Recording: Early Career Network

Full recording can be found on:

This network welcomes membership from those at an early stage of their Ireland-China business career as well as students. At the event we shared our plans, the benefits of membership and opportunities to get involved and contribute.


Our panel of speakers shared some first-hand experiences and benefits of effective networking, we have also heard about Huawei Seeds Programme for ‘Early Stagers’ and from representatives of CSSA (Chinese Students and Scholars Association) representing students in Irish HEIs.


EU-China Comprehensive Investment Agreement-an update from Brussels

Full recording can be found on: 

At the end of last year, the European Union and China concluded the negotiations and reached agreement in principle on the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI). The agreement will grant EU investors a greater level of access to China’s market in existing sectors, as well as offering some significant new market openings, such as in the manufacturing, services, telecommunications (cloud services), financial services, private healthcare, and environmental services sectors, among others. 


Mr. Carlo Pettinato- Head of unit, Investment and Intellectual property, DG Trade, EU Commission



Ms. Elaine Coughlan, Managing partner, Atlantic Bridge Ventures



Ms. Caroline Devlin- Ireland China Business Association, Chair

Recording: EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment- an update from Brussels

Full recording can be found on:

At the end of last year, the European Union and China concluded the negotiations and reached agreement in principle on the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI). The agreement will grant EU investors a greater level of access to China’s market in existing sectors, as well as offering some significant new market openings, such as in the manufacturing, services, telecommunications (cloud services), financial services, private healthcare, and environmental services sectors, among others. #



Mr. Carlo Pettinato- Head of unit, Investment and Intellectual property, DG Trade, EU Commission



Ms. Elaine Coughlan, Managing partner, Atlantic Bridge Ventures



Ms. Caroline Devlin- Ireland China Business Association, Chair

Recording: Morning with An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin TD, and an address by H.E. Ambassador He Xiangdong to mark the Chinese New Year of the Ox

Full recording can be found on:

The event focuses on good relations between China and Ireland, business relations, trade agreements, the Irish Governments strategy on Asia (in particular China). Topics include how Ireland is coping with Covid, and some forecasts on the outlook for Ireland in the forthcoming year.


1. An Taoiseach, Mr Micheál Martin TD.

2. H.E. Ambassador, Mr He Xiangdong

3. Chair of Ireland China Business Association, Ms Caroline Devlin

Bartra Capital

Bartra is a privately-owned international real estate and investment company with an extensive
footprint in Europe and Asia. We develop, manage, and invest with the purpose of improving property
and places to deliver sustainable commercial and social benefit. China has long been an important
source of Foreign Direct Investment for Ireland, with businesses such as Bartra being instrumental in
building this relationship. We have four offices in China and our Founder, Richard Barrett, a resident
of Shanghai, has spent the past three decades engaging in premium, high specification, large scale
projects in China, and Ireland. In doing so he has been the initiator of a vast network of investment
opportunity that has brought Irish Investors to Asia, and similarly brought Asian investors to Ireland.
This mutually beneficial network has laid the foundations for much of Bartra’s current portfolio across
the social housing, healthcare, commercial real estate, residential, tourism and co-living sectors.
Bartra Wealth Advisors ( has successfully promoted the Irish Government’s
Immigration Investment Programme (IIP). The IIP is a residence by investment programme which
enables non-EU citizens to secure residency in Ireland for them and their families for an initial period
of two years. This initial period can be extended to five years if certain criteria are met. Bartra Wealth
Advisor’s IIP programme facilitates, in a structured and secure way, investment in Irish government
priority areas of social housing and nursing homes, while also providing the opportunity for Chinese
investors, and their families, to reside in a country that has one of the highest qualities of life standards
in the world.

To date Bartra Wealth Advisors has helped over three hundred families successfully take up residence
in Ireland thanks to its extensive Irish immigration experience, expertise in secure, sustainable, and
socially responsible real estate investments, professional landing teams and strong business network
support. The company maintains a 100% application approval rate, as well as a 100% renewal rate.
COVID-19 has delivered unprecedented challenges across all sectors of industry in 2020. At all our
Bartra offices, while we have naturally had to make a few adjustments in line with Government
guidance such as the introduction of remote working, virtual meetings and updated health and
sickness policies for our teams, we have continued to innovate and grow our Business. Bartra Wealth
Advisors has been recognised by winning both the Innovator of the Year – Real Estate at the Hong
Kong Business Management Excellence Awards 2020, and the Supreme Brand of Overseas Investment
and Immigration Consultant Firm Award 2020, organised by CAPITAL CEO X Entrepreneur.
Bartra Healthcare, a group of premium quality nursing homes, each of which provides individualized
care in a safe, friendly & comfortable environment where all the needs of our residents are met, has
added two more world class facilities in Dublin. COVID-19 has been especially challenging for the
nursing home sector globally and our healthcare team, like so many of their frontline colleagues in the
sector, have worked heroically to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our residents and their loved
ones, our teams, and our healthcare partners. We have a suite of COVID-19 protection measures in
place, including weekly resident and staff testing, controlled visiting guidelines, and the wearing of
PPE by all our frontline teams, all the time. Indeed, Bartra Healthcare sourced a large quantity of high quality PPE equipment from China in early 2020.

Bartra’s plans for Ireland’s first technology enabled premium co-living offer continue to progress
where we will be investing €130m across four locations in the next two years. Our co-living public
health and COVID-19 provisions have been independently validated and certified by Dr Martin Hogan
and Corporate Health Ireland (CHI), who are SEQOHS accredited, as one of the Europe’s leading
occupational health services.

We will also build on our proud history as a developer of social housing, and private homes. Bartra will
deliver 1,000 social homes across a range of tenures in the next three years. In December 2020 we
launched a new premium residential development ( strategically located in a prestigious
and highly sought-after location in Blackrock, South Dublin.
COVID-19 has certainly seen us adjust how we do business, but it has not changed our fundamental
belief that great investments require a combination of three things, great locations, great people, and
the right opportunity. The Bartra team pride ourselves on consistently delivering all three for clients
and investors.

Novaerus and Galanz create commercial partnership to provide air disinfection solution to China’s consumer market

Novaerus, an Irish company that manufactures and sells medical-grade, clean air solutions, has announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Chinese powerhouse manufacturer, Galanz. By partnering with Novaerus, Galanz can provide a cutting-edge, air disinfection solution to China’s consumer market to protect people from airborne viruses and bacteria.

The license agreement will allow Galanz to manufacture the Novaerus designed air disinfection devices. Novaerus’s patented plasma-based nanotechnology, NanoStrike will power the devices. Developed by the Novaerus team of scientists and engineers, this is the only air disinfection technology that kills and deactivates harmful airborne microorganisms on contact — in a sub-second time frame.

Specializing in manufacturing, Galanz provides a fundamental focus on quality and innovation. Starting with the microwave trade and becoming the largest microwave manufacturer globally, its business now covers award-winning technologies, including air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, and other small home appliances. In the past 20 years, Galanz has established strategic partnerships with many famous brands in Europe.

This is truly an ideal union of exceptional air disinfection technology combined with renowned manufacturing capabilities. Partnering with the Dublin based Novaerus helps Galanz develop a stronghold in the Chinese air disinfection market during a critical time. “Although our partnership with Galanz began in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, the timing of the launch of their newest air disinfection solution could not come at a better time,” states Dr Kevin Devlin, CEO of WellAir. “There is mounting research to suggest that clean, disinfected air plays a vital role in preventing the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19.

Novaerus’s NanoStrike air disinfection technology has been shown effective at reducing MS2 Bacteriophage, a surrogate for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), by 99.99%.”

