Belfast Telegraph

All-island trade shows 'resilience' despite the challenges

Aidan Gough of InterTradeIreland
Aidan Gough of InterTradeIreland
Ryan McAleer

By Ryan McAleer

Just over 40% of exporters on the island of Ireland are reporting a negative impact from Brexit, according to cross-border body InterTradeIreland (ITI).

But 41% of businesses responding to ITI's business monitor for July to September said they had experienced continued growth.

ITI has said its research shows that cross-border trading increases a business's probability of rapid growth by some 60%.

Based on the views of more than 750 businesses, the organisation's quarterly monitor is considered one of the largest and most comprehensive surveys on the island.

In keeping with other recent trade surveys, it showed 54% of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) reporting issues with rising costs of overheads, with 41% of larger firms (50-plus employees) reporting skills shortages.

Aidan Gough, ITI's designated officer and director of strategy and policy, said the monitor highlighted the higher growth performance of exporters and cross-border traders.

He said almost half of all firms that trade across the border are growing, with 30% of these companies experiencing a rapid growth in sales, compared to just 18% that do not export.

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"Goods firms exporting across the border have 9% higher levels of productivity than firms that don't export beyond their local market, moreover turnover is almost 100% higher and employment is almost doubled," he said.

The monitor found that 42% of exporters reported Brexit has already had a negative impact on sales, with 38% stating that it has impacted negatively on investment decision-making within their organisation.

Belfast Telegraph