the best prospects for increased trade. Local market teams headed by our Ambassadors are in place in these markets and their work is overseen by the high level Export Trade Council, which I chair. I can ensure the Deputy that my Department and the Embassy network will continue to prioritise our work to support the growth of Irish exports.

While the majority of Irish services and merchandise exports go to Europe and the US and we must continue to cultivate these markets, the Government is strongly focused on the further development of trade ties with Latin America, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region. Nine of the 27 priority markets identified under the Strategy are in Latin America, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region (Brazil, South Africa, China, India, Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Republic of Korea). For the first six months of 2013, goods exports to each of these countries were as follows; Brazil, €136.5 million; South Africa, €126 million; China, €730 million; India, €125 million; Australia, €350 million; Japan, €859 million; Malaysia, €108 million; Singapore, €278 million and the Republic of Korea, €166 million.

Under the oversight of the Export Trade Council, which I chair, we will continue to work to boost bilateral trade with these countries, as well as other key markets in Latin America, the Asia-Pacific region and Africa. In relation to Africa, my Department’s targeted Strategy is aimed at exploring new sectors and markets in that continent that have particular potential for Irish companies and we are working closely with the state agencies and Irish companies on its ongoing implementation. As part of our continued work in this area, my colleague, the Minister of State for Trade and Development, Mr. Joe Costello TD., will lead a trade mission to South Africa & Nigeria from 10 - 15 November. This will be the third trade mission to South Africa in as many years.

My Department also co-ordinates Joint Economic Commissions (JECs) with a number of important markets including South Korea, Russia, China and Saudi Arabia. The focus of JEC discussions with these countries is on key priority sectors for the Irish export sector and for inward investment into Ireland. My Department, in cooperation with the Embassy network and a number of other Departments and state agencies, hosted JECs with Korea and China during 2012 and the Department is in the process of organising JECs with Russia for the fourth quarter of 2013 and Saudi Arabia for the first quarter of 2014.

Ireland’s exports have performed well over the past five years. The total value of merchandise exports in 2012 was €92 billion, representing an increase of 6.48% on the 2008 figure (€86.4 billion), while services exports for 2012 reached €90.29 billion; an increase of 33% on 2008 (€67.9 billion). A table, using CSO data, showing the value of Ireland’s goods imports and exports by region over the last 5 years is reproduced below:

Goods Imports by Area (EUR Million)

Period

Great Britain

Northern Ireland

Other EU 1

EFTA 2

Other Europe 3

NAFTA 4

Other APEC5

Rest of World

Unclassified 6

Total

2008

17,941

1,261

17,353

1,841

450

7,316

8,559

1,458

1,404

57,585

2009

12,787

941

12,997

1,328

285

8,403

5,621

1,584

1,115

45,061

2010

13,823

990

13,049

2,148

290

6,900

5,471

1,770

1,321

45,763

2011

15,638

1,047

13,671

1,937

333

6,412

5,410

2,000

1,868

48,315

2012

15,419

1,023

12,777

1,905

376

6,914

5,525

3,479

1,604

49,024

Goods Exports by Area (EUR Million)

Period

Great Britain

Northern Ireland

Other EU 1

EFTA 2

Other Europe 3

NAFTA 4

Other APEC5

Rest of World

Unclassified 6

Total

2008

14,300

1,565

37,976

3,085

554

17,610

8,180

2,914

210

86,394

2009

12,305

1,292

38,616

2,937

540

19,562

7,574

2,857

121

85,803

2010

12,617

1,326

38,169

4,003

577

22,169

7,397

3,312

133

89,703

2011

12,845

1,422

38,293

4,109

641

22,776

7,189

3,890

63

91,228

2012

13,794

1,445

39,024

5,393

640

19,621

7,350

4,625

117

92,009

1 France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania

2 Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Norway

3 Includes Ceuta, Melilla, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, San Marino, Belarus, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Turkey, Andorra, Vatican City, Albania, Moldova, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine, Kosovo

4 USA, Canada, Mexico

5 APEC excluding NAFTA countries: Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Philippines, China, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Vietnam, Peru

6 Trade not classified by country, including Intrastat survey estimates for which a breakdown is not available