“We looked to partner with a company with a tested and proven air disinfection technology, a technology that was not available in China — until now. Novaerus has a strong reputation in the medical market, with solutions deployed in over 400 hospitals worldwide,” states Benjamin Leung, Vice Chairman of Galanz. “Their solutions are also registered on China’s National Online Record Information Service Platform for Disinfection Products, and the efficacy of their devices have been tested and qualified by the Guangzhou Institute of Microbiology.” The partnership will start with the launch of Galanz’s new GZ20 air disinfection unit, powered by Novaerus’s NanoStrike technology.

About Novaerus

Novaerus is part of WellAir, an Irish company on a mission to reduce indoor airborne pollutants to create living, working, and healing spaces that foster rather than detract from human health, productivity, and wellbeing. WellAir and its brands, Novaerus and Plasma Air, can be found installed in hundreds of hospitals, senior living facilities, schools, casinos, railway stations, residences, and industrial facilities in more than 60 countries around the world.

About Galanz

Galanz is a leading global home appliances manufacturer of a range of products, including microwave ovens, refrigerators, dishwashers, laundry, air conditioners, toaster ovens, and more. For decades, Galanz has been at the forefront of appliance invention, with more than 1,600 patents and product partnerships with some of the world’s most recognized and trusted brands. Galanz designs appliances with thoughtful engineering for the home and will continue to innovate to create efficient, dependable, and great products that consumers love.

ICBA Food Webinar: Are there opportunities for Irish food Businesses to grow in China?

Are there opportunities for Irish food businesses to grow in China? 


Event Details:

Food and Drinks exports from Ireland to China continue to grow and with the ongoing need to diversify Ireland’s food export strategy to manage the impacts of Brexit, our panel of industry experts will look at the potential that China presents for Irish food businesses including the current trends, the opportunities, the challenges as well as practical advice to progress a China focused export strategy.


Date & Time: 

12th August 




This event will be hosted by Lorcan Bannon, ICBA Council member and Food Business Specialist with ifac and will include contributions from: 

– David Kennedy, Business Director- Africa, Asia, Middle East and Russia,  Bord Bia  

– Stephen Browne, Director of Exports at Glanbia Consumer Foods, Glanbia 

– Donal McGreal, Managing Director, Connemara Seafood 

– Paddy Wall, UCD professor for Food Safety, Public Health 

ICBA Tourism Webinar: Roads to Recovery

This webinar will address the challenges facing the Irish tourism sector and is relevant to those interested in tourism in Ireland, the stay vacation market and attracting Chinese market share in the new reality.


This webinar is taking place in the context of the Government’s Irish Tourism Recovery Taskforce and will have a particular focus on the strategies and innovations required in the Hotel, Attraction and Retail sectors of the industry. 


Niall Gibbons, CEO Tourism Ireland

Catherine Toolan, MD Guinness Storehouse

Paula Cogan, President Cork Chamber of Commerce, Head of sales, The Dolye Collection.

Paul Higgins, Partner MHL Hotel Collection

Martina Riches, General manager in Brown Thomas.

Conor Coyne, ‘Executive Director’, Kylemore Trust, Kylemore Abbey.


Dialing in option:

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

Password: 210416


Or iPhone one-tap:

Ireland: +35315369320,81192919110#,1#,210416# or +35316533895,81192919110#,1#,210416#

Or Telephone:

Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):

Ireland: +353 1 536 9320 or +353 1 653 3895 or +353 1 653 3897 or +353 1 653 3898 or +353 6 163 9031

Webinar ID: 811 9291 9110

Password: 210416


ICBA Southern Region – Opening Up Opportunities

Earlier this year, ICBA Southern Region, Cork Chamber & Republic of Work joined forces to host an event entitled:

 ‘Opening up new opportunities for China-Ireland Relations in the Southern Region in 2020’.

Under the aegis of the Lord Mayor and Cork City Council, in conjunction with Cork Chamber and Republic of Work, the ICBA Southern Region hosted a major event in Cork City on 10 January 2020 on the theme ‘Opening up new opportunities for China-Ireland Relations in the Southern Region in 2020’.

The timing could not have been more propitious. Throughout 2019, Ireland and China had celebrated the 40th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations. Events in both countries had marked the rapid growth in bilateral links between Ireland and China paying tribute to the many individuals and bodies who had achieved such success. Then at the end of 2019, the long-awaited Asia Pacific Strategy Global Ireland: Delivering in the Asia Pacific region to 2025 was launched by the Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr Simon Coveney TD. Significant growth in Ireland-China relations is planned to include the establishment of a third Consulate, expansion in two-way trade and in Team Ireland’s staffing presence in China.

Growing links with Greater Shanghai

In the history of Ireland-China relations, the vision and foresight of Cork City to establish a Sister City Agreement with Shanghai in 2005 stands out as a transforming moment. It has also led to links with Hangzhou, Wuxi and more recently with Shenzhen. Cork County Council has now signed agreements with Jiangsu Province, particularly with the great cities of Nanjing and Suzhou, promoting trade, tourism and cultural exchanges. Such links have enormous potential for the future of Cork, projected to be the fastest-growing region in Ireland in the next 20 years.

The presence of the Lord Mayor Cllr Sheehan, CEO Ms Ann Doherty and many senior officials from Cork City and County was testimony to the importance of this event for Southern Ireland’s links with China. In his opening speech, the Lord Mayor stressed the need to “continually strive to strengthen our connections with China and use them to further grow our ever-evolving relationship on so many levels with governmental, municipal, business, health and cultural interests.”

It was a rare and special honour to have both Ireland’s Ambassador to China, Mr Eoin O’Leary and Consul General to Shanghai, Ms Therese Healy in attendance. The Director of DFAT’s Asia Pacific Unit, Mr Tim Mawe was also present. In his keynote address, the Ambassador briefly presented an overview of past achievements and the promise of even greater successes with goals and follow on actions. Similarly, Consul General Healy focused on great achievements and opportunities for the greater Cork and Shanghai areas. ICBA Chair, Caroline Devlin reiterated its strategy of upscaling in the regions and thanked its partners Cork Chamber and Republic of Work. The large attendance included Chinese Irish representation from a wide range of sectors including industry, academia, agriculture, tourism, finance, national and local government and others, and from across the whole of Ireland.

Cork and the Southern Region as a launchpad

 In the course of a panel discussion, moderated by Cork Chamber Director of International Relations, Katherine Fitzpatrick, a range of Chinese-Irish initiatives which have chosen Ireland as a successful global launchpad was showcased. Award-winning Co-Founder & CEO of Remote Signals and expert in delivering hardware and software products, Joe Perrott, described IoT (Internet of Things) solutions to inform business decisions. Now based in Cork, but bringing huge experience from his many years working with PCH International in China, his current focus is the design of products aimed at the Chinese and global markets. Richard Linger, manager of the Nimbus Technology Gateway at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), described successful next-generation software and hardware systems for new and established companies including enterprising Irish start-ups. Nimbus is currently finalising arrangements to hold a major global IoT event in China in 2021. Paula Cogan, President of Cork Chamber and Director of Sales at the Doyle Hotel Collection presented an overview of challenges and strategies facing the region. New opportunities for the greater Cork area were emerging but infrastructural deficits had to be addressed to capitalise on the potential. Tourism, in particular, offered huge opportunities. The legendary Cork-based Bill Liao SOSV, entrepreneur, venture capital investor, diplomat and speaker with a worldwide record in the areas of business, development and community activism, gave an inspiring presentation on enterprise thinking for local and global environments. The final contributor was DC Cahalane, Founder and CEO of Republic of Work, renowned innovation mentor and leader, and member of the three-person ICBA Southern Region group, who recounted his and Republic of Work’s journey of connection with China in recent years and plans for the future.

