China now a 'priority market' for Ireland's economic recovery
2nd August 2013 | News
Tánaiste, Eamon Gilmore kick-started a four-day trade mission in China this week, with the aim of highlighting the growing importance of the world’s second largest economy to Ireland.
Throughout his stay in China, Gilmore will meet with China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, and Yu Zhengsheng, a member of the standing committee of the Politburo, the top echelon of power in China.
Gilmore’s visit to China is the most senior by a Government member since the Taoiseach went in March 2012.
The Tánaiste pointed out how Irish trade with China was now worth more than €8 billion a year, with a strong trade surplus in Ireland’s favour.
"China is a priority market for Ireland strengthening our relations with China is critical to our exporters and to our economic recovery as a whole," he said.
Among the many issues Gilmore planned to raise was access to the Chinese market for Irish beef, as well as progress in EU-China relations, including on-going discussions on human rights.
He was also scheduled to meet a number of Chinese firms keen on investing in Ireland and potential partners for Irish exporters; most notably Shanghai Bright Foods, telecoms giant Huawei, Yanhua, Bank of Communications, Shanghai Invest and ChinaCache.
Meanwhile UCD also recently announced it would continue its expansion in China with an agreement with Shenzhen University to establish a new international college in health sciences innovation.
Additionally, Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) has also signed a twinning agreement with Beijing Capital International Airport, the world’s second largest air hub, allowing the two companies to improve commercial and tourism links between the two cities.
More than 30,000 passengers fly between Dublin and Beijing each year, with passengers typically connecting via a mainland European or Middle Eastern airport.
Image: The Official CTBTO Photostream