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People's Daily Online>>Foreign Affairs

Chinese VP calls for more efforts to tap Sino-Irish economic potential

(Xinhua)

08:39, February 21, 2012

DUBLIN, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping hailed here on Monday the booming trade between China and Ireland, calling for more effort to tap the potential for bilateral economic cooperation.

Xi said he was pleased with the good momentum in Sino-Irish trade and economic cooperation when he addressed a Sino-Irish economic and investment forum held here in Dublin on the sideline of Xi's visit. Several hundred business leaders from China and Ireland attended the business forum.

Statistics show that the trade volume between China and Ireland hit 5.87 billion U.S. dollars in 2011, up 8.6 percent over the previous year.

Xi noted that China has become Ireland's biggest trading partner in Asia over continuous five years, and Ireland has maintained trade surplus against China for three years in a row.

By 2011, Irish companies have invested around 641 million U.S. dollars in China while the investment of Chinese companies in Ireland stands at 148 million U.S. dollars, keeping a good momentum.

"The increasingly expanding of bilateral trade and economic cooperation has brought substantial benefits to both people and deepened the friendship between China and Ireland," Xi said.

Xi told business leaders that China's imports are expected to hit 8000 billion U.S. dollars in the year 2015 and its overseas investment will reach 500 billion U.S. dollars, which would provide huge business opportunities for companies across the world including Irish companies.

He proposed that both sides should promote the development of trade in service industry, explore investment fields, expand cooperation in high-tech sectors, support the development of medium-and small-sized enterprises and tap the potential of the bridging role of business associations in boosting economic cooperation.

In May this year, Beijing will host an international fair for trade of service industry. Xi said Irish companies are welcome to participate in the fair.

After addressing the forum, the vice president is set to head for Turkey, the last leg of his three-nation tour.

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