Looking to the future

PwC Ireland China Leader and Senior Tax Partner, Enwright De Sales welcomed the opportunity to support this milestone event in the Southern Region. He said that as trade and investment opportunities with China continue to grow, driving inbound and outbound transactions is a priority. Irish companies were competing well in the Chinese market and in a post-Brexit Europe, companies will look to diversify from the UK market. Continued synergy between our two economies is the way forward. Also representing PwC at the event were Yang Cao (Eddie) PwC Senior Manager for the Greater China Area; Nicola Quinn PwC Ireland, Partner leading the Tax Practice of the Cork Office and Isabelle Kearney, Advisory Consultant at PwC.


Founded in 2000, ICBA is the leading and only Irish Association focused solely on all aspects of the Chinese market. The Southern Region of ICBA was launched on 22 May 2017 at The Clubhouse, Fota Island Resort Cork; there is also a Western Branch. With a strong base in Leinster, ICBA’s development of a determined policy of regionalisation now aligns with Ireland’s Project Ireland 2040 policy. ICBA identifies strong local partners with whom to pursue its goals – in this case, Cork Chamber, Republic of Work, working in collaboration with the City/County Councils, other sectoral stakeholders and increasingly the whole southern region. The strong core-group includes Mary Ruane (who has longstanding links with UCC Asian Studies), Katherine Fitzpatrick, Director of International Relations at Cork Chamber and DC Cahalane, Founder and CEO of Republic of Work, based at its wonderful venue on South Mall. This highly successful event was another step in partnership to build bonds for a future where, as stated in the 2019 Asia Pacific Strategy, our economic and societal aspirations and plans have to embrace all the opportunities offered by the Asian Century where China is a pivotal player. More such events in Cork and around Ireland are planned.

If you are interested in joining the ICBA Southern Region, click here to learn more.

Sino-European Entrepreneurs Summit, 13-15 June

Organised by the Sino-International Entrepreneurs Federation (SSES), Ireland will be hosting its first Sino-European Entrepreneurs Summit from 13-15 June in Killashee Hotel, Co Kildare.

Over one hundred high level Chinese business leaders, CEO’s and investors will be arriving in to Ireland to discuss partnerships, trade deals and opportunities between Ireland and China. Industries covered will include finance, healthcare, agriculture, science & technology, cultural & creative, education and more.

Further information and to purchase tickets:

European Financial Forum

Ambassador Dr Yue Xiaoyong, Chinese Ambassador to Ireland, Mr Liu Liange President, Bank of China and Alan Dixon, Vice Chairman, ICBA


Ireland China Business Association Vice Chairman, Alan Dixon, attended the 4th European Financial Forum, which took place in Dublin on 13th February 2019. 

The European Financial Forum was presented by the Financial Times in partnership with IDA Ireland, presents the fourth edition of the European Financial Forum, bringing together senior executives to explore the disruptive forces that are shaping the financial sector

Further information and relevant videos:

ICBA presents Pat Ledwidge with Lifetime Achievement Award

On the evening of 31st January, in the magnificent Luttrellstown Castle, Pat Ledwidge was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to lasting relations between Shanghai and Cork by Susan Barrett (ex-Chairman) on behalf of the Ireland China Business Association.

‘The spectacular growth of Shanghai’s relationship with Cork is one of the great success stories of China and Ireland’s recent shared history.  It encompasses the Shanghai Cork Sister City Agreement, but goes beyond it, spanning a wide range of areas from education, government, innovation, business to culture, the arts and many others.  It also extends geographically into the Greater Shanghai area and the wider Munster region.  For Irish regions and cities seeking to establish closer links with China, it is an inspiring model.

While many individuals and bodies can take credit for this great success, in both China and Ireland, it is widely recognised that one individual stands out.  This is Mr Patrick Ledwidge, Director of Strategic Planning and Economic Development in Cork City Council.

Pat Ledwidge is often described as the central ‘common thread’ in the success of Cork-Shanghai.  He was there at its inception and he has steered its strategy down the years.  

This story has its origins as far back as 2002 and the establishment of the First Consulate in Shanghai.

From the outset, the aim of forging a special relationship between the second cities of China and Ireland was a clear goal.

Remarkably, within a few short years in 2005, this was achieved.  Cork was selected, ahead of some of the world’s greatest cities, as a Sister City for Shanghai.   This was a major turning point.

What followed has been expansion across many areas, too numerous to mention here.  

In 2007, a Confucius Institute was founded, based in the School of Asian Studies in UCC, serving higher and further education colleges and secondary schools in the entire southern region – and as far north as Galway.  

In May 2015, Cork-Shanghai celebrated 10 years of the Sister City Agreement.  As a tribute to his leadership, Pat was awarded the Magnolia Silver Medal, one of the highest awards of the Shanghai Municipal Government.

Further accolades followed.  Most recently in October 2018 Mr Ledwidge was made a Laureate of the Gold Magnolia by the Mayor of Shanghai, Mr Ying Yong. He was one of ten recipients of this award and the only one from Europe.  A singular honour for the man often referred to as ‘Mr China’ and for the City of Cork.

In 2019, Cork-Shanghai’s successful bilateral links show that ‘the best is yet to be’.  As Cork and the Southern Region embark on major plans for expansion and transformation, economic links with the extraordinary global city of Shanghai, represent further opportunities. The wider regions will also gain, as more agreements are signed with regions and cities including Hangzhou, Wuxi, Jiangsu province amongst others.

In today’s roller-coaster world, the terms ‘vision and visionary’ are often mis-used and over-used.  In the case of Pat Ledwidge, they are completely apt.  Since 2002, Pat Ledwidge, has more than delivered on his mission.  A great gift has been bestowed, providing inspiration and models for many others in China and Ireland.’

Hainan Airlines to launch second direct flight to China

Hainan Airlines has announced its second direct route from Dublin to mainland China.  The airline has confirmed that it will launch a non-stop service from Ireland to Shenzhen on 25 February.

The twice-weekly route will operate on Mondays and Fridays.

Ireland got its first direct route to mainland China in June 2018 when Hainan rolled out a four-times-weekly service,, which has been scaled back since October, operating a direct Dublin-Beijing service twice a week and flying from Dublin to Beijing via Edinburgh once a week.

Further information:

ICBA attends Asian Financial Forum

‘The Asian Financial Forum (AFF) brings together some of the most influential members of the global financial and business community to discuss developments and trends in the dynamic markets of Asia.’

This year our Chairman, Caroline Devlin, attended the AFF on behalf of the Ireland China Business Association. The AFF took place in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from 14th – 15th January 2019. Caroline travelled as a delegate of the Ireland Hong Kong Forum trade mission organised by Dublin Chamber.

This year marks the first time a direct flight from Dublin to Hong Kong is in operation, which makes the prospect of long distance travelling less daunting for delegates. Increased connectivity between Hong Kong and Ireland will mean the opportunities that exist in Hong Kong, the Pearl River Basin and indeed in Asia are set to increase exponentially.


Michael D’Arcy T.D., Minister of Minister of State at the Department of Finance and

the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform being interviewed by Bloomberg


Delegates from the Dublin Chamber HK Mission with Minister Michael D’Arcy


Caroline with Consul General to HK & Macau Mr David Cosello and his wife Maria

at the Consul General’s residence


Attending the Irish Funds event at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange











Message from ICBA Chairman

I would like to begin by wishing all our members a very Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year. We can certainly look forward to 2019 with great hope after what has been an extremely productive year for the Ireland China Business Association. The profile of the Association is continually growing and the connections that have been made and the links forged are invaluable for future progression.

