How is the economy in Ireland 2017

The Irish economy

Our Dublin Foreign Trade Center has put together the most important information about the Irish economy for you

Economic situation

The Irish economy coped with the double blow of the pandemic and Brexit surprisingly well. Ireland is the only EU country whose GDP grew slightly by 0.8% (EIU) in 2020 (+ 2.5% Central Bank of Ireland (CBI)). This is all the more astonishing since the country was literally closed (in hard lock-down) for a total of 147 days in 2020. Due to poorly equipped hospitals (240 intensive care beds in Ireland - 244 in Styria), Ireland relied on the strictest measures in Europe for a long time.

As in the 2008/09 crisis, the activities of the branches of international (mostly US) large corporations in the medtech, pharmaceuticals and ICT sectors stabilized the Irish economy. Rising exports (+ 4%) in these sectors and the increase in corporate tax income (+ 8.7%) were the main reasons for the good macroeconomic figures.

Special developments

Although only 8% of Irish goods exports are delivered to the UK, the neighboring country is by far the most important buyer of Irish food (e.g. 50% of the beef and pork produced in Ireland).

The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), concluded shortly before Christmas 2020, complicates and increases the cost of exchanging goods between Ireland and the UK; Noticeable in the short term through the interruption of long-established supply chains in industry and trade. A no-deal scenario could be averted, however, according to various forecasts, the change in the status quo will reduce Ireland's economic growth by 1% in 2021 and by 3.5% in the long term. According to an estimate by the CBI, the exchange of services (which the TCA excludes) will decrease by almost 50%.

Irish companies, but also state and state-affiliated companies (Irish Rail, Irish Water, DAA (airport), etc.) are working specifically to diversify away from British suppliers due to the additional bureaucracy and costs involved in trading with the UK and see themselves as special in the euro area. Investment projects (National Development Plan) and subsidies for the structurally weak regions hit hard by Brexit (agricultural industry) offer additional opportunities for Austrian companies in this context.

Economic relations with Austria

After record values ​​for Austrian deliveries to Ireland in 2019 (goods 343 million (+ 12%), DL 1.3 billion (+ 49%)), Austria's exports fell back to the level of 2018 in the first year of the pandemic (311 Million EUR - -9.2%). Austrian service exports brought in almost a quarter to EUR 760 million (-22.3%) due to the large passenger transport position (Laudamotion / Ryanair).

The demand from the manufacturing branches of large multinational companies in the pharmaceutical and medtech sector proved to be crisis-proof, with declines in the product groups passenger cars / tractors (-66%) and cranes / refrigerators (-33%) being recorded. Irish exports to Austria went against the global trend (-8.6%) by 13.3% (especially food additives and chemicals).

For details on the general economic conditions as well as opportunities and opportunities on the Irish market, please refer to our current economic report 1-12 / 2020.

In addition, the Foreign Trade Center Dublin is available for information and personal advice: Just send an e-mail or give us a call.

Statistics: country profile

The country profile Ireland of AUSSENWIRTSCHAFT AUSTRIA and the statistics department provides a brief overview of the most important statistical data on the economy, politics and society.

You can find important economic and basic data and information for a large number of other countries on the respective country pages and in the overview of country profiles worldwide.

Main sectors of the Foreign Trade Center & business opportunities for Austrian companies

Renewable energy 

The share of renewable energies in Ireland's total energy consumption was 12% in early 2021. The target of 16% set for 2020 was not achieved despite great efforts, especially in the area of ​​wind energy. Information and statistics on the subject can be found in the Renewable Energy in Ireland Report 2020 from the SEAI - Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.

Ireland currently covers 32% of its electricity needs with wind energy and is in 3rd place worldwide behind Denmark and Uruguay.

The key factors for further expanding the share of electricity from renewable energies are national subsidies. As part of the
Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) various incentives are set for producers.

Opportunities for Austrian companies

Austrian companies in the field of renewable energies (heat pumps, biomass & district heating) enjoy an excellent reputation in Ireland. Ireland will continue to rely on the expansion of wind energy in the future. Solar energy, biomass, heat pumps and waste-to-energy remain interesting niches in which some Austrian suppliers are already strongly present and where a lot will happen over the next few years.

Are you looking for detailed information on the renewable energy sector in Ireland? Contact the Dublin Foreign Trade Center.

Life Science & Pharma | Medtech

Life science and medtech are the success stories of Irish economic development. In 2021, 13 of the 15 largest medtech companies and the 10 largest pharmaceutical companies had manufacturing facilities in Ireland. The industries are huge in relation to the total population (4.9 million). 65,000 direct employees generate almost a third of Irish GDP (source: IDA) and produce 58% of total Irish exports (EUR 93 billion in 2020, source: CSO).
The sectors also grew during the corona pandemic, with a particularly high level of dynamism in the biopharmaceutical sector. 19 of the 20 largest biopharmaceutical companies in Ireland are now represented. Tax incentives for research and development as well as the existing clusters of companies and qualified personnel will allow the area to grow at above-average rates over the next few years.

Opportunities for Austrian companies

We see opportunities primarily in the areas of setting up production facilities (clean room technologies, energy recovery, etc.), but also in the delivery of raw materials and intermediates. The areas of clinical research and biobanking, where increased activities are to be expected in the next few years, are particularly expandable. Due to Brexit, Irish companies are increasingly looking for suppliers within the EU (common standards) and the euro zone.

Are you looking for more detailed information on the Life Science & Pharma industry? Contact the Dublin Foreign Trade Center.

Tourism infrastructure

Ireland's agrarian central country and the tourism-dependent west coast were particularly hard hit by the pandemic and Brexit. In addition to the National Development Plan 2018-2027, the Rural Development Policy 2021-2025 also applies