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Tánaiste in UCC to highlight trade and investment with Asia

Trade, Press Releases, Asia and Oceania, 2011

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore T.D., will tomorrow deliver the key-note address to the annual Conference of the Asian Studies Ireland Association (ASIA) in University College Cork.

Entitled “Asia’s Rise and Its Impact on Europe and Ireland” the address will highlight the achievements of Ireland’s Asia Strategy and how the Government intends to build on this.  Speaking ahead of the event the Tánaiste said:

“At a time when the Government is committed to doing all in its power to support an export led recovery, the further development of our trade and investment strategy in Asia is a key objective to increase economic growth and spur job creation in Ireland.”

“In 1999, Irish companies had a small presence in Asia, today, however, there are more than 250 located there.  Between 1999 and 2009, Irish trade with Asian countries grew by over 300%.  Asian countries now rank amongst our most important trading partners.  In 1999 bilateral trade with China was worth €715 million – last year that figure stood at €4.2 billion.  Ireland enjoys a trade surplus with all of our priority markets in Asia.”

“As Asia rises economically this Government will be supporting Irish businesses to capitalise on that growth, particularly in key sectors such as food exports, energy and green technology, and in financial and educational services.  We will also be exploiting the significant potential to increase investment between Ireland and Asia.”   

In advance of the conference, the Tánaiste will meet the President of UCC, Dr Michael Murphy, they will discuss the “Farmleigh Fellowship Asian Business Programme” ahead of next weekend’s Global Irish Economic Forum in Dublin Castle.  Operated by UCC in partnership with the Nanyan Business School in Singapore, this initiative from the 2009 Forum established a work-study scholarship programme in Asia for young Irish business leaders. 

Following the conference in UCC, the Tánaiste will launch a new book “Irish Investment in China – Setting new Patterns” by Nicholas O’Brien, a career diplomat and formerly the Irish Consul General in Shanghai.  Commenting ahead of the launch the Tánaiste said:

“China is a key partner for Ireland.  Nicholas O’Brien’s book adds to our understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing Irish firms.  It sets out clear signposts for investors who wish to enter this exciting and growing market.”