Susan Barrett stepped down as Chair of the Ireland China Business Association at last week’s Annual General Meeting, after her term came to a close. Over the last three years, Susan’s chairmanship of the ICBA has been characterised by innovative ideas, strategic thinking and, most valuable, her tireless efforts to increase the visibility and promote the aims of the ICBA. Her commitment and hard work have helped build and shape the Association to what it is today. On a personal note I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Susan for her excellent work for the ICBA.

I am very honoured to now have the opportunity to chair the ICBA along with my esteemed colleague, Alan Dixon, who will serve as Vice Chair. Alan and myself are looking forward along with the ICBA council to continue to promote Sino Irish business and to working hard for the ICBA.

Finally, a note of sincere thanks to our members whose contributions and support is vital to the Association and crucial to our ongoing success. Our extensive events programme would not be possible without the generosity of our sponsors, your continued support is greatly appreciated.

Look forward to meeting many of you at our events in 2019.

Caroline Devlin

Annual Dinner!

On 28th November, we held our Annual Dinner at the Westbury Hotel, Dublin, sponsored by the Arthur Cox and OpenJaw Technologies. 

This event was the highlight of what has been a busy and productive year for the ICBA, and eagerly anticipated with the attendance of An Tánasite, Mr Simon Coveney, Mr Michael D’Arcy, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and H.E. Dr Yue Xiaoyong, Chinese Ambassador to Ireland, as well as over 160 members, colleagues and friends.  

As H.E. Eoin O’Leary, Irish Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China could not attend in person, he very kindly addressed our guests via video link. 

The evening was a terrific success and would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors Arthur Cox and OpenJaw Technologies and of course, our MC Terence O’Rourke, Chairman of Enterprise Ireland.  

Thank you also to all the staff at The Westbury who were exemplary as always.

Further photos can be viewed here  

CIIE Shanghai 2018

Susan Barrett, Chairman, Ireland China Business Association is honoured to be attending the China International Import Expo (CIIE) taking place from November 5th – 10th in Shanghai.  The expo, which takes place at the National Exhibition and Convention Centre, is expected to attract more than 150,000 purchasers from across China and international markets.

Plans for the CIIE were first announced in May 2017 by Chinese president Xi Jinping at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

Further information:

Western and North Western Region Branch Launch!

On Thursday, 11th October we launched the Western and North Western Region Branch of the Ireland China Business Association in the magnificent Marine Institute.  The event was a great success, with many businesses from the local area attending.  

The launch was opened by Mayor of Galway, Councillor Niall McNelis who commented on the growing and strengthening relationship between Ireland China and in relation to Brexit, how businesses in the West and North West of Ireland are in an ideal position to make the most of any opportunities.

We heard valuable perspectives from two very successful Irish companies in the Chinese market, namely OpenJaw Technologies and Connemara Seafoods.

We would like to thank our speakers for their valuable contribution and to all our members and guests for attending.

You can view photos of the event here:


Emerging Leadership Programme

The Ireland China Business Association (ICBA) is delighted to announce its latest initiative the ‘Emerging Leadership Programme’.  

Open only to members, this programme identifies young professionals, who would benefit from direct engagement with individuals who have significant commercial/professional experience of doing business in China. 

The ICBA will facilitate the initial connection between the two parties and provide a framework for the programme.  The programme will run for 12 months during which time the ICBA will also host a number of informal events that will bring together all mentors and emerging leaders.

All members will receive further information on the Emerging Leadership Programme later this month, with a limited number of successful participants starting the programme in October 2018.   


We held our Annual Summer Barbecue on Thursday, 16th August and thankfully we only had a few drips of rain, not that it would have dampened spirits anyway!   The event, as always, was held on the last evening of the Bulmers Live at Leopardstown Summer Series.   With over 10,000 people attending the races that day, there was an amazing atmosphere and anticipation for those waiting to see The Waterboys live on stage.

We welcomed our members, colleagues, guests and friends into the magnificent Penthouse Suite with panoramic views of the racetrack and situated right above the finishing line, giving all our guests a birds eye view.    The evening was very much enjoyed by all and we would especially like to thank Ambassador Dr Yue and his colleagues for attending.

Some photos of the evening can be viewed ➡ here.

20th EU-China Summit in Beijing

The EU and China agreed to further develop the EU-China strategic partnership at the 20th EU-China summit.

Leaders expressed their support for global trading system and reaffirmed their joint engagement to reform the World Trade Organisation.

Also discussed was foreign and security cooperation and the situation in their respective neighbourhoods.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang hosted the summit while President Donald Tusk and President Jean-Claude Juncker represented the EU. 


Further information:

Ireland – top choice of Chinese millionaire emigrants

As stated in the report from China-based research firm Hurun Institute, Ireland has emerged as the third best destination for Chinese millionaires looking to emigrate.  With the advantage of the strong knowledge-based sector and its leading place in cutting-edge high-tech fields in the world, Ireland has ripened into the third best destination for the wealthy Chinese to migrate.  The Immigrant Investor Programme, nonetheless, opens a door and welcome affluent individuals to make investments.

Read more at:

Breakfast Talk: Xu Sitao, Deloitte China Partner and Chief Economist

We were delighted to have distinguished speaker Mr Xu Sitao, Deloitte China Partner and Chief Economist address our members and invited guests at our recent member-only Breakfast Talk on July 6th.    The talk was very kindly hosted by one of our Patron members, Deloitte Dublin.    Mr Xu’s talk ‘China – Macro Opportunities and Risks gave Irish businesses an understanding of  the “China Model” and Mr Xu also  shared  thoughts on how China can move away from “the middle income trap”.

Photos from the Breakfast Talk can be viewed here.

First direct air route from Dublin to China takes off!

Inaugural Dublin-Beijing flight takes off!  

Congratulations to all involved, this is a great moment in Ireland-China relations.

Hainan Airlines, which is China’s largest independent airline, will operate flights from Dublin to Beijing four times per week.   On two days per week, the service will be direct non-stop flights between Dublin and Beijing. On the other two days, the flights will operate with a stopover in Edinburgh.  The direct Beijing-Dublin flights will operate on Thursdays and Sundays.. The direct Dublin-Beijing service will operate on Tuesdays and Saturdays  The Dublin-Edinburgh-Beijing service will operate on Thursdays and Sundays, The Beijing-Edinburgh-Dublin service will operate on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Student Council Chair selected for IUA and CEAIE Joint Program

Congratulations Finn!

In 2017, the Irish Universities Association (IUA) and the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE) entered into a partnership to further develop co- operation between the higher education system in China and in Ireland. 

The IUA and CEAIE have jointly organised an 8 week summer program including both study and internship experiences in China, to help Irish university students to develop 21st century professional skills and provide substantive work experience to jump-start their career in today’s competitive job market.


Finn Connolly, ICBA Student Council Chair, is delighted and honoured to have been selected for this program.   

He says that ‘The opportunity to study in Beijing Normal University and work in a Chinese company is a wonderful opportunity to see the realities of not only Chinese culture but Chinese business culture. This will in no doubt be of great benefit to my future career and I look forward to the weeks ahead.’

The ICBA wishes Finn every success!

Hainan Welcome Evening!

