Chapter 2 – China’s Economy And Enterprises ~ Part Three: Sino-Ireland Friendly Cooperation And Mutual Development ~The Irish Asia Strategy and Its China Relations

IrishAsiaPart Three: Sino-Ireland Friendly Cooperation and Mutual Development

There has always been a very good bilateral relationship between Ireland and China, maintained by exchange of visits between senior leaders, holding cultural festivals, promoting trade and investment, and enhancing cooperation in various fields and extensive exchanges between the two peoples.

Ireland enjoys a fine international reputation as the ‘Silicon Valley of Europe’. As an open and knowledge-based economy, Ireland has amassed rich experience in how to seize the opportunities brought by globalization, successfully explore the pattern of opening up, rejuvenate the country through science and education, etc. China, as a country sharing similar experience in development, has a lot to learn from Ireland. There are many in-depth studies in China on leap-frog development, citing Ireland as a successful case. They try to solve the “Irish Mystery” so as to come up with references for China in pursuing her way of scientific development and independent innovation.
Enterprise Ireland has set up offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong, in charge of promoting Ireland’s export and investment to China. The Investment and Development Agency of Ireland, after setting up offices in Tokyo and Chinese Taipei, also established its Shanghai representative office, to attract Chinese investment to Ireland.
In recent years, China and Ireland have both made great achievements in national construction and the two countries have become closer than ever. Under the initiatives of the leaders of China and Ireland, with the promotion efforts made by the Ireland-China Association, Enterprise Ireland China Office, and the Representative Office of Investment and Development Agency of Ireland, our two countries have witnessed more fruitful results of the cooperation between us in economy and trade, investment, science and technology, exchange of personnel. In 2006, the bilateral trade volume between China and Ireland reached USD 5.46 billion, up 18.6% over 2005[i], representing a 10-fold growth in 5 years.

Ireland started to invest in China in 1989.
By the end of 2006, Ireland has accumulatively invested in 115 projects in China with a contractual volume of USD 260 million and an actual utilization of USD 83.43 million.
In 2006, Ireland invested in 16 projects in China with a contractual volume of USD 57.78 million and an actual utilization of USD 24.02 million.
By the end of 2006, China has accumulatively imported 455 technical projects from Ireland with a total contractual volume of USD 200 million.
In 2006, China imported 111 technical projects from Ireland with a total contractual volume of 53.19 million.
By the end of 2006, total volume of economic cooperation projects between the two countries reached USD 23.13 million, with completed turnover of USD 36.19 million, among which the newly signed contract in 2006 was USD 150,000, with completed turnover of USD 8.8 million. [ii]

We believe, through further implementing a series of bilateral economic and trade and relevant agreements[iii] signed between the two countries over the years, promoting trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, enhancing cooperation in lowering barriers to technological transfer and protecting intellectual property rights, creating a fair, just, reasonable, and open environment for enterprises, promoting long-term stable partnership between the enterprises on the two sides by giving policy and financial incentives, the exchanges between China and Ireland in economy and trade will be closer so that Chinese enterprises that come to invest in Ireland and Irish enterprises that go to invest in China will reap more benefits from the fast development of the two economies. And in turn they will make greater contributions to the economic and social development of the two countries and to the friendship between the two peoples.

[i] European Division, MOFCOM, 2006 Statistics on Trade between China and European Countries, February 1, 2007.
[ii] Commercial Councillor’s Office, Chinese Embassy in Ireland, 2006 Sino-Ireland Bilateral Trade and Investment, April 26, 2007.
[iii] Major bilateral economic and trade agreements between China and Ireland include: Economic, Industrial, Scientific and Technological Partnership Agreement 1986, Agreement on the Avoidance of Double –Taxation ,April 2004, Sino-Irish Partnership Agreement on Science and Technology, September, 2000, Agreement on Research Fund of Scientific and Technological Cooperation, December 2002, Protocol on the Quarantine and Veterinary Health Conditions for China’s Importation of Pig Meat from Ireland, January 2005, etc.