EXPORTS hiked 20pc to just over €111bn in 2015 boosted by the pharma and medical sectors, driving the trade surplus to a record level.
Preliminary figures from the Central Statistics Office showed that exports were €18.4bn higher than 2014.
The figures also showed that the preliminary trade surplus for 2015 was €44bn, which is the largest surplus on record.
Medical and pharmaceutical exports accounted for 27pc of all exports, or €30.1bn, up 36pc over 2014.
Food, drink and live animal exports also showed increases - more of a reflection of a hike in indigenous goods.
"Despite concerns over exports to the UK, we still think the overall trade surplus this year will be higher than in 2015," said Alan McQuaid, chief economist at Merrion Stockbrokers.
"We are currently projecting a positive trade balance of €46-48bn," he added.