The Ireland China Business Association in association with Brown Thomas welcomed Hainan Airlines to Ireland with a reception in the beautiful The Restaurant, Brown Thomas on Thursday, 24th May.    The evening was dedicated to welcoming Hainan Airlines and celebrating the new Dublin-Beijing route for which the first flight will take to the skies from Dublin on 12th June.   

H.E. Ambassador Dr. Yue along with Dómhnal Slattery, CEO, Avolon, Jon Woolf, Senior VP Aviation Business Development, Dublin Airport and  Mr Zhang Yang, Country Manager Ireland, Hainan Airlines made brief addresses.

Susan Barrett, ICBA Chairman welcomed Hainan Airlines to Ireland and also commented that ‘As has been proven in many other destinations, the impact of direct access will prove game changing for bi lateral relations.  It is a hugely significant milestone in the history of Ireland China relations’

Above photo: Mr Zhang Yang,Country Manager Ireland, Mr Dómhnal Slattery, CEO, Avolon and H.E. Ambassador Dr. Yue Xiaoyong, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Ireland.

Further photos of the event can be found here.

WuXi Biologics in Dundalk

Chinese biopharmaceutical company, WuXi Biologics, a Hong Kong-listed global open-access biologics technology platform company, is to develop a new manufacturing facility on IDA Ireland’s greenfield site in to create  Dundalk, Co Louth.

Read more here:

China-Ireland Trade up 16%

The total value of the goods trade between China and Ireland reached $2.09 billion in the first two months of 2018.   This is up 16.3% year-on-year from a year earlier, according to data released by the Chinese Embassy in Ireland on Thursday, 19th April 2018.

Further information here:


Chinese market opens to Irish beef exports

Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed announced that Chinese food authorities have approved a number of Irish meat plants to export beef to China and that the market will open within the coming days.

“I understand that the Chinese authorities will list a number of our beef establishments within the next few days,” the minister said in a statement.

“The opening of this key market presents an excellent opportunity for the Irish beef sector, from farmers through to processors”.

“Opening and developing new markets is also a key part of our response to the uncertainties arising from Brexit,” he said.

Further/full reports can be found:

Direct flights Dublin – Beijing

Mr Simon Coveney, T.D.,Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade announced direct Beijing-Dublin flights, launching 12th June 2018, today in the Embassy in Beijing.

Press release:

Hainan, which is China’s largest independent airline, will operate flights from Dublin to Beijing four times per week. On two days per week, the service will be direct non-stop flights between Dublin and Beijing. On the other two days, the flights will operate with a stopover in Edinburgh.

 The direct Beijing-Dublin flights will operate on Thursdays and Sundays. Flights will depart Beijing at 01:30, arriving in Dublin at 06:00. The direct Dublin-Beijing service will operate on Tuesdays and Saturdays and will depart Dublin Airport at 11:10, arriving in Beijing at 05:00 the following day.

 The Dublin-Edinburgh-Beijing service will operate on Thursdays and Sundays, departing at 08:00 and arriving in Beijing via Edinburgh at 05:00 the following day. The Beijing-Edinburgh-Dublin service will operate on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Flights will depart Beijing at 01:30, arriving in Dublin at 09:10 via Edinburgh.

Premier Li Keqiang – government report at the 13th NPC’s opening session

Premier Li Keqiang delivered his government report at the 13th NPC’s opening session.


  1. China will open up more to foreign investment with GDP set to increase by 6.5% this year
  2. China’s defence budget will go up by 8.1%
  3. China will open up the telecom, healthcare, education and new energy vehicle sectors to foreign investments
  4. Bank card clearing businesses will be opened to foreign competition and caps on foreign stakes in banks, securities brokerage houses and fund management firms will be removed
  5. China would implement standard market access for both domestic and foreign banks

Further details can be found on the Flanders-China Chamber of Commerce website by clicking here.

Peter Ryan Ireland’s Consul General to HK & Macau – Private Roundtable

The Ireland China Business Association was honoured to hold a private roundtable discussion with Peter Ryan, Ireland’s Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau, yesterday kindly hosted by A&L Goodbody.  The roundtable was also in association with Dublin Chamber of Commerce.    We welcomed ICBA Patron members,  VIP guests as well as those from the recent Dublin Chamber trade mission to Hong Kong.

Peter shared his insights with the those present and a lively discussion ensued.   The main points made were that there are great opportunities in China, great connections and that if China is the market you want to tap into, it is there for the taking.   

Photos from the discussion can be viewed here.

Roundtable with Therese Healy, Ireland’s Consul General in Shangai

On the morning of 19th January 2018, the Ireland China Business Association held a private Roundtable Discussion with Therese Healy, Ireland’s Consul General in Shanghai.    This event was open to ICBA Patron members and invited guests, who included Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland, Tian Jun, Bank of China, Bing Yi, CBD Leasing and representatives from the Chinese Embassy.   This discussion was very kindly hosted by Arthur Cox.

The discussion was extremely informative with Therese proving updates on the current economic landscape and in particular Eastern China, the work that the Consulate is currently undertaking and future plans and developments.  

We would like to thank Therese for taking the time out of her busy schedule to address our members and guests.  

Photos can be views here

Asian Financial Forum January 2018

Co-organised by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region  Government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the 11th Asian Financial Forum took place on 15th & 16th January at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The theme this year was Steering Growth and Pioneering Innovation: Asia and Beyond’ featuring more than a hundred financial policymakers, business leaders and heavyweight investors, who attended to examine the latest economic trends and offer insights for investment planning in the coming year.  The speakers will also examine a series of topics pertinent to innovation and technology and will identify opportunities presented by the new economy.

The Ireland China Business Association was represented by our Chairperson, Susan Barrett.

ICBA Student Council launched! 

We are delighted to announce that the Ireland China Business Association has launched our Student Council!

‘Our mission is to connect students with employers’, says Finn Connolly founder of ICBAS and current DCU student.

”Opportunities multiply as they are seized’, and China is the land of the opportunity.  China, the largest economy in the world, is one of the major sources of foreign direct investment into Europe currently and in the future.’

‘Irish students can take the opportunity to engage with Chinese companies setting up in Europe and Irish companies working in China the ICBAS give them the perfect platform on which to do so.’

‘We have great plans for the future to expand across the Irish varsity network but it’s still early days’.  So watch this space!


Chinese on Leaving Cert Curriculum

On 4 December, Department of Education and Skills of Ireland launched the government’s Strategy for Foreign Languages in Education 2017-2026. According to the Strategy, Mandarin Chinese will be on the curriculum for Leaving Certificate students who enter fifth year in September 2020.

The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D. explained that the Strategy aims to put Ireland in the top ten countries in Europe for the teaching and learning of foreign languages by improving proficiency and diversity, thus contributing to Ireland’s drive to make its education and training service the best in Europe within a decade.

Warmly received as a positive outcome of the ever-deepening relationship between China and Ireland, the introduction of Chinese as a Leaving Certificate subject is an important landmark in the integration of Chinese into Ireland’s national education system, and will significantly enhance the popularisation of Chinese and the Chinese culture in Ireland. For young Irish today, a good command of Chinese and understanding of the Chinese culture will undoubtedly benefit not only the cooperation between Ireland and China, but also the career prospects of the students.

19th Congress Outcomes and Implications

On Thursday, 23rd November the Ireland China Business Association was honoured to host a private Roundtable Discussion with H.E. Ambassador Dr Yue on the ‘Outcomes & Implications of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China‘.   This private Roundtable was open to Patron members and invited guests, and was very kindly hosted by A&L Goodbody.

