Irish imports of UK goods and services is set to surge from existing record highs to €66bn in the coming decade.
The value of imports from the UK will grow by 66% in the next 10 years, adding a further €26bn to the overall level of imports which currently stands at a record-high of €40bn.
Ireland will remain the UK’s fifth largest trading partner and biggest per capita, according to the findings of Barclays’s Trade Forecast.
Barclays Bank Ireland head of client coverage, Helen Kelly said that while changing demographics, and a structural shift towards emerging markets will continue to reshape the UK’s overall trade mix, Ireland will remain a critical trading partner of increasing significance over the coming years.
“Each week, over €1bn of trade is conducted between Ireland and the UK, highlighting the huge economic significance of the two markets to each other.
“While the US is set to remain the UK’s largest individual trading partner and emerging markets such as China and India are set to become key export destinations for UK goods and services in the future, trade with Ireland is at all-time record levels and is projected to grow considerably over the next 10 years.
“Financial services will be the UK’s single largest export sector in 2026 and given Ireland’s well-established positioning as a global hub for financial services, it is certain to provide greater trade opportunities going forward,” he said.
Added to the growing size of Ireland’s financial services sector are opportunities across a range of other sectors.
With IDA policy tending to focus on attracting investment from hi-tech sectors such as pharmaceutical, finance and energy, and Enterprise Ireland seeking to develop the same sectors indigenously, the direction of the economy should complement the strengths of UK exporters which specialise in high-value goods and services.
Ireland is also home to many multinational companies such as Dell, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and Microsoft all of which provide demand for many service-related sectors, which is a key growth area for UK exports.
The Barclays report sees Ireland becoming the second biggest importer of UK services by 2020.
It also predicts imports of services will surpass goods imports from the UK for the first time in the same period.
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