Ireland hopes to attract high-tech investment from China

Updated: 2014-06-23 21:22

By By Meng Jing and Mu Chen (

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A trade and investment mission led by the Irish Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation arrived in Beijing on Monday, aiming to attract investment from China's information communication technology sector by introducing Irish high-tech firms to Chinese firms.

Richard Bruton, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, said at the first China Ireland Technology Summit - a networking event for China and Ireland's high-tech firms - that Ireland has a strong strategic positioning that makes it a prime base for Chinese companies to enter the EU and global markets.

The minister said Ireland has a good track record of helping companies entering the EU market, saying: "The USA, when it sought to enter the European market, very many of them particularly in the technology sector chose Ireland. They were able to get the skills they needed, the technology they needed, they also got the familiarity of European market."

Bruton, who came to China with a delegation of the 25 "most creative and exciting" companies from Ireland, is expected to arrive in Shanghai on Tuesday to further promote Ireland as a gateway for Chinese companies to enter the European market.

He said food exports remain Ireland's largest export sector, but there is an increasing demand from China for new technologies in sectors where Ireland has key strengths.

Total trade between China and Ireland was 8 billion euros in 2013, representing a 125 percent increase over a decade, while service exports from Ireland to China have jumped 250 percent in the same period.

Zhang Zhewei, China Director of the Ireland Investment and Development Agency, said that Ireland attracted about 150 projects from around the world in 2013.

However, Chinese investment in Ireland accounted for only a small proportion of the 150 projects. "We have made a goal to have 20 percent of the foreign investment to Ireland come from emerging markets in 2020. Investment from China and India are expected to contribute a lot to the share of 20 percent," he said, adding the majority of the foreign investment in Ireland is from North America and other European countries.

He said that information communication technology and finance are the two sectors which offer the greatest potential for further cooperation between China and Ireland.