Ambassador Dr Yue began by stating that the 19th Congress has paved a way forward for a very dynamic, bright and inspiring future for China.   By 2020, Chinese society as a whole will attain a higher level of prosperity.  By the year of 2035, China will basically reach the target of what is called “socialist modernisation”.  By the middle of this century, China will attain another target of “great modern socialist country”, the defining indicators will be those of even more prosperous life, strong economy, democratic system, advanced culture, harmonious society and a beautiful environment. 

The Ambassador elaborated further on what China is going to do to expand, deepen and quicken the reform:

  1. The supply-side restructuring will be strengthened
  2. Innovation and entrepreneurship will be the hallmark in a big and comprehensive way
  3. Market reform will be pressed on steadily
  4. A greater expansion of foreign trade with more liberalisation in business and overseas investment
  5. Continued support of multilateral trade regimes and work to facilitate the establishment of free trade areas and build an open world economy

In conclusion, Dr Yue mentioned that 2017 is the 5th anniversary of the establishment of China-Ireland Strategic Partnership for Mutually Beneficial Cooperation and stated that Ireland will continue to be a most valuable partner of China.   In the first three quarters of 2017, the trade between China and Ireland reached 8.3billionUSD, which is more than the annual trade in 2016.  China’s import from Ireland in that period is around 6.3billionUSD, an increase of 70%.  In that same period, not including financial and banking sectors, China’s direct investment to Ireland is close to 50million USD.  

Marie O’Brien A&L Goodbody, Ambassador Dr Yue, Ken Duggan ICBA Council Member

 Ambassador Dr. Yue elaborating on the outcomes and implications of the 19th Congress to our  Patron members and invuted guests

Discussion in progress


Marie O’Brien A&L Goodbody, H.E. Ambassador Dr. Yue, Caroline Devlin, Arthur Cox and ICBA Vice Chair, Ken Duggan ICBA Council Member

Doing Business with China

The ICBA are supporting this business briefing, organised by the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, on ‘Doing Business with China’ for an insight into opportunities for Irish and Chinese companies to partner, followed by B2B meetings.

If interested in attending, please contact us.   

Meeting with Delegation from Shanghai

The Ireland China Business Association was very honoured to welcome and meet with a delegation from the Shanghai Changfeng Ecology Business District Investment Development Co., Ltd on Wednesday, 25th October in The Clayton Hotel.    The delegation was made up of five representatives, Mr Qian Hua, Mr Wang Wei, Mr Pan Yunsheng, Mr Ye Xianwen and Ms Wang Jin.   The delegation’s aim was to:

– understand the policies to attract investment in Ireland
– explore the quality services and solutions for import and export business management
– exchange the experience of investment incitement


During the meeting the business opportunities in both countries were discussed with the delegation providing details on the Changfeng Ecological Business District in Shanghai, which covers an area of 3 million sq meters.  In turn the ICBA informed the delegation of the many benefits of international companies setting up in Ireland.  


26/10 Cork Seminar Agenda

Demystifying the Chinese Opportunity for Ambitious Irish Companies

The Ireland China Business Association is delighted to bring you a Sino-Irish seminar focused on educating and inspiring ambitious Irish companies on the business opportunities that are presented by the Chinese market.

Book tickets here!

Date: October 26th, 2017

Location: Republic of Work, 12 South Mall St, Centre, Cork

Time: Breakfast Reception at 8.30am, kick off at 9:00am

MC: Ms. Susie Horgan, Managing Director, Springboard PR & Marketing and ‘Cork Businesswoman of the Year’



9.00am: Ms. Susan Barrett, Chairperson, Ireland China Business Association –  Opening Remarks

9.05am: Cllr. Fergal Dennehy, Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork – Welcome

9.15am: Ms. Susie Horgan, Managing Director, Springboard PR & Marketing – Introduction

9.20am: Mr. Alan Clayton, Head of People Development, SOSV – ‘What’s it REALLY like working with 200+ startups from 50+ countries inside the great firewall?’

9.35am: Mr. Joe Perrott, CEO, Remote Signals – ‘Designed in Cork, Made in China’ 

9.50am: Ms. Marian Kinsella, Head of Business Development, TransferMate Global Payments – ‘Irish Fintech Assisting Companies Doing Business in China’

10.05am: Mr. DC Cahalane, Founder and CEO, Republic of Work – ‘Growing Global – the challenges and opportunities for Irish business in China and beyond’

10.20am: Mr Barra Cryan, Senior Treasuey Manager, Bank of Ireland Global Markets –  Trade with China – BOI supports & insights’

10.30am: Ms. Catherine Grennell-Whyte, Manager, Finnair Ireland – ‘Fly the shortcut to Asia’

10.40am: Questions and Answers – Audience will get the chance to ask questions in person or through Twitter using #IrelandChina17

10.55am: Closing Remarks


Hosted by


Supported by




Opening: Beyond The Three Perfections


The opening of Beyond The Three Perfections took place on the evening of October 6th , 2017 at Dublin Castle.   H.E. Ambassador Dr Yue Xiaoyong attended the event as did representatives from the Ireland China Business Association.  The exhibition, which runs until 8th December, 2017 is a celebration of Sino-Irish disciplines in poetry, painting, calligraphy and sculpture.

Ambassador Yue remarked that both China and Ireland are countries of rich cultural heritages, the continuing cultural dialogues between China and Ireland will certainly benefit the mutual understanding and good relationship in all respects. Ambassador Yue also expressed his gratefulness to OPW and other associated partners Peking Art Associates and Kildare Village who have made this exhibition possible.

For further information on this event please click here.

Information gathered from Chinese Embassy. 

Minister of State D’Arcy’s address at 2017 ICBA Financial Forum 13 September

Good morning ladies and gentlemen, I would like to start off by thanking the Ireland China Business Association for inviting me to address you today.

I know that the Ireland China Business Association does significant work in building and promoting networks and relationships between China and Ireland. It is clear that economically China will continue to grow and that there will be significant opportunities both in China for Irish firms and opportunities for the international expansion of Chinese firms. It is essential that Irish firms are well positioned to embrace any opportunities as they arise.

I am particularly pleased to see the International Financial Services Strategy 2020 as focus of today’s event. Trade diversification and increasing our economic links with Asia and particularly China is something that we are keen on developing further as part of IFS2020.


The International Financial Services 2020 Strategy was launched in 2015 with a vision for Ireland to be recognised as a global location of choice for specialised international financial services, building on our strengths in talent, technology, innovation and excellent client services. 

The Strategy aims to increase the numbers employed in international financial services by 30% over the five years of the Strategy. This 30% equates to 10,000 new jobs in the IFS sector. In the first two years of IFS2020 we have seen a 13% increase in the numbers employed in IFS, placing us on track for achieving our jobs target by 2020. 

Opportunities in Asia

In light of the UK’s decision to leave the EU we must now more than ever expand our horizons and look across the globe for new opportunities. I am well aware that Irish firms are flexible and ready to meet any challenges that may arise, Irish firms have always looked beyond the UK and I have no doubt you will all find success in new markets.

Asia as a region and China in particular is an area with immense opportunities for Irish firms, my predecessor Minister Eoghan Murphy TD met with many Enterprise Ireland client firms while in China and saw first-hand how Ireland is strengthening economic links with China. I also hope to travel to Asia to continue to promote Ireland for inward investment while also encouraging the growth of Irish firms who have a foothold in the region.

Both Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland have been instrumental in ensuring Ireland builds close relationships in China and both agencies are determined to continue to enhance cooperation between Ireland and China in the area of financial services. 


In fact in the last twelve months or so we have seen a number of significant developments in respect of Ireland and China’s economic relations.

