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Ireland's trade to grow 125 per cent by 2026: report

HSBC is forecasting strong growth for Ireland’s trade, particularly in key sectors like pharma and agri-food.

Image: AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko/PA File

IRELAND’S TRADE is set to grow by a much quicker rather than previously expected, according to the latest HSBC Trade Forecast, and could grow by 125 per cent over the next 14 years.

The report forecasts growth of 4.5 per cent over the coming five years, followed by an acceleration to 7.2 per cent to 2021.

HSBC says that its forecasts come after a “significant” increase in foreign direct investment activity in Ireland; the bank says that the effect of this investment is likely to be felt from 2017. FDI activity grew by 22 per cent in Ireland despite dipping by 3 per cent on average across the EU.

Ananth Krishnan, head of trade and supply chain at HSBC Ireland, says that Ireland’s pharmaceutical and dairy exports are likely to be key areas of growth in the coming decade, and that Ireland is expected to benefit from established trade links with the US, Europe and Asia.

The report forecasts strong growth of Ireland particularly in the US, UK, Belgian, French and German exports markets. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is expected to be the fastest-growing export market with growth of 11 per cent over the forecast period; Romania is forecast as second-fastest, with growth exports of 10.6 per cent.

Meanwhile, China and Hong Kong are expected to see growth of 9.5 per cent.

Medical products and chemicals remain Ireland’s key export sector, but HSBC forecasts further growth in the biopharma area of over 15 per cent. The exports of cheese and curd are also expected to boost the agri-food sector with growth of 6.4 per cent expected by 2016.

Growth is also expected in the ‘printing and ancillary machinery’ sector with exports up by 12.7 per cent and imports by 10 per cent.

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“When we speak to Irish companies, their global ambitions are palpably clear and they realise the need to step outside of their comfort zone and look to build counter-party relationships in a number of countries in the emerging markets,” Krishnan said.

“We hope our forecast reports provide a good indication of the potential opportunities in some of these markets and with our global network and understanding of global trade, we look forward to assisting companies seize on these opportunities.”

HSBC’s Global Connections report predicts that imports will for faster than exports to emerging markets within the coming five years, which should see export-driven economies see their import levels rise, driving developed and emerging market growth.

The research was carried out by trade model and forecasting consultancy firm Delta Economics.

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