China vital to Irish recovery: Irish PM

08:22, July 15, 2011      

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Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny on Thursday said he hoped China could play a vital role in Ireland's economic recovery.

"Our recovery will be export-led and our strong trading relationship with China is an essential part of trading future that will ensure further growth," Kenny said when addressing an economics symposium held in Ireland's University College Dublin.

"I do not think that there is complacency on the part of anyone involved in the Ireland-China commercial relationship, however, there is massive potential to enhance this further across a range of sectors," he said.

The prime minister listed a number of areas of potential cooperation between Ireland and China, including energy and green technologies, food and agriculture, financial services and aviation leasing, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and educational services.

"I would like to be able to demonstrate that our country from our perspective is the best small country in the world in which to do business. Our trading relationships with China will help us to achieve that," Kenny said.

The two-day symposium is organized by the UK-based Chinese Economic Association. The theme of this year's symposium is "China's Economic Dynamics and Its Impact on the World Economy."

Kenny said China is Ireland's largest trading partner in Asia, and its eighth largest partner in the world.

"The importance of China was recognized in the Asia Strategy adopted by the government in 1999," he said.

"That strategy had two principal objectives: to improve political and business contacts throughout Asia and to raise awareness of Ireland both as an investment location and as a source of high quality goods and services. The strategy resulted in a significant development of Ireland's relationship with China in particular over the past decade," said the Irish prime minister.

According to Kenny, annual bilateral trade between Ireland and China around 2000 was worth 715 million euros (around 1 billion U.S. dollars ). Last year, it was 4.2 billion euros.

"In all areas, trade, education, food and agriculture, tourism and human contacts, our relations are widening and deepening," he added.

Source: Xinhua
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