In December 2016 the People’s Bank of China granted Ireland a Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor quota or an

‘RQFII’ quota. A quota of 50 billion Renminbi of investment was granted. This is equivalent to approximately €6.8 billion that can be invested in Renminbi denominated securities.

RQFII was a key development as part of IFS2020 in enhancing Ireland’s environment for the funds industry, in turn making Ireland more attractive for foreign direct investment. The quota allows Irish-domiciled financial institutions to invest in China’s domestic bond and equity markets using China’s own currency, the Renminbi. Therefore Irish financial service providers will now be able to offer this additional service to European markets.

Ireland was only the 17th jurisdiction outside of China to receive this quota and helps to increase our economic links with China

Bank of China

In June I was delighted to see the Bank of China opening a branch in Dublin yet another sign of our increasing economic relationship. The opening of the Bank of China is exactly the kind of high quality international financial services investment that IFS2020 aims to attract. I believe that Ireland is the perfect location for any Chinese firm looking to establish operations in the European Union and attracting investment from China is a crucial part of the IDA’s global strategy.                                                                                  

Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank

In addition there was a second significant development this year in respect of our financial relationship to China. In March when the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank approved Ireland’s application for membership of the bank.

The AIIB as many of you will be aware is a new multilateral financial institution which came into operation in January 2016. Its objectives are to foster economic development and regional integration in Asia, primarily through investment in infrastructure.

 Action Plan 2018

The IFS2020 is renewed and reviewed annually through the publication of annual action plans. Officials from my department have begun to engage with both public and private sector stakeholders on the development of Action Plan 2018.

A key part of IFS2020 is the promotion of the IFS Ireland banner brand, this brand was launched in 2016 in China, Singapore and Japan and I hope to see an increase in the promotion and marketing of Ireland for financial services under the IFS Ireland brand in the coming year.

European Financial Forum

Before I conclude I’d like to highlight the European Financial Forum. The second European Financial Forum took place in January of this year and built upon the success of the inaugural forum in 2016.

The forum was attended by approximately 650 delegates representing around 350 organisations and companies from around the world. In 2017 keynote speakers included Jin Liqun (President of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank), Phillip Hildebrand (Vice-Chairman of Blackrock) and Noreen Doyle (Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of Credit Suisse), to name just a few.

I am very pleased to say the EFF will return to Dublin Castle on 31 January 2018 and I am looking forward to seeing the 2018 forum improving further on 2017.


I would like to once more thank Ireland China Business Association for the opportunity to address you this morning.

I hope I have given you an idea of the importance the Government places on developing our relationship with China, and the key role I see this relationship playing in Ireland’s International Financial Services sector.

Thank You

Address from:

News Alert!

Direct flights from Dublin to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific

Dublin Airport announced yesterday (31 Aug) that Cathay Pacific will operate direct flights from Dublin-Hong Kong four-times per week from next June, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.   It will  be Dublin Airport’s first ever direct route to the Asia-Pacific region.    The route is a major milestone, with trade between Ireland and China now worth more than €8bn a year and some 100 Irish firms with operations there.   The ICBA is delighted with the news.  

Dublin Airport managing director Vincent Harrison stated that “Dublin Airport is competing for routes like this with other major European airports, so winning this new business is hugely positive news for Ireland, for foreign direct investment, for Irish exporters, and for inbound tourism,” he said.


ICBA signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the Canton Fair

The ICBA was honoured and delighted to welcome a delegation from China Foreign Trade Centre today.    The China Foreign Trade Centre organises the Canton Fair, which is a comprehensive international trading event with the longest history, the largest scale, the most complete exhibit variety, the largest buyer attendance, the broadest distribution of buyers’ source country and the greatest business turnover in China.    

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Mr Bing Xu, Vice President, China Foreign Trade Centre (Group) and Ms Susan Barrett, Chairperson, Ireland China Business Associaiton during a very successful Canton Fair Promotion Conference held in The Westbury, Dublin.   

Stripe Partnership with Chinese Payment Providers

Payment processor Stripe, founded by Irish entrepreneurs John and Patrick Collison in 2010, announced that it has partnered with digital payment providers Alipay and WeChat Pay recently.  This partnership enables online merchants to integrate the ability for Chinese users to pay with Alipay and WeChat Pay in their websites and enhances global acceptance of payments for Chinese market.

In seven years, Stripe has grown into a global company valued at $9.2 billion and it has risen in popularity among software developers and online merchants because of its ease of use. Stripe’s first clients were small U.S. technology companies, but now it has users in more than 100 countries, including Asia. For the time being, Stripe provides technology that enables merchants in 25 countries to accept payments online. Businesses that use Stripe can now accept Alipay and WeChat as payment methods on their websites.

Alipay and WeChat Pay are the revolutionary E-payment system in China. Nowadays, the frequency with which people use cash in China is decreasing on a daily basis. The number of Chinese people and companies who are choosing to use e-payment systems (i.e. Alipay and WeChat Pay) for their purchases and many other transactions is increasing rapidly.

In 2016, they are estimated to have processed approximately $3 trillion: users sent $1.7 trillion in total payments through Alibaba’s Alipay service, compared to only $70 billion in 2012, while Tencent’s WeChat users sent about $1.2 trillion, up from $11.6 billion in 2012. Alipay, with over 500 million users worldwide, and WeChat Pay, with more than 800 million users worldwide, have dominated the mobile wallet ecosystem in China, with more than 90% market share between them.

As China is one of the markets with the greatest potential around the world, it is wise to introduce global support for Alipay and WeChat Pay, which allows global connection and instant access to the once-impenetrable Chinese market with hundreds of millions of consumers and companies that actively use these payment methods: Alipay and WeChat Pay. The integration enables businesses around the world to exploit and tap China’s vast market and it will definitely increase the number of clients of Stripe, boost the amount of transactions and revenues, and enhance the development of the businesses.

Upcoming Events!

17th August – Annual Summer Barbecue @ Leopardstown!

Tickets for our ever popular and most valuable networking event, our Annual Summer Barbecue, are now on sale!  Terrific evening with thrilling racing, food, great company and live music from the Happy Mondays.   Tickets are available to book here.


1st September – Canton Fair Conference

We will be hosting a conference with a delegation from the Canton Fair in the Westbury Hotel from 9am.  Further details available soon.


13th September – Financial Forum

This year our Financial Forum will be focusing on ‘Ireland’s IFS2020 and China’s 13th 5 year plan – working together’.   This event will take place in Bank of Ireland Corporate Banking and the speaker line up will be announced soon

Hainan-Wicklow Twinning

On 10th July, Vice Governor Mao met with Mr. Edward Timmins, the Cathaoirleach and Mr. Bryan Doyle, the Chief Executive of Wicklow County Council.

Both parties signed an agreement establishing the Hainan-Wicklow twinning relationship and committed to deepen their cooperation in tourism, culture, trade and other areas.


Brendan Thornhill, Pat Vance, H.E Chaofeng Mao, Wicklow County Chairman Edward Timmins, Andrew Doyle, Summy Wong, Gerry Walsh and John Ryan with Irish students Christie and Jason Lee during their visit to Clermont Campus in Rathnew.

H.E Chaofeng Mao and Wicklow County Chairman Edward Timmins officially sign the twinning document between the Hainan province and Wicklow at Clermont Campus in Rathnew

Bank of China’s Official Dublin Opening

On Wednesday, June 28th, the official Bank of China Dublin Branch Opening Ceremony took place in the Intercontinental Hotel, Dublin.   The opening was attended by the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald TD , Bank of China Chairman, Tian Guoli and China’s Ambassador to Ireland H.E. Dr Yue Xiaoyong.   This is the first full branch of a Chinese commercial bank to be established in Ireland.   

