New figures from the CSO show that the country's five biggest exporters accounted for 26% of all exports in 2017 with the pharmaceutical sector the biggest exporter of goods.
The Central Statistics Office said that the five highest value exporters accounted for over €31 billion of all exports in 2017, while the top 50 enterprises exported 72% of total goods or €87.4 billion of goods.
Today's figures show that the pharmaceutical sector accounted for 44% of the total value of exports in 2017, comprising €53 billion.
Manufacturing exports were worth €29.4 billion, while exports from the agri-food sector came to €17.9 billion, or 15% of total exports.
Today's CSO figures also show that a total of 8,614 companies exported their goods in 2017.
There were just 289 large exporters (with over 250 employees) but they accounted for 68% of all exports in 2017.
Meanwhile, a total of 8,300 SMEs exported goods in 2017 with the total value of their exports amounting to €36 billion, or 30% of total exports.
The CSO said this includes 5,081 micro enterprises - businesses with less than ten workers - which exported €7.5 billion of goods.
Cicro enterprises accounted for 59% of exporters and 6% of the value of goods exported, the CSO said.
Meanwhile, the top five importers accounted for €12.9 billion or 16% of total imports in 2017, while the top 50 importing enterprises had imports of €39 billion, or 47% of the total.
The wholesale and retail sector was the largest importer in 2017, accounting for €26.8 billion, or 33% of the total of goods imported.
And the services sector, which includes aircraft leasing companies, imported €26.1 billion (32%) of goods.