Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I'm not enough of an economist or statistician to be sure how export figures are compiled. Presumably there are some rules of origin and destination applied with mere transit through a territory insufficient to categorise a shipment as an export to there.

That said, Ireland's exports to the Netherlands have always been suspiciously high, presumably because lots of our goods are trans-shipped through Rotterdam. One would have thought the goods would have to be "bought" by a shipping agent there to qualify as an export to Holland.

The situation is even more perverse with regard to the export of "services" with companies like Apple, Google and Facebook "booking" sales in Ireland, even if the customer is in Germany. Contract manufacturing by Irish firms in third countries can also be booked as an export, even if the goods never touched our shores.

Irish export figures have been extremely impressive over the past few decades, until one remembers that as much as a third of them might be bogus for the reasons cited above.

Officially the UK has its largest Trade surplus with the US with Ireland in second place, until one realises the USA also claims a trade surplus with the UK!

What seems to be uncontested is that Ireland's trading reliance on the UK has been declining rapidly since we joined the EU, from c. 70% of total Irish trade in 1973, to c. 13% now. The Brits don't seem to realise it, but they could be losing one of their very few trading surpluses very quickly, if UK/IE trade is curtailed by Brexit.

Tesco executives call Ireland "Treasure Island", such are their trading margins here. Perish the thought their margins could be hit by tariffs on UK originating goods. Almost all their brands are British owned...

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 26th, 2019 at 06:39:16 PM EST
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