The Government will later this evening sign two agreements aimed at improving Ireland’s trade and business links with China.
Both agreements will be signed by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton T.D., and by China’s International Trade Representative and Vice-Minister of Commerce, Mr. Gao Hucheng, at Dublin Castle following the bilateral talks between the Taoiseach and Vice-President.
The first Memorandum of Understanding, on the Promotion of Ireland - China International Trade in Services, envisages a programme of events designed to encourage cooperation between the business sector in both countries.
Enterprise Ireland will be the key Irish body in helping strengthen a new trade relationship with China. EI already has three offices in China and operate an extensive range of supports to help Irish companies expand into the Chinese market.
The other agreement is a Memorandum of Understanding setting up a specially mandated working group to promote investment between Ireland and China. This will facilitate future investment and help identify any obstacles or administrative hurdles which might impede the growth or promotion of bilateral investment opportunities.
Activity under these new arrangements will be advanced under the wider framework of Ireland's 'Joint Economic Commission' with China. This is a bilateral forum involving both Governments. It meets formally every two years and is a regular way to enhance our trade and economic links between Ireland and China.
Speaking this afternoon, Minister Bruton said:
“A crucial part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs is to increase trade and investment activity with key markets such as China. We have already put in place a series of measures to build on the work done in recent years, but we must do more. The Vice President’s visit to Ireland is very welcome, and we are determined to take advantage of this excellent opportunity to further improve our links with China.
“These Agreements provide first of all for a comprehensive engagement between our two Governments to deepen and expand our enterprise links in order to provide substantial growth in the level of services trade. This will be of assistance to Irish businesses seeking to break into the Chinese market for the first time and expand their activities there.
“Secondly, I see strong potential for increased inward investment as China seeks to deepen its engagement with the EU. Ireland is very well placed to be the target of such investment as the only English-speaking member of the Eurozone, and IDA Ireland has already had some success in this area. The signature of this agreement today formalises a mechanism for deeper ongoing engagement between our enterprise support agencies, particularly the IDA and its counterparts in the Chinese administration.
“These agreements are very welcome as we seek to grow our trade and investment links with China and ultimately create jobs”.