Click on the highlighted countries below to find out key market facts and opportunities that will help you choose your next export destination.Sources: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, The Economist, Enterprise Ireland, Ernst & Young, European Commission, GOV.UK, IMF, Irish Exporters Association, McKinsey & Company, OECD, World Bank
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Turkey is considered Europe’s sixth largest economy with close market access to the Mediterranean, Central Asia and the Middle East. By 2018, Turkey is predicted to be the world’s second-fastest growing economy.
Turkey is under negotiations to join the EU, there is a concerted effort to make it easy for EU countries to trade with Turkey. In 2013, Ireland and Turkey signed a Memorandum of Understanding which is projected to grow bilateral trade from €1.3 billion in 2012 to €3.5 billion by 2023; almost 300 companies with Irish capital are currently active in Turkey.
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Indonesia, currently the biggest economy in Southeast Asia, has the potential to be the world’s seventh-largest economy by 2030. The country is rich in natural resources, and growth is further fuelled by high labour productivity and consumption, promoting steady population growth and continually rising employment rates.
The EU is Indonesia's third largest trading partner and one of its main foreign direct investors. Ireland is actively looking to develop a close political and economic relationship with Indonesia: in 2013, Ireland’s Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform visited the country to further bilateral relations.
Japan is one of the world's largest and most developed economies with a highly entrepreneurial business environment both for large companies - 68 of the Fortune Global 500 companies are Japanese - and small and medium-sized enterprises, which make up 99.5 per cent of the country's business sector.
Japan is the EU’s second-largest trade partner in Asia after China and negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement are underway. Japan was Ireland’s 11th-largest trading partner in 2012 terms of manufacturing exports and bilateral trade reached €6.4 billion.
South Korea, the world’s twelfth-largest economy, is currently aiming to become one of the top ten business-friendly economies in the world; by 2019, South Korea’s economy is set to be the tenth-largest contributor to world growth.
In 2009, trade between Ireland and South Korea stood at €592 million (€330 million in exports and €262 million in imports) and the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the EU and South Korea eliminates about 98 per cent of import duties and minimises the impact of other non-tariff barriers.
Abundant natural resources and a large domestic market have helped fuel Brazil's immense growth: the country is now Latin America’s largest economy and the world’s sixth-largest. The PAC/PAC-2 development programme has put Brazil on course to be the world's fourth-largest economy by 2050.
More than 140 Irish companies are currently doing business with Brazil. Enterprise Ireland has identified a range of sectors for Irish companies to do business with the country, including engineering, education, software, life sciences and clean technologies.
Decades of economic growth have established Taiwan as one of Asia's most developed economies with strong trade ties to Japan, the US, Europe and – more recently – mainland China. Taiwan's large consumer market has one of the highest per capita incomes in Asia with a strong appetite for foreign goods.Decades of economic growth have established Taiwan as one of Asia's most developed economies with strong trade ties to Japan, the US, Europe and – more recently – mainland China. Taiwan's large consumer market has one of the highest per capita incomes in Asia with a strong appetite for foreign goods.
The EU and Taiwan hold regular bilateral trade talks; the EU is Taiwan's fourth largest trade partner after China, the USA and Japan. In 2012, trade between Taiwan and the EU reached US$ 48.6 billion and a Free Trade Agreement is under negotiation. As Ireland’s trade with Taiwan has recently declined, Ireland is actively taking measures to boost bilateral economic relations.
China’s economic growth continues to transform the world: already the biggest manufacturer, the country will soon become the largest market for consumer products as well as luxury goods.
China is Ireland’s largest Asian trade partner: bilateral trade reached €8 billion in 2011, €5.1 billion of which was in goods. Products exported from Ireland to China include chemicals, pharmaceuticals, office machinery and software. HSBC projects that Ireland’s exports to China will grow by 11 per cent a year from 2016 to 2030, at which point China is expected to be Ireland's fourth biggest trading partner.
Kenya is East Africa's largest economy. The country's economic success is underwritten by a stable infrastructure and a strong private sector that developed under market-friendly policies – the region's most vibrant and dynamic according to the World Bank.
Ireland identified Kenya as a priority country in its 2011 Africa Strategy and in 2013, a trade delegation headed by Ireland’s Minister of State for Trade and Development reemphasised Ireland’s commitment to strengthening business links with Kenya and the emerging African market.
With an urban middle class of over 250 million, India is predicted to be the world's third-largest economy and largest middle-class consumer market by 2030.
Trade between Ireland and India reached €2.3 billion in 2012 and continues to grow. A joint Enterprise Ireland and IDA trade mission visited India in 2013. More than 130 Enterprise Ireland client companies are currently exporting to India and the Ireland India Business Association, a non-profit organisation, works to further deepen links between Irish and Indian businesses.
Australia combines vast natural resources – high in demand with its neighbouring markets – with a well-developed manufacturing and services economy. Reforms since the 1980s have transformed Australia into an open and internationally competitive economy, and the country's trade policy supports liberalisation and increased business activity.
In 2013, Irish merchandise exports to Australia reached AUS$ 1,517 million; total bilateral trade in 2013 reached AUS$ 1,586 and the countries' governments are continuing to work together closely to further drive trade.
Russia's economic growth is fuelled by considerable resource reserves and a highly skilled, largely urbanised workforce. Today, the country has a strong consumer market with higher per capita income than any other BRIC and a strong demand for both premium products and affordable goods.
Russia is the eleventh largest global market for Irish companies, more than 100 of which are already doing business with Russia; bilateral annual trade between the two nations has been estimated at close to €2 billion.
