China is expected to be the most dynamic emerging market for Irish exports, with its share of total exports forecast to double from around 2pc currently to 4pc by 2030, according to HSBC’s bi-annual trade forecast.
It predicts a sustained upward trend for trade generally of 6pc growth a year and an improving demand for Irish goods and services over the next few years thanks mainly to gathering momentum from the US and eurozone.
The composition of Ireland’s trade flows is forecast to remain relatively stable, with the US, UK and eurozone core sustaining their position as the most important export markets.
The chemicals sector dominates the export outlook for Ireland: it is expected to account for around half of foreign sales over the next few years, and is forecast to contribute around 40pc of export growth in the following decade from 2020-30.
Pharmaceuticals will continue to grow in importance, however, and by the 2021-30 decade are expected to account for over a quarter of export growth.
And at the margins, newer high-tech industries, such as scientific apparatus, will begin to edge out more traditional low-tech exports such as animal products.
“Irish firms are very well placed to exploit the brightening outlook for the major Western economies. Geographic proximity to the UK will allow exporters to share in their brisk recovery, and trade links and a common currency will help Irish firms re-establish their positions in eurozone markets after a few years of lacklustre performance,” said managing director and Ireland head, HSBC Corporate Bank, Alan Duffy.
“Although the rich developed markets will continue to offer the best opportunities for Ireland’s exporters in the near-term, fast-growing demand from emerging markets will becoming increasingly significant over time.”