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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Ambassador to woo investors from China

By Zhao Shengnan (China Daily)

08:44, February 20, 2012

BEIJING - Ireland would like to build on its cooperation with China, the heart of its Asian strategy, and see closer strategic relations between the European Union and China, said Irish Ambassador to China Declan Kelleher before Vice-President Xi Jinping's visit to Ireland.

In trade, politics, tourism, education, agriculture and culture, the two nations have seen strong progress.

Now, "Xi's visit is going to move our already very good relationship to an even higher level to benefit mutual cooperation", Kelleher said.

China's direct investment in Ireland, which is less than Irish investments in China, must be expanded in the future, said Kelleher.

"The number of Irish companies with a permanent presence in China is now up 300 percent over the past five years," he said. "We are looking forward to seeing more Chinese investment coming to Ireland."

"Ireland and China have faced similar challenges in moving from an underdeveloped agrarian economy to a modern economy, which enables people to improve their standard of living," said Kelleher, adding that Ireland's low corporate tax rate, high rate of return for foreign investors and the government's emphasis on facilitating business would greatly benefit Chinese investors.

Speaking of China's role in the resolution of the EU sovereign debt crisis, Kelleher agreed with Premier Wen Jiabao's view that the health of the EU is very important to China, its big trade partner, but "the EU must put its house in order and must make the necessary corrections".

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