Export sales generated by Enterprise Ireland client firms hit an all-time high of €17.1bn last year, with the largest net increase in job creation for more than a decade also seen.
The export sales figure was up by 8% on 2012 levels and firms created 18,033 jobs, according to Enterprise Ireland’s annual report, published yesterday.
A net increase of 5,442 in the number of people employed amongst Enterprise Ireland firms was noted; the largest net gain in 10 years and representative, according to the agency, of the link between strong export growth and job creation.
Furthermore, a 20% rise in job commitments by client firms, made during the first half of 2014, has also been reported.
Enterprise Ireland chief Julie Sinnamon, said client firms’ capacity to keep innovating and win new export business against the toughest of international competition represented “a tremendous achievement“, while Jobs and Enterprise Minister, Richard Bruton said the performance provides a welcome confidence boost.
“The indications from the first six months of 2014 are very positive, with job commitments by Irish exporting companies up more than 20% on the same period in 2013, indicating that the 2013 records are set to be exceeded,” said the minister.
“At a fragile point in the economic recovery, this is a hugely important confidence boost from the crucially important Irish exporting sector,” Mr Bruton added.
Enterprise Ireland’s latest annual report also shows that the agency invested in 104 new high-potential start-up firms, which was its highest tally for a single year. Additionally, a 150% jump in the number of female-led start-up projects launched was noted.
By the end of last year, companies supported by Enterprise Ireland were employing and sustaining more than 300,000 direct and indirect jobs.
The agency said that for every 10 jobs created in an Irish export-orientated firm, 13 additional positions are created elsewhere in the economy in supply and service firms.
Latest figures show that direct expenditure by Irish-owned companies, in terms of payroll and purchases of raw materials and services produced in Ireland, account for nearly €20.3bn expenditure in the economy.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved