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International Sourcing Survey 2018-2020

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The International Sourcing Statistics publication shows results from the Global Value Chains (GVC) Survey 2021. GVC is a triennial survey that was conducted between August and December 2021 and relates to all enterprises in the Irish Business Economy with 50 or more persons engaged. More than 4,000 enterprises were surveyed online with 47.5% of those completing a return.

This publication provides results for international sourcing in the Irish Business Economy during the reference period 2018-2020. International sourcing refers to the total or partial movement of one or more business function from one enterprise to another enterprise abroad. The movement of a business function to an enterprise in the same enterprise group is known as insourcing, while the movement of a business function to a non-affiliated enterprise is known as outsourcing. Movement of a business function to another enterprise in Ireland is known as domestic sourcing.

The results of this publication can provide policymakers, researchers and other users with relevant statistical information about the level, patterns and possible impacts of international sourcing on the Irish Business Economy. It also includes information about motivations and barriers to international sourcing, as well as the impact of COVID-19 and Brexit on decisions to source internationally.

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  • Almost three quarters (73.4%) of persons engaged worked for the core business function in 2020
  • There were 313 enterprises engaged in international sourcing between 2018 and 2020, accounting for 7.5% of enterprises with 50+ persons engaged
  • Between 2018 and 2020, 121 firms considered moving business functions abroad, while a further 86 firms engaged in international sourcing prior to 2018
  • The Transportation and storage sector had the highest proportion (17.5%) of enterprises engaged in international sourcing between 2018 and 2020
  • More than half (51.8%) of enterprises that engaged in international sourcing moved a business function to the European Union
  • A higher proportion of foreign-owned enterprises (12.0%) engaged in international sourcing when compared to Irish-owned enterprises (4.0%)
  • Strategic decisions taken by the group head was the most important motivating factor for 55.6% of sourcing enterprises
  • Legal or administrative barriers was the most important barrier to international sourcing for almost four in ten (38.5%) enterprises
  • COVID-19 related issues disrupted the international sourcing plans of over one in five (22.7%) enterprises, while 24.0% of enterprises cited Brexit as a reason for disruption

CSO statistical publication, , 11am

On-line ISSN: 2811-5570

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