Despite avoiding the worst effects of a hard Brexit, Irish businesses face substantial non-tariff barriers between the UK and EU which make it harder to export to the UK and cause disruption to supply chains. Ireland is a major trade partner of the UK, which accounts for 14% of Ireland’s imports and 10% of Ireland’s exports. This trade is vital to Irish SMEs and is concentrated in key, job-intensive sectors which have footprints across all regions of Ireland. In particular, the food & agriculture industries continue to have a significant exposure to the UK market, which accounts for one third of Ireland’s food and agri exports.
ISIF is in a unique position to assist some of the sectors and businesses which are most impacted by Brexit. ISIF’s Brexit strategy will primarily focus on market diversification, product diversification and infrastructure to support supply chain re-configuration. Investments are likely to focus on the sectors most impacted by Brexit, in particular agri-food and transport/logistics, although many other sectors are also likely to be impacted by supply chain and customs difficulties. In addition, ISIF will look for opportunities which enable indigenous businesses to take advantage of opportunities presented by Brexit.