The Central Statistical Office in Ireland issued statistics showing that Irish exports hit a record high in 2017, rising 2 per cent to reach €122 billion for the year.
Imports were also at record levels, with an increase of 4 per cent year on year to €76.9 billion.
Exports of medical and pharmaceutical products surged 17 per cent to €35.4 billion. There was also a 12 per cent rise in exports of food and live animals.
The imports figures were mainly caused by a 16 per cent increase in the imports of chemicals and related products, and mineral fuels and lubricants.
There was a reduction in the imports of transport equipment and aircraft.