Exports to China up by 10pc
IRISH exports to China jumped by 10pc in 2011 -- the second year in a row -- and now Enterprise Ireland is aiming for a further 15pc growth in 2012, as more than 200 Irish companies are exporting to China with 140 of them based there.
The organisation made the announcement at the major China Trade and Investment Forum of more than 350 delegates from Irish and Chinese firms.
Ireland has positioned itself to become China's springboard into Europe, after the three-day official visit by Xi Jinping, the vice president of China (left).
For his part the vice president said that China will continue to encourage Chinese firms to invest in Ireland. He called for both countries to cooperate more in high-tech sectors such as software and bio-pharmaceuticals.
China is a "reliable friend for Europe and Ireland", Mr Xi said, amid efforts to emerge from the debt crisis.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny said that the pair had "very fruitful discussions" and also concluded a number of important memoranda of understanding between Ireland and China in the areas of investment, education and business. Mr Kenny said he accepted an invitation from Mr Xi to visit China next month.
Meanwhile Dublin-based Mainstream Renewable Power has inked a deal to join forces with Chinese multi-national Goldwind to develop a wind farm in Chile with a value of around €140m.