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Minister Flanagan to launch Trinity Centre for Asian Studies

Minister Flanagan to launch Trinity Centre for Asian Studies

- Also launches new M.Phil. in Chinese studies
- Korean, Mandarin and Japanese on the curriculum
- TCD Provost and Chinese and Korean Ambassadors to attend along with a number of Asian students

Today (Wednesday), the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, will launch the new Trinity Centre for Asian Studies and a new M.Phil. in Chinese Studies at Trinity College Dublin.

The Minister will be joined by, among others, the Ambassadors of the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Korea and a number of Asian students currently attending TCD.

Speaking in advance of the launch, the Minister stated:

“I am delighted to launch this important new Centre for Asian Studies at Trinity College Dublin. Coming exactly two weeks after the visit of Prime Minister Modi of India and five months after the visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, it continues the strong momentum in our growing links to the countries in Asia.

“Total mechanise trade with Asia stood at €14 billion in 2014, up from €13.2 billion the previous year. There are many new and exciting opportunities opening up in Asia for Irish companies and my Department’s embassy network is active in helping Irish business on the ground in these valuable markets.

“China, India and Indonesia are three of the top four most populous countries in the World and in recent months, the Irish Government has opened a new embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia and a new consulate in Hong Kong. Our Hong Kong Consulate will build on the work of our busy Embassy in Beijing and our Consulate in Shanghai. We have also opened an embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, an identified priority market for Ireland.

“In the last two years in particular important market access has been gained for Irish produce including access to the Chinese and Japanese markets for Irish beef, access for Irish salmon in the Chinese market and access for Irish pigmeat in Vietnam. There are great opportunities across a range of sectors for Irish companies and people-to-people relationships lie at the heart of successful business relationships which is why this new Centre for Asian studies is so valuable. I welcome in particular that students will have an opportunity to learn Korean, Mandarin and Japanese.”

Emphasising the value of education links between Ireland and Asian countries and the strong focus on internationalism in the Government’s education strategy, Minister Flanagan referred to the 2,000 Korean students who travel to Ireland annually to learn English and the roughly 600 Irish people teaching English in Korea; as well as the 2,700 Chinese students in Irish universities; and the Irish people who travel to Japan annually to participate in the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) programme – over 1,000 Irish people have participated in the programme since its inception. The Irish Embassy in Hanoi offers 40 scholarships annually for Vietnamese students to study in Ireland.

ENDS

Press Office
7 October 2015