Minister Costello highlights deepening relationship with Hong Kong25 February 2014
Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello, T.D., today highlighted the importance of Ireland’s growing relationship with Hong Kong, with trade between the two countries now worth €1 billion.
Speaking at the annual Chinese New Year lunch of the Ireland-Hong Kong Business Forum, he said the Government’s decision to open a Consulate General in Hong Kong would allow Ireland to build on this important relationship.
“The Government is very keen to enhance our relations with Hong Kong and China, and the opening of the Consulate is an important step in developing this relationship. We will work closely with State agencies to build further trade and investment with a view to creating jobs at home.
“One third of the world’s population is within a five-hour flight of Hong Kong, and the urban conglomeration of the Pearl River Delta cities could be considered the largest urban area in the world; together they export more than the UK or Germany. The decision to open Irish embassies in Indonesia and Thailand will give Ireland a much greater footprint in the wider Asian region.”
The Ireland-Hong Kong Business Forum lunch today was attended by representatives from the Hong Kong Trade Office in Brussels, the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, and a wide range of companies including Fexco, Regus, Deloitte, Maples, and Calders.
Minister Costello also paid tribute to the Irish community in Hong Kong:
“There is a long-standing, growing and active Irish community in Hong Kong of approximately 3,000 people. As well as a St. Patrick’s Society and an active GAA Club, the Irish Chamber of Commerce provides a valuable network and access for Irish business people to companies in Hong Kong and overseas. This community is served excellently by our Honorary Consul in Hong Kong, Mr Harry O’Neill.”
25 February 2014
Note for editors:
• Formal approval for the opening of the Consulate General in Hong Kong has been sought from the Chinese authorities.
• Last year, total merchandise trade amounted to €600 million, and services trades was a further €400 million in 2012, the latest for which full year figures are available.