Brexit vote took its toll on the export of Irish goods to Britain as exports plummeted by almost half a billion in 2016.
The preliminary data from the Central Statistics Office are the first official figures displaying the effect of the Brexit referendum on Ireland’s vital export sector.
Businesses such as the agri-food sector have been hit particularly hard in the wake of the vote last June with the fall in the value of the pound.
The Taoiseach also stated that there would be a proposal in place for new trade and investment to boost exports. He assured that there would be measures such as funding for businesses that were hit hard by the Brexit vote.
Mr Kenny also noted that key sectors such as agri-food and fishing face particular risks and challenges that need to be addressed.
Overall, the export of goods totalled €116.9bn last year which is the highest annual figure recorded as stated in the preliminary figures. This was a growth of €4.5bn or 4pc over 2015. Imports in 2016 declined by €507m, or 1pc, to €69.6bn in comparison to 2015.
In 2016, the preliminary trade surplus was €47.3bn. The major increase in exports overall was seen in exports of electrical machinery, jumping from almost 150pc to €7.3bn.