Ireland China Business Association
The Ireland China Business Association (ICBA) is a not-for profit organisation, established in 2000 to explore opportunities and identify keys areas of potential cooperation between Irish and Chinese companies in the emerging Chinese market.
Today, exceptional business opportunities abound in China for Irish companies and equally strong investment opportunities abound for Chinese individual, corporate and institutional investors in Ireland. Two-way trade between Ireland and China is estimated to have exceeded €14bn in 2017.
The ICBA strives to optimise these opportunities and is recognised today as the leading and only Irish Association focused solely on all aspects of the Chinese market.
We work very closely with the Chinese Embassy, Team Ireland in China, led by Ambassador Eoin O’Leary in Beijing, Consul General Therese Healy in Shanghai and Consul General David Costello in Hong Kong the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Justice and Equality, Department of Enterprise, Innovation and Jobs, Department of Education and Skills, Enterprise Ireland, IDA and leading Irish and Chinese businesses and financial institutions.
To enable the development of profitable business co-operation and partnerships
To provide a lobbyist function for Ireland China businesses with key policy makers and stakeholders
To support member businesses, in particular from the SME sector, who are considering market entry and who are looking to learn what is needed to succeed in this market
To promote trade, build business, educational and cultural links
To provide a significant programme of networking events for Members in the form of regular Breakfast and lunches, seminars and evening briefings with guest speakers
To produce regular communications via newsletter/email/enzine containing trade information and news of Irish and Chinese events
To co-operate with both Irish and Chinese state bodies in meeting a significant number of trade groups from China
To assist in delegations visiting China
To organise business/cultural and language training courses for interested parties
Susan Barrett – Chairperson
A graduate of Trinity College, Susan’s background has led her to a career in sales, marketing and business development spanning the property, equestrian, education and tourism markets. Founder and CEO of Select Ireland, a business consultancy focused on the Chinese Market.,Susan’s multi sectoral experience has been of huge benefit whilst operating in the Chinese Market both assisting Irish companies with market entry strategy and Chinese companies wishing to set up in Ireland.. Susan has previously sat on the Steering Committee for the Dublin Beijing Twinning and the Advisory Board of the Dublin City Council Chinese New Year Festival.
Caroline Devlin – Vice chair
Caroline is a Tax Partner with Arthur Cox. Caroline specialises in the tax area, leasing and international financial services. She advises domestic and international companies on tax planning, including tax aspects of acquisitions and reorganisations, and also has extensive expertise in securitisation, aircraft and equipment leasing.
Ken has been doing business in China since, 2004, having successfully run a business in Suzhou, Jiangsu province as well as property investments. In 2009 he set up his own company Chinaportal Consultancy which is now firmly established as an experienced market leader in doing business in China. Ken has also sourced a diverse and wide range of products in China on behalf of Chinaportal’s Irish and international clients. Ken is currently Chairman of the Ireland China Institute, a new think tank under the auspice of the Institute for International and European Affairs.
Alan established Ireland’s first trade development office in China in 1979, when he was based in Beijing from 1979 to 1982 and led the opening up of the Chinese market to Irish exporters. More recently he was Executive Director, Asia-Pacific, Enterprise Ireland (EI), based in Shanghai from 2008 to 2015. Alan is currently a non-executive board member and independent business adviser. A native of Dublin, he is a Chemical Engineer and an M.B.A. graduate from University College Dublin and more recently he completed the Advanced Management Programme at INSEAD, in Paris and Singapore.
Mary Ruane is the founding and former director of the UCD Applied Language Centre and is currently attached to the School of Asian Studies and the Confucius Institute UCC. She has a longstanding interest in Chinese language education as part of an overall national strategy to promote Sino-Irish relations in the fields of culture, education and business. Mary is also a former Chair of the Dublin Chinese New Year Festival.
