Liu Yunshan visits Ireland
Mr Liu is a member of the Communist Party Politburo Standing Committee and First Secretary of the Central Secretariat of the CPC. He is one of the most senior Chinese leaders to visit Ireland.
Mr Liu Yunshan visited Ireland from 15-17 June at the invitation of the Government, following on from the Strategic Partnership agreed during the Taoiseach’s visit to China in 2012.
He met the President, the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste, and Ministers Bruton, Quinn and Tom Hayes, and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Minister Deenihan on establishing a Chinese cultural centre in Ireland.
Two-way Ireland-China trade (in goods and services) is worth more than €8 billion per annum
Mr Liu visited the Guinness Storehouse, Powerscourt, the Phoenix Park, and a family farm in Wicklow. He also visited companies involved in Ireland-China trade and investment.
He attended the European Conference of Confucius Institutes and laid a foundation stone for a new Confucius Institute building at UCD.
Mr Liu’s visit follows previous visits by Ma Kai in 2013 and Xi Jinping, (seen here with President Higgins) in 2012.
Ireland-China trade is worth more than €8 billion per annum - with Ireland one of the handful of EU member States enjoying a trade surplus with China
Our Food & Drinks exports now amount to almost half a billion euro per annum. They have tripled in value in the last three years and grew by 40% in 2013 alone
In January 2014, Ireland and China set up a Joint Technology Capital Growth Fund with US$ 100 million in capital to invest in growing technology companies from each country.
In 2013, Ireland welcomed 18,000 visitors from China, a 7% increase on the previous year. Tourism Ireland aims to grow the number of Chinese tourists to 50,000 per year, by 2018.
Five Irish Universities offer full courses in Chinese, with Chinese about to be mainstreamed into the Junior Cycle syllabus. Ireland is home to two Confucius Institutes (in UCD and UCC).
Around 2,700 Chinese students are studying in Irish higher education institutions, with a further 2,400 studying on Irish programmes in partner institutions in China. China is our second most important higher education market after the USA, and tuition income is worth nearly €30m per annum. Irish higher education institutions have over 150 partnership programmes in operation with Chinese institutions.