Irish SMEs need to plan for Brexit
The UK is our largest export market, with goods and services exports totaling €30bn in 2014 – 17% of total Irish exports
Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune has said we need to plan for a possible Brexit and the negative impact this may have on our SME sector. The Ireland South MEP, who is a member of the European Parliament SME Intergroup, has called on our State Enterprise agencies to start a new focus on diversifying SMEs export markets.
"Whilst I am confident that Britain will vote to remain within the EU, it is prudent that we should have a plan in place to shield our SME sector from any possible fall out from a British exit of the EU. That includes a concrete plan by organisations like Enterprise Ireland to diversify the markets that our SMEs are trading with.
"Our SME sector is heavily dependent on the UK. It is a natural first staging point for small business looking to expand into the exporting markets. The Irish economy grew by an estimated 5% in 2014. The UK is our largest export market, with goods and services exports totaling €30bn in 2014 – 17% of total Irish exports. The UK ranks as our no.1 market for services exports and no.2 for goods exports at €16.5bn and €13.4bn respectively in 2014.
"There are other countries in the EU, all of whose markets are open to us for consideration. If Brexit doesn't happen, then we have invested in new markets for our SMEs and still have a strong trading partner in the UK. It's a win win strategy.