Brian Gallagher has worked for Dublin Airport since 2011 and during that time has held a number of roles in Planning, Analytics and more recently, Route Development. Brian holds airline account management responsibility for all the major Chinese airlines and works in close collaboration with many various stakeholders across Ireland and China toward the common goal of eventually securing direct Dublin-China airline flights.
Based in the Growth Markets Team of IDA Ireland, Emer Cusack leads on attracting FDI from China, Japan & Korea into Ireland. She also manages a portfolio of existing client companies, helping them develop and grow their operations in Ireland.
Prior to joining Growth Markets Division in 2010, Emer has held a number of positions in various departments of IDA Ireland and before IDA Ireland worked for a marketing company in Amsterdam.
Emer holds a Bachelor of Business and Languages from AIT.
Lourda Kildea has been traveling extensively to China and Internationally on business for over 20 years; specialising in product development, sourcing and buying consumer goods and raw materials. In 2005 she started her own business Global Access 2 Product Ltd (GAP2) which offers a wide range of services, specialising in consultancy on product development, product sourcing, packaging and branding on a broad spectrum of products from China.
Chan Shi is the founding partner of ACSK Solicitors and a member of Commercial law committee of Dublin Solicitors Bar Association. ACSK Solicitors has a partner law firm in China and in corroboration with the Chines partner law firm ACSK Solicitors assist Irish companies and individuals setting up business in China or transacting business in China. Chan is the first Chinese national to be qualified as Irish Solicitor.
Chen Tian joined Bank of Ireland in 2004. He has worked in a range of positions within Bank of Ireland, including Corporate Banking, Global Markets and Retail Banking. Chen has a deep understanding of both Irish and Chinese business environments and culture. He works as a part of Bank of Ireland Inward Investment team, with a particular focus on China.
Carole Deering is currently working as an MSc Admissions and Recruitment Manager – China for the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business.
She has held various roles at UCD since joining in 2007. Her current role involves leading the Chinese market and manging prestigious Chinese partner Universities. Carole has been travelling extensively to China on business for two years. She is a new Council member of the Ireland China Business Association and hopes to be fluent Chinese over the next few years. Carole holds a Master’s Degree in Strategic Management & Planning and an Hdip in Sales Management both from the Smurfit School of Business.
Lorcan Bannon currently works as Head of Client Strategy at Olytico where he leads Social Media Monitoring activities for leading brands like Heineken, Electric Ireland and Liberty Insurance. Prior to joining Olytico, Lorcan worked at Pernod Ricard as Senior Global Brand Manager for Jameson Whiskey working across multiple markets leading strategic marketing plans for key activation pillars. Lorcan holds an honours degree in International Commerce from UCD, an International Business Diploma from ICN Nancy, France, a Diploma in Digital Marketing and a Diploma in Corporate Finance.
Qi is Vice President – Greater China Region at ORIX Aviation. He is responsible for covering the trading activities with lessors and origination activities with Airlines in the Greater China Area.
Prior to joining ORIX Aviation, Qi worked in the financial services group at Deloitte and Touche Ireland where he provided assurance and advisory services to clients.
Finn Connolly, is the founding member of the ICBA Student Council, which is dedicated to connecting students with both Irish and Chinese enterprises.
A student of International Business and Chinese at Dublin City University, Finn studied Chinese in Beijing in his transition year of secondary school. Having been student member of the association for many years Finn was elected onto the ICBA Council in 2018.
Alan holds an Honours Degree in Business Studies (GMIT), a Post-Graduate Diploma in Marketing (MII), an Executive Diploma in Digital Marketing (also MII) and the CIPS Certified International Property Specialist accreditation. He first joined Business Vision in 2002 and acquired the business just three years later. In 2008, he added a separate commercial real estate business, BV Commercial.
Alan has vast experience of dealing with investors from the Asia-China market; as well as having extensive experience of negotiating office space for Chinese companies locating in Ireland, he has negotiated the sale of businesses and properties to Chinese investors.