Vietnam set to be in focus as Irish exporters look east

Vietnam is expected to be the fastest-growing destination for Irish exporters in the next decade — closely followed by China, India and Malaysia — as companies continue to look east to boost trade levels, a new survey has found.

Vietnam set to be in focus as Irish exporters look east

On a combined basis, those three countries are expected to account for around 40% of the total growth in Irish merchandise exports, HSBC has said.

In its latest Irish trade forecast, HSBC said despite the economic uncertainty opposed by Brexit, the UK will “most likely” remain Ireland’s second largest merchandise export destination up to 2030.

HSBC’s outlook for Irish export growth to the far east is for the years between 2020 and 2030.

“Ireland will continue to look at advanced economies as its primary merchandise export market and the UK and US will continue to be key in the long-term,” said HSBC Ireland chief executive Alan Duffy.

“However, rising disposable income levels in Asia will also lead to some rebalancing over time, with exports to China expected to grow by 10% a year in the decade to 2030,” he added.

HSBC said that while Irish exporters will continue to spread trade across the EU, the loss of preferential access to a key export market – namely, the UK, in light of Brexit – will weigh on Ireland’s economy, “reducing supply side potential and actual output”.

“As we navigate uncertainty, making trade forecasts is unusually difficult. But, whilst we will see uncertainty and confidence effects on domestic demand over the medium term, it is unlikely to derail it completely,” Mr. Duffy said.

Elsewhere, the latest Deloitte CFO (chief financial officer) survey shows that nearly a third of Irish finance chiefs are more optimistic about the financial prospects for their company than they were in either of the last two quarters.

That said, Brexit remains a concern, with 50% of Irish CFOs (and 37% of European CFOs) saying the UK’s decision to leave the EU will have a negative impact on their business.

Deloitte Ireland partner Alan Flanagan also pointed to upcoming elections in France and Germany as matters concerning finance chiefs.

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