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New report highlights cruciality of cross-border trade


There are fears that Brexit will hit cross-border trade

There are fears that Brexit will hit cross-border trade

AFP/Getty Images

There are fears that Brexit will hit cross-border trade

Northern Ireland is the number one destination for exports from the Republic of Ireland, according to new research.

InterTradeIreland's 'cross-border trade and supply chain linkages' report found that 51% of Republic exporters ship more than half of their goods to Northern Ireland.

The report also found that more than a quarter of Republic firms ship almost all of their exports (95%) to here.

Northern Ireland accounts for between 10% and 12% of the total exports from the Republic to the UK as a whole, and accounted for between 7% to 8% of imports, according to the figures.

The report found a significant share of cross-border trade is accounted for by firms which trade simultaneously in both directions.

These two-way traders make up around 18% of firms, however they accounted for over 60% of exports, and over 70% of imports.

The report highlights a high level of product turnover among trading firms which regularly introduce new products to the market, with many goods traded for one year only.

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This pattern is consistent across companies of all sizes, as well as between food and non-food firms - showing a high degree of innovation among cross-border traders.

Companies that trade across the border were also revealed to be more likely to introduce new goods and services, with 35% introducing products for just one year

Aidan Gough, director at InterTradeIreland, said: "This report shows the disproportionate importance of cross-border trade for businesses across the island.

"The high degree of connectivity in supply chains, which the report underlines, shows the importance of firms planning for a number of post-Brexit scenarios."

He added: "Now is not the time for complacency or apathy in relation to Brexit."