The establishment of the Consulate General here in Hong Kong in 2014 demonstrates the Irish Government’s recognition of the importance of Hong Kong and Macau as we develop and strengthen our relations with China and the entire Asia Pacific region. The significance attached to this at political level has been demonstrated by the recent visits of Minister Alan Kelly and Minister of State Simon Harris to Hong Kong, and the visit of Chief Secretary Mrs Carrie Lam to Ireland in 2015.
As small economies on the edge of a much larger market, we have similar interests that include developing closer relations, enhancing knowledge of each other's culture, as well as trade promotion and stronger links in areas such as financial services, science and technology, education, tourism and food and beverages. Enhancing educational exchanges is another key area that can result in long lasting mutual links between our societies.
The opening of the Consulate has allowed us to build on the existing, long-standing ties between Ireland and Hong Kong, which go back over 150 years. Many of the colonial Governors of Hong Kong were born in Ireland or of Irish heritage, as were civil servants, police and judges throughout Hong Kong’s colonial past. More recently, the many Irish business people, teachers, and other professionals have continued to build strong relationships here through local and Irish community engagement. Hong Kong has also had a strong community in Ireland for many years.
Ireland has also had a proud historical role in education in Hong Kong. Irish religious orders playing a key role in a number of schools in Hong Kong, including Wah Yan College which has been run by Irish Jesuits for many years. The La Salle Brothers, and the Columban Fathers and Sisters have also had a strong presence in Hong Kong for many years. At third level, a number of the colonial rulers were educated in Trinity College Dublin, while the Royal College of Surgeons has educated hundreds of Hong Kong surgeons. There are over 2000 alumni of University College Dublin in Hong Kong.
The Consulate seeks to continue to build on these existing links to further enhance the continued development of our friendly relations for generations to come.
Find out more on the Education in Ireland website.