Irish whiskey exports have quadrupled in the past decade and are well on their way to seeing incomes of €0.5 billion. We’ve become the fourth-largest exporter of whiskey in the world, the second-largest in the EU.
Not bad for an island economy.
Then take beer exports. Our beer exports place Ireland as the fifth-largest beer supplier in terms of total beer exports going outside the EU and fourth for beer sales within the EU.
Again, not bad for an island economy.
The US market has become Irish beer’s top export destination outside the EU; within the EU, it’s the UK according to Beer Connects Europe with the World, a new publication from the Brewers of Europe on the global significance of trade and investment by the EU brewing sector.
In comparing Ireland’s position with that of our nearest neighbour the UK, Ireland is the UK’s top export destination for its beer and UK is our top export destination for beer within the EU.
All of which goes to show that Brexit or no Brexit, in 2017 and the years beyond, the UK and Ireland will have to remain important trading partners with each other – and not just in beer.
With the change of government – and attitude – in the US, ‘local’ commerce is likely to become increasingly important to both islands in 2017 and beyond.
As one year draws to a close and another dawns, we do indeed live in interesting times! So may we take this opportunity to wish you a very happy Christmas and – with punctilious planning – a prosperous 2017!