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News & Events

Statement by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation at the Conclusion of Irish Trade Mission to China

“Spectacular Pace of Growth and Development Offer Irish Companies Countless Opportunities to Partner with Chinese Counterparts”

28th March 2012

At the conclusion of an Irish Trade Mission led by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D., the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mr. Richard Bruton T.D. complimented the warmth and generosity of the Chinese welcome for the Irish delegation. He also spoke of the significant amount of business done, contracts signed and memorandums of understanding signed as well as the huge opportunities for Irish trade, investment and increased co-operation and sharing of experience with different sectors of the Irish economy.

Minister Bruton commenced the Trade mission on Thursday 22nd in Hong Kong, before continuing on to Shenzhen and Shanghai where he was joined by An Taoiseach. The joint Mission travelled to Beijing on Sunday night and completed their schedule of commitments on Wednesday evening. Minister Bruton was accompanied by Department Officials and senior executives from Enterprise Ireland, IDA and Forfás. Other state bodies taking part in the Mission to China included Tourism Ireland, NTMA, the Central Bank and the Department of Finance.

Commenting on the Mission to China, Minister Bruton said:

“China is central to our Asian trade strategy and after a week visiting some of the main cities it is clear what an opportunity, and a challenge, this presents to Ireland Inc. As more than 90% of trade growth in the coming years will be outside of the EU it makes complete sense to focus on the rapidly growing Chinese market and its 1.3bn population. Significant opportunities for Irish business exist in areas like ICT and life-sciences as well as the tourism, farming & food sectors while the education, banking and legal sectors opened up valuable new channels of training and access to this important market. There is also undoubted potential to increase the volume and quality of foreign investment in to Ireland from large Chinese companies, many of whom I met on my visit this week.

“Many Irish companies and educational institutions did good business this week, signed new contracts or agreed memorandums of understanding. Many of the newer companies to China that were part of the 90 Irish companies that travelled with Enterprise Ireland to explore new business possibilities learned, as I did, several important lessons about trading in China. Building relationships with Chinese partners is absolutely key; you have to stick with it and commit to breaking into the Chinese market, it won’t happen overnight. If you make that commitment the rewards are potentially huge. The Irish and the Chinese both have a keen sense of business and also a keen sense of the importance of personal connections and have an appreciation of both culture and tradition. We may be separated by many miles and a language but we are more alike than one might first expect. Finally, the more Irish and Chinese people and businesses learn about each other the more they will recognise the shared potential for partnering in gaining access to two of the largest economies in the world; the EU for Chinese business and the vast and growing Chinese economy for Irish business.

“The Mission has been a very important step in growing closer ties and contacts with our Chinese counterparts and that is given physical form with the agreement of both countries to enter in to a strategic partnership for mutually beneficial co-operation. This strategic partnership will cover areas like trade, investment, tourism, agriculture, science and education. It provides a platform for further developing this exciting and evolving relationship that dates back over thirty years. It is a relationship that I, my Department and all the agencies under my remit look forward to developing in the coming months and years.”

Enterprise Ireland Comments on China Trade Mission

Enterprise Ireland is pleased to announce that more than €35m worth of contracts and commitments were signed in Shanghai and Beijing during the past three days on the Taoiseach-led Trade and Investment Mission to China. This does not include announcements made earlier in the week in Shenzhen (e.g. Movidius).

The Taoiseach and Minister Bruton witnessed significant contract signings from 14 companies totalling more than €35m at business breakfasts organised by Enterprise Ireland. These business events were attended by more than 900 Irish company representatives and their Chinese customers and partners and the contracts signed covered a wide range of sectors including: clean technologies, mobile software, international services, healthcare, consumer products, education and industrial technologies.

In addition, a number of significant Memorandums of Understanding, which are essential building blocks in developing business in China were signed between Irish companies and their Chinese Counterparts. These MOUs covered areas such as International Education, Financial and International Services. It is expected that these signings will also contribute significantly to future export growth for Irish companies. Enterprise Ireland signed an MOU with their Chinese counterparts (CCPIT), which will see enhanced cooperation and a focus on working closer together on sectors of mutual interest.

The visit also saw significant expansion plans for Irish companies into China (Morgan McKinley and the SAON Group), which will allow them grow and internationalise their business.

Commenting on the Mission Frank Ryan, CEO Enterprise Ireland added “exports create and sustain jobs; and visits like this, especially in China are crucial in building exports. We are extremely proud of our Irish client companies and congratulate them on their success this week in China.”

Selection of companies who signed contracts and commitments:

Cylon General Paints Panda Waste

Tipperary Crystal Institute of Education Arthur Cox Arthur Cox

Accountancy Bus. College Arramara Aer Rianta

DIT Mgmt Briefs Project Management

Griffith College MCS Kenny

IDA Comment on China Trade Mission

Commenting on the China Mission the CEO of IDA, Barry O’Leary said:

“Over the course of the week long Mission to China the IDA met with 16 companies and financial institutions. Clearly, China is a key strategic focus of securing new sources of Foreign Direct Investment to Ireland over the medium to long term. There are, however, some short term investments to be won and IDA expects to secure a number of investments over the coming months.

“Of particular note today in Beijing IDA Ireland signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China’s ICBC Financial Leasing, a global leader in aircraft leasing and part of ICBC, the world’s largest bank. This means that IDA Ireland is now partnered in China with ICBC, which has an unrivalled client base and network.

“The key focus for IDA and both its offices in China, including the recently opened office in Shenzhen, will be to build on the undoubted momentum generated by the Mission and to capitalise on the increasing awareness of Ireland as both a trading partner and a potential location for FDI to Ireland.

“Finally, it was noticeable that new forms of FDI were discussed in a number of meetings and these will be pursued over the coming months.”


Further information:

Ciaran Conlon 086 239 1947 (China)

Press Office, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, 01-6312200