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Guess who Ireland's most improved trade partners are...

The US and UK lead the way, but who are we trading with more and more?

The people of the Maldives are trading with Ireland a lot more
The people of the Maldives are trading with Ireland a lot more

WHILE THE NEWS that the likes of the US, UK, Japan and major EU countries are Ireland’s top ten trading partners will come as no surprise, the identities of our most improved trading relationships might.

This week, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore responded to a Dáil question from Fine Gael TD Bernard Durkan, who asked for a list of countries with which trade has improved most in the period between 2010-2012.

The answer threw up some surprising names, with the likes of Tonga, Guam, Uzbekistan, Swaziland and the Maldives leading the way. Nepal, Honduras, Guinea, Namibia and Nicaragua rounded out the list.

The improvements of these relationships was between 333 per cent and 11,200 per cent, but the Tanáiste was quick to point out that the sum of these relationships was minuscule comparative to our “priority partners” such as the US.

It should be noted that these increases were from much lower bases and the combined total of exports to these countries accounted for less than .03 per cent of our total merchandise exports.

Gilmore added that the government would be engaging with the BRICS countries – Bazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – where Ireland has already seen significant growth.

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