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Computer services remain Ireland’s largest export
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13 Dec 2021 / business Print

Computer services remain Ireland’s largest export

Total service exports increased by €13.9 billion to €244.1 billion in 2020, compared with €230.2 billion in 2019, according to new CSO figures. 

Total service imports decreased by €29.7 billion to €306 billion in 2020, compared with €335.7 billion in 2019.

The increase in service exports was principally due to increased computer-service exports (+€15.7 billion), while the decrease in service imports was predominantly due to decreased research-and-development (R&D) service imports related to intellectual property (€36.6 billion).

As a result, the service deficit moved from €105.6 billion in 2019 to €61.9 billion in 2020.

US, UK, Germany and the Netherlands remain Ireland’s most significant trading partners, the figures show.

Computer services’ exports at €134.2 billion remain the largest export category, and accounted for 55% of total service exports in 2020.

R&D service imports, at €104.2 billion, along with royalties/licences imports at €84.4 billion, were the largest import categories.

When combined, these two import categories accounted for 61.6% of total service imports in 2020.

Service exports to Europe (€126 billion) increased by €10 billion between 2019 and 2020, due mainly to increased computer-service exports (+€11.8 billion).

The increased computer-service exports were predominantly to Britain (+€2.3 billion), Germany (+€1.6 billion), Italy (+€0.5 billion) and France (+€0.5 billion).


Service exports to the US (€33 billion) decreased by €2.8 billion in the same period, mainly in other business services (-€2.3 billion).

Service exports to Japan (€10.1 billion) increased by €1.7 billion.

Services imports from Europe (€63.8 billion) decreased by €27.2 billion between 2019 and 2020, mainly due to decreased royalties/licences imports (-€22.5 billion) and tourism and travel imports (-€3.6 billion).

Service imports from the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain and Britain decreased by €21 billion, €1.4 billion, €1.1 billion, and €1 billion respectively.

Gazette Desk
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