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Territory Overview

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Territory Overveiw of Ireland

World eCommerce rank: 30

Capital: Dublin

Geographical size: 69,797 sq km

Population: 4,604,029 (2014)

Gross domestic product: €185.412bn (2014)

Official EU language(s): Irish Gaelic, English

Political system: Parliamentary Republic

EU Member country: Since 1 January 1973

Currency: (€) Euro, since 1 January 1999

Schengen area member?: No

Ireland, as an island, consists of two separate but conjoined market opportunities and countries – the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.


The Republic has a population of over 4.6 million and a GDP per capita of nearly $49,000 in 2014; the fourth-highest of any member state of the European Union (EU). Most of the population speak English and 30% speak Irish Gaelic. Tourism is a key part of the economy with over 8 million tourists visiting every year; more than double the population of the country.



Three international airports and membership of the EU have established the Republic as an active participant in cross-border trade across the EU, Northern Ireland and further afield.


Northern Ireland, while being politically and economically part of the UK, is geographically closer to the Republic, sharing a common border and heritage. Cross-border trade is an important way of life for the communities both sides of the border. As such, it is important for any merchant looking to trade into the Republic to understand the differences as well as the opportunities.

The Republic’s top trading partners are:

  • Exports: US (21%), UK (16%), Belgium (14%) and Germany (7%)
  • The British Irish Chamber of Commerce estimates trade at €60bn in 2016 – over €1bn per week, and their goal is to see €100bn per annum
  • Imports: UK (39%), US (10%), Germany (8.5%) and Netherlands (6%)

The country’s economy is driven largely by foreign direct investment, a well-educated workforce and a government keen to reduce its borrowing deficit. Key industries include technology, financial services, pharmaceuticals, engineering and clean technology.

The UK, being the closest country geographically, is a strong trading partner while the influence of global, US technology brands impact the import / export figures.


A large proportion of the population live in rural areas, including smaller towns and villages. The capital city, Dublin, is by-far the largest conurbation with over 1 million inhabitants.


Further information

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