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and is on the verge of becoming the continent's largest economy. The country's growth was fuelled by oil, but measures for increased economic diversification and liberalisation are in place.
With increased spending power, Nigeria's broad domestic customer base is becoming more discerning with a strong appetite for European goods. The Irish government is highly supportive of Irish businesses planning to enter this market: in November 2013, Irish companies on an Enterprise Ireland trade mission to Nigeria and South Africa secured new contracts totalling over €7 million and established the foundation for further economic trade and cooperation.
Political and economic reforms have transformed Vietnam into a lower middle-income country with strong potential for growth: as China is increasingly diversifying its economy, Vietnam is set to become Asia’s new manufacturing hub. Plans to improve the general population's wellbeing through further modernisation and industralisation are underway.
Ireland is supporting Vietnam's sustainable socio-economic development and bilateral trade between Ireland and Vietnam reached €180 million in 2010. Irish companies currently doing business in Vietnam include ESB International, PM Group and Trinity Biotech.
Colombia has enjoyed a significant political and economic turnaround since the beginning of the century. In 2007, the country implemented a landmark programme to maintain growth through public–private partnerships. This cooperation has already removed investment barriers and furthered diversification, resulting in significant competitive advantages.
Ireland and Colombia have a long shared history: more than 1,000 Irish volunteers fought to help Colombia become independent from Spain in the 19th century, and many European-descended Colombians have Irish heritage. More recently, the Northern Ireland peace deal helped shape the negotiation strategy adopted by Farc and Colombia’s government.
South Africa is Africa's largest and most advanced economy. Free trade agreements facilitate business with the EU, which, combined with South Africa’s strategic location, makes the country an ideal gateway for conducting business in Africa.
Bilateral trade between Ireland and South Africa reached almost €1.2 billion in 2012 and more than 30 Irish companies have a presence in South Africa. Ireland’s key exports to South Africa include pharmaceuticals and industrial machinery and Enterprise Ireland has identified telecoms, financial services, technology and life sciences as further growth sectors.
With a rapidly improving infrastructure and burgeoning consuming class, Mexico will soon close its income gap with the USA. The country is working to become less dependent on the USA and Canada for trade; since the EU-Mexican Free Trade Agreement came into place in 2000, the EU has become Mexico’s third largest source of imports.
Mexico imports a wide range of goods and services from Ireland, from technology support to dairy industry plant. Bilateral cooperation between the countries is set to deepen: at the 2014 Dublin Mexico trade conference, Mexico’s Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo described Ireland as Mexico’s ‘natural gateway to Europe.
The US economy continues to be one of the world's largest, most diversified and internationally connected: it accounts for 11 per cent of global trade and 20 per cent of global manufacturing.
Ireland is an important partner for the US and the countries hold regular political and economic dialogues. To further lower trade barriers, EU and US officials are negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) to further lower trade barriers – which, in turn, would create further export opportunities for Irish businesses.
Canada has one of the most advanced and reliable economies in the world and weathered the global recession comparatively well. In 2013, the World Economic Forum ranked the country's financial system as the world's most stable for the sixth consecutive year.
Canada and Ireland have close cultural and trade relations. More than 50 Irish companies currently have operations in Canada and the upcoming Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the EU will further remove trade tariffs.
Ghana is one of Africa's most politically and economically stable countries. Since the 1990s, the country has experienced an average 5 per cent GDP growth per year.
Ireland is actively building trade relations with Ghana as part of Ireland’s larger Africa Strategy. Irish exports to Ghana are estimated to have exceeded €48 million in 2010; a Ghana-Ireland Trade and Investment Forum took place in October 2011 and in 2012, an Irish trade delegation visited Ghana and Nigeria to further trade relations.
The EU is a unique political and economic community which brings together some of the world's wealthiest and most influential countries. The Union plays an important role in international dialogues, where it promotes democracy and open trade.
The 28 member states, as well as European Free Trade Association (EFTA) members Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, have access to the Union's internal market with free movement of goods, capital, services and people. This makes trading with the EU a straightforward process for Irish businesses - traders who conform to Irish business regulations will generally meet EU requirements. The EU is a key market for Ireland as 60 per cent of Ireland’s exports go to EU countries.
Malaysia has increasingly evolved into a middle-income economy with a strong focus on exports. To maximise the country's economic potential, Malaysia's government implemented a National Transformation Programme to become a high-income developed nation by 2020.
Malaysia is the EU’s most important trading partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN): in 2010, bilateral trade in goods reached €31.9 billion. As a result of a February 2014 Enterprise Ireland trade mission to Malaysia and Singapore, €25 million of contracts were signed across the financial services, ICT and education sectors.
Hong Kong is one of Asia’s leading financial centres and a Special Administrative Region of China. Its economic success is supported by a strong free trade policy where no tariff is charged on import or export. Accordingly, Hong Kong has been ranked as the world’s most free economy for the last 11 years.
A former British colony, Hong Kong’s business ties to the EU remain strong: the EU is Hong Kong’s second largest trading partner after China, and bilateral goods trade reached €44.2 billion in 2012.
Singapore has been ranked the world’s best place to do business for 2014 by the World Bank – a ringing endorsement for the world's fourth-largest financial centre.
Singapore is an especially attractive business partner for Irish companies: English is the city-state’s business language and in February 2014, an Irish trade mission to Singapore and Malaysia resulted in contracts worth €25 million and new business partnerships. Bilateral trade relations are expected to further grow once Singapore’s Free Trade Agreement with the EU is ratified in 2015.