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The strong export ties between the United Kingdom and Ireland have been a major economic driver for both countries. Not  only is the United Kingdom  one of the biggest export partners of Ireland – buying a total of €15 billion worth of goods in 2016  plus 50% of the country’s exported beef and 42% of its food and drink – but UK is Ireland’s only land border in EU, and vice versa. In fact, some 80% of the Irish road freight that reaches mainland Europe passes through the UK.

Those factors alone make UK-Irish trade a unique relationship. However, looming Brexit looming, there are critical border issues and challenges that are expected to disrupt this trading relationship and force Irish exporters to rethink their supply chain operations.

Yet, despite the potential supply chain upheaval Brexit could cause, a large majority of Irish export companies are yet to develop mitigation strategies.  According to reports, two-thirds of Irish exporters are still unprepared for the impending withdrawal of the UK from EU and have not put any countermeasures in place to mitigate Brexit risks. Of these companies, 23% said the lack of information on alternative markets to the UK as the main obstacle to identifying and establishing a foothold in new markets.

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Global Trade in Fresh Produce – Challenges and Trends.
The global fresh produce market has been growing steadily. In 2016, market research provider Euromonitor International reported that the global demand for fresh food increased by nearly 3% over global demand in 2015. This was in line with Compound Annual Growth Rate of 3% achieved over the 2011-2016 review period.

The growth of this market is also supported by a separate report from Wiseguyreports.com, which forecasts that the global fresh produce market will grow at a CAGR of 3.01% from 2017 to 2021.

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Croatia’s economy has been growing steadily over the past years. In 2015, GDP had expanded modestly at 1.6% YoY, marking the end of one of the longest and deepest recessions in the EU. The recovery accelerated in 2016, at a projected rate of 2.8% — and unexpectedly grew by 3.2% at the end of the year. In the first three quarters of 2017, the Croatian economy rose about 3% on average, which indicated that its economy is gaining traction towards 2018.

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International trade is a critical economic tool that many countries – including small nations – participate to boost and support their economy. In fact, some small countries take part so much in international trade that the combined value of all their imports and exports exceeds their entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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Ireland’s economy has been booming and growing more than ever, years after a series of economic setbacks. Despite the geopolitical turmoil in two of its biggest trading partners– the UK and the U.S. – in the past recent months, the economic performance of Ireland has remained solid and strong.

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The scale and diversity of Latin America is something that Irish exporters cannot afford to ignore. Comprised of 33 countries, inhabited by over 600 million people, and with a GDP of over $5.6 trillion, Latin America is one of the few regions in the world that is still growing consistently year over year since the start of 2008 Global Financial Crisis.

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Changes in information and communications technology, international trade liberalization and advances in transportation systems have enabled the rapid spread of business supply and distribution networks beyond the old local and national constraints and onto a global stage – a process often referred to as “Globalization”. This process has accelerated significantly since about 1990 and has dramatic implications for all types and sizes of business and not just for large multinational corporations.

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A hotbed for entrepreneurship, the Gulf area has become one of the leading business destinations in the world today. With an abundance of opportunities for Irish exporters, the Gulf area is an umbrella term encompassing the Arab states that border the Persian Gulf, namely Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates (UAE). These countries make up the economic and political block of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

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A report from Gartner predicts that by 2020, more than 50% of major business processes will incorporate some form of the Internet of Things (IoT). One such business process is the supply chain. Though often overlooked, the application of IoT in supply chain management is already making exceptional changes and developments in international trade landscape.

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Las aplicaciones de la tecnología de la cadena de bloques o “blockchain” en la cadena de suministro y en el comercio internacional tienen el potencial de mejorar la velocidad, la transparencia y los costes en transacciones de topo tipo de manera espectacular y al mismo tiempo de aportar información precisa en tiempo real sobre el estado y la situación de los bienes y los inventarios a lo largo de la cadena de suministro.

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