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Irish Taoiseach pledges to strengthen economic ties with China

(Xinhua)

15:39, March 27, 2012

BEIJING, March 27 (Xinhua) -- In a bid to attract Chinese investors, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny on Tuesday worked to foster confidence in the Irish economy, which is recovering from the global financial turmoil.

The Taoiseach, which refers to the head of government or the prime minister of Ireland, said it is in Ireland's national interests for Irish companies to tap into the Chinese market and for Ireland to connect itself with China's vast outward investment potential.

"There is a wealth of opportunities for Irish and Chinese businesses to work together and to generate income and value," Kenny said at a breakfast gathering of Chinese and Irish businesspeople and officials.

Kenny, who is in China for a five-day official visit, said China and Ireland have many business skills and competencies that complement each other in terms of selling to the European and world markets.

The Irish Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton also proposed the two countries enhance exchanges in the education sector, and expand cooperation in traditional sectors like food processing and other emerging sectors such as tourism.

After the breakfast meeting, Kenny, who is heading an Irish trade and investment mission, witnessed the signing of dozens of agreements and memoranda between Irish and Chinese enterprises.

Kenny's China tour is aimed at enhancing economic and trade cooperation, and expanding cultural exchanges between Ireland and China.

According to the Chinese Customs, Sino-Irish trade hit 5.87 billion U.S. dollars in 2011, up 8.6 percent year-on-year, making China Ireland's largest trade partner in Asia.

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