A study conducted by Bibby Financial Services (BFS), a Dublin-Belfast company, has found that Irish exporting firms are resorting to credit cards and even personal savings in order to bring their goods to foreign markets.
In a time when the government is trying to get Ireland into an exporting state of mind, the study identified serious problems with the cost to firms when it comes to paying for exports.
The BFS study found that 25% of respondents are relying on overdrafts to fund the exporting of their goods.. Another 14% are using credit cards to cover costs, while 11% of firms said they used their personal savings to pay the relevant costs.
“The Government places a huge emphasis on the role of export activity in helping to bring about economic recovery. It is, therefore, worrying that our research findings show that Irish exporters are funding overseas activity with temporary and costly finance solutions in the form of overdrafts and credit cards,” said BFS’s director Graham Byrne.
He added: “This trend needs to be urgently addressed — exporters using such methods are working on shaky ground.”
The Bibby survey questioned 350 businesses across Ireland, on their ease of access to export markets, and found that 39% currently find it too expensive to ship goods abroad, 46% cite a lack of support as a real barrier to exporting, and 33% claimed they lack enough knowledge on which export market to target.
Most firms, according to the report, receive “little or no help” from Government agencies when trading abroad.
According to BFS, cost remains a real hurdle for exporters.