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Chinese Vice President visit – What does it mean for Ireland?

February 20, 2012

Ireland is the only EU country that the Chinese Vice President, Mr. Xi Jinping, has attended on his current trade mission trip. Four agreements were signed over the weekend focusing on trade links, investment and education. The deals, aimed at making it easier for Irish companies to sell goods and services to China, present a bit of good news for once and the Tánaiste, Eamon Gilmore said China had identified Ireland as the country it wants to do business with. The two countries have much to offer each other in food and agriculture, in high technology research and in investment – and every effort should be made to realise that potential.
China’s growing middle class and increased wealth mean that more money is available to spend on food and drink, IT and pharmaceuticals, which Ireland can export. There have also been discussions on possible cooperation on alternative energy research.
The visit has dominated the news in China and hopefully will provide a much needed boost to our economy, Ireland currently hosts the most Chinese students per capita in the EU and we may receive more tourists who wish to try out hurling, to see if they can get on as well as Mr. Xi Jinping!
The Taoiseach has accepted an invitation for a visit to China next month to further strengthen relations and Mr Xi is anticipated to succeed president Hu Jintao, who must retire from the presidency in 2013.

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