News & Events

Minister Humphreys completes trade mission to China aimed at boosting the billions of euro in trade with Ireland

  • Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation visited Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Shanghai

  • Contracts worth over €60m signed by Enterprise Ireland client companies during trade mission between the China International Import Expo and Hong Kong Fintech Week 

  • Minister met with Chinese Companies Huawei, Newbaze, & WuXi

  • Minister meets with President of Bank of China - the largest bank in the world


Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, has completed a six-day trade mission to China of forty-five Enterprise Ireland client companies. The trade mission was aimed at boosting the billions of euro in trade between the two countries, promoting the innovative capabilities and competitive offers of Irish companies to international buyers and broadening Ireland’s global footprint, particularly in the context of Brexit.

During the visit, Minister Humphreys visited Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Shanghai.

China is an important and growing trade partner for Ireland, with total trade between the two countries valued at €12.9 billion in 2016. This was a 15% increase compared to 2015. Ireland’s goods exports to China were valued at €5.1 billion in 2017, while two-way goods trade was valued at €9.6 billion.

Speaking from Shanghai, Minister Humphreys said “Ireland’s trade relationship with China is ever-growing, and I have been delighted to visit China to further develop what has proven to be a fruitful and mutually beneficial partnership. It is essential for Irish businesses to diversify particularly with just months to go to Brexit. Markets such as China are vital for Irish businesses who wish to compete and trade in new markets.

“As part of Budget 2019, I increased Enterprise Ireland and IDA’s Budget so that they can expand Ireland’s Global Footprint. I am pleased to see first-hand the many successes that Team Ireland are having in China which will deliver real and tangible benefits to the Irish economy.

Under the Government’s Global Footprint 2025 initiative, trade missions such as this are critical to broadening Ireland’s international presence.

“The value of goods exports from Ireland to China has more than doubled between 2012 and 2017, and I’m fully confident that this very impressive performance level by Irish-based enterprise will continue to grow further. It has been a pleasure to visit Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Shanghai over the past few days to gain direct, first hand, insight into what is sure to be a bountiful trading future between Ireland and China”, the Minister added.

During her visit, Minister Humphreys attended the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai and Hong Kong Fintech Week. CIIE was a major showcase event which involved 3,000 exhibitors from 130 countries, and included Irish companies such as Hostelworld, Glen Dimplex and Irish Breeze.

Deals worth over €50m were signed by Irish companies with Chinese partners at the event.

Meanwhile, fourteen Irish fintech companies exhibited at Hong Kong Fintech week, where deals announced included Global Shares’ signing a USD 15M deal with Huanying International, and Know Your Customer contracting with Neat Limited.

Minister Humphreys met with senior executives of Chinese companies Huawei, Newbaze, and WuXi during her visit, all of whom are investing and creating jobs in Ireland.

Minister Humphreys also met with the President of Bank of China, Liange Liu. Bank of China has a particular interest in developing the FinTech sector and lifestyle and cultural industries support. It is the most internationalized bank in the world and their branch in Dublin continues to grow.

In Shenzen Minister Humphreys met with V&P Media who are in partnership with Cartoon Saloon on the new film “Wolfwalkers”.

Minister Humphreys also had a meeting with Hong Kong Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung, in which she emphasised the importance of creative industries and design as a growth sector in both Hong Kong and in Ireland. The Minister invited the State Secretary to Ireland to discuss good practices in this sector and other issues of mutual interest.


Note to Editor

Deals announced during the trade mission worth over €60m combined include:

  • Irish Breeze signs deal with with plans to achieve sales of €25 million within five years for their Water Wipes product
  • Reagecon Diagnostics Ltd agrees distribution agreement with Beijing Thorigin for €10 million over five years
  • Solvotrin Therapeutics and Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical sign exclusive distribution agreement in Chinese market for Solvotrin’s product, Active Iron for over €15m per year over 3 years
  • Novaerus secures three-year distribution agreement with Hangzhou Door Import & Export worth €760,000 in product purchasing.
  • Global Shares’ signs USD 15M deal with Huanying International and announces new Beijing office opening
  • Know Your Customer contracting with Neat Limited


WuXi Biologics

WuXi Biologics has selected IDA’s strategic site in Mullagharlin, Dundalk Co. Louth for a substantial investment in a new biologic drug substance operation, with an associated investment of €325 million and the creation of 400 new jobs. The Taoiseach and Minister Humphreys attended this significant announcement in April this year. The facility is expected to be ready for production during 2021. This is WuXi Biologics’ first manufacturing operation outside of China.


Huawei first entered the Irish market in 2004, primarily serving the Irish market, working with all the major operators including Eircom/Meteor, Vodafone, O2, H3G and Imagine. 

In 2010, Huawei established a pilot Operating Support System (OSS) R&D Centre in Athlone in collaboration with Irish telecoms consulting firm, Nopsar Ltd. 

In 2012, with the support of IDA Ireland, Huawei established R&D centres in Dublin and Cork initially employing 50 people between the two sites, since then Huawei continues to expand its footprint in Ireland in three locations: Dublin, Cork and Athlone and now employs 101 full time employees in Ireland along with 60 contractors.


In 2017 Newbaze, a Chinese food production company, spent almost €2 million to set up an Irish production facility in Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan and are currently fitting out their new plant. Production is planned to start in 2019 with exports to a number of international markets.

About DBEI

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department also has a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.

For further information please contact Press Office, D/Business, Enterprise and Innovation, or (01) 631-2200