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar emphasised the importance of deepening friendship and economic relations between Ireland and China and expressed his welcome for more Chinese enterprises to invest in Ireland.

The Taoiseach and Chairman Tian Guoli witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding regarding Strategic Cooperation for Promoting Trade and Investment between China and Ireland signed by Martin Shanahan, the IDA CEO and Tian Jun,the General Manager of Bank of China Dublin Branch.

Ambassador Dr. Yue commended in his speech the fast development of China Ireland bilateral trade and investment in recent years. He encouraged Bank of China Dublin Branch to provide good-quality financial service to Chinese and Irish businesses and to make contributions to the welfare of both peoples.

The new branch will be located in Hatch Street, in Dublin city centre, which will focus on corporate lending.  The bank already has a presence in Ireland through its aircraft leasing operation, BOC Aviation (Ireland) Ltd.  Target clients will be Chinese companies operating in Ireland, Irish companies with interests in China, and multinationals with large offices here.

Bank of China Chairman, Mr Tian Guoli, Taoiseach Mr Leo Varadkar,

Ireland China Business Association Chairperson, Ms Susan Barrett and IDA Chief Executive, Mr Martin Shanahan


ICBA sign MoU with Guangzhou Delegation

The Ireland China Business Association was delighted to host a visiting delegation from Guangzhou city on the morning of Monday, 8th June.    One of the objective’s of their visit was to set up new linkage and strengthen cooperation between Guangzhou and Ireland.    A most significant Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Ireland China Business Association and Guangzhou Municipal Board for International Investment to further promote China-Ireland bilateral economic and trade ties, cultural exchanges and to enhance mutual understanding.  

Further images available in our ‘Gallery’.

Expansion of ICBA

Expansion of the Ireland China Business Association

Given the success of the Ireland China Business Association and the continuing growth opportunities for both export and import investment for Irish and Chinese companies, the Ireland China Business Association (ICBA) is establishing two new regional networks in the Southern and Western Regions to expand its Dublin base. 

The widely-acknowledged acclaim of Cork’s existing relationship with China and in particular its very successful twinning with Shanghai makes Cork the obvious location to propagate our success and launch the Southern Region Branch of the Association.    This launch took place on Monday, 22nd May in Fota Island Resort, Cork.

Susan Barrett, Chairman said:

It is wonderful to be in Fota Island Resort here in Cork to launch the Southern Branch of the Ireland China Business Association.  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 in goods and services has now reached €10 billion per annum. Our aim is to work closely with companies and institutions in the region to enhance the existing bilateral trade, education, cultural and economic ties, to support businesses and to further develop these important links.”

Speakers for the event were Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr. Des Cahill, Amabssador Dr. Yue Xiaoyong, Mr Jerry Buttimer and two industry speakers who shared their experiences of successfully breaking into the Chinese market, Mr John Reilly of Kerry Group and Mr Pat Ryan of PM Group.      Mr Eoin O’Leary, Irish Ambassador designate to China, kindly attended also.

We would like to thank all our members and guests, some of whom travelled all the way from Dublin, for making the event the success it was.   Thank you also to Cork County Council, in particular Mr Pat Ledwidge, for all his help and support.

Mr Pat Ryan (PM Group), Mr John Reilly (Kerry Group), Ms Susan Barrett (ICBA Chairperson), Mr Hugh Cooney (ICBA Vice Chair)
Mr Hugh Cooney (ICBA Vice Chair), Cllr Des Cahill (Lord Mayor of Cork), Ms Susan Barrett (ICBA Chairperson)

 Mr Paschal McCarthy (President of Irish Exporters Association), Ms Susan Barrett (ICBA Chairperson) and Mr Eoin O’Leary (Irish Ambassador designate to Ireland)
 Ambassador Dr. Yue Xiaoyong (Chinese Ambassador to Ireland), Cllr Des Cahill Lord Mayor of Cork), Mr Eoin O’Leary (Irish Ambassador designate to Ireland) and Ms Susan Barrett (ICBA Chairperson)



Minister Creed & Minister Zhi Sign Landmark Protocol in Dublin

Advances on Beef access, Brown Crab & Thoroughbred Horse trade after talks.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, made a number of significant advances in the development of Irish exports of beef, seafood and thoroughbred horses to China, during a meeting with Chinese Minister Zhi Shuping in Dublin today.  The Chinese Minister, who has responsibility for the Chinese Quarantine and Inspection Service, has been in Ireland since Monday.

Full article is available here.

Talk: ‘China’s Remarkable Transformation’ by Ambassador Dr. Yue Xiaoyong

China’s Remarkable Transformation

Dr. Yue Xiaoyong H.E. Ambassador of China to Ireland

George Moore Auditorium in the UCD Science Building

Tuesday. April 18th at 4:00pm

Welcome by Professor Andrew J Deeks, President of UCD

Inaugural Talk in UCD by Dr. Yue Xiaoyong, H.E. Ambassador of China to Ireland

Q&A will be chaired by Professor Patrick Paul Walsh Director, Centre for Sustainable Development Studies.

All Welcome

Hosted by

UCD President Office UCD Centre of Sustainable Development Studies, SPIRe, UCD Chinese Students and Scholars Association, UCD Economics Society, UCD Politics and International Relations Society, UCD Confucius Institute in Ireland,UCD School of Economics

Premier Li Voices Optimism for Foreign Ties and Economy

Foreign affairs, employment, globalisation, economic growth, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), and cross-Strait relations, all were subjects touched on today at Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s press conference. He took reporter questions at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, following the closing meeting of the Fifth Session of the 12th National People’s Congress.
Foreign affairs
Premier Li described his optimism towards the future of China-US relations, with both sides sharing common interests after several decades of growth. While differences exist between the two countries — new US President Donald Trump has levelled criticism at China over US job losses, national security issues and currency policy — Li said it’s important for both countries to uphold their strategic interests.
Li said up to 1 million jobs were created in the US last year because of its relations with China. He also made reference to a recent article by an authoritative international think tank, which said if China and the US entered a trade war, it would be foreign-invested companies, in particular US firms, that would bear the brunt.
Li went on to add that diplomatic authorities of both sides are already engaged, concerning a face-to-face meeting between the leaders of both countries, following reports by US media that Donald Trump is preparing to host Chinese President Xi Jinping next month in the US.
When asked about economic relations between China and Russia, Premier Li pointed to comments he made last year, when he expressed the hope that business relations between the two neighbours would turn a corner and achieve strong growth – comments that he said had since been proved right, despite a sluggish global economic recovery, anaemic global trade and declining international energy prices. Looking ahead to the future, Li said there is still tremendous untapped potential for China-Russia ties.
As for China’s relations with the European Union – China’s biggest trading partner – Li said China has no intention of deliberately pursuing a trade surplus with the region, and called on the EU to end constraints on the export of high tech goods to China to offset any trade imbalance.
Li expressed his hope that negotiations with the EU on a bilateral investment treaty would continue to move forward, and promised that EU companies will be given wider access to the Chinese market, and will receive the same treatment as domestic enterprises. Li voiced his support for a prosperous and stable EU, a strong euro currency, and greater EU integration, expressing optimism over the future of the EU, and China-EU relations.
The government work report, released earlier during the Two Sessions period, forecast greater pressure on employment, with overcapacity cuts in the steel and coal sectors set to lay off more workers. Premier Li looked to address concerns and dispel worries over mass-unemployment, referring to the country’s target of achