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Taoiseach Begins Four-Day Visit to China - Key meeting with Chinese Premier will be highlight

The Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D., begins a four day official visit to China today. During the visit the Taoiseach will meet with Wen Jiabao, the Chinese Premier in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The Taoiseach will use the opportunity to promote trade and investment in both Shanghai and Beijing.

He said, “although our countries are very different in size we have much to offer each other. Ireland has advantages which China can benefit from and China represents a vast market for Irish goods and services. Our similarities are greater than our differences and we have in many respects a surprisingly similar business culture, centred on enterprise and innovation.”

“Irish companies are engaged in a continuous dynamic process of transformation centred on innovation and internationalisation. And that’s why we believe that a comparatively small country like Ireland is able to win solid business in China. We have been working hard to build a strong awareness and a positive image of Ireland. Both Ireland and China have moved rapidly toward a knowledge-based economy built on innovation and technology and our companies have all the elements for working more closely together.”

Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton T.D., and key business leaders will accompany the Taoiseach on his Chinese visit.

The key aims of the visit are to develop stronger relations with China at the highest political level and to promote Ireland both as a source of world class products and services and as a location for Chinese investment.

The Taoiseach added, “We have greatly appreciated the positive signals from China in support of Europe’s efforts to resolve the sovereign debt crisis. There is no doubt that this has helped to stabilise financial markets and in the process made it much easier for us in Ireland to address our own problems. Ireland’s economy is fundamentally sound and the business world knows that we are recovering well. China, I believe, also knows this.”

The Taoiseach will also take part in a number of business events aimed at promoting sectors of education, financial services, tourism, life sciences, cleantech and agri food.

“I believe that people to people contacts enhance relationships between countries. Irish culture is very popular in China and there is a great interest in Ireland among Chinese tour operators. There are also great links and possibilities in the education sector. Greater trade and cultural links will benefit both of our countries and will help to cement further the excellent relationship that already exists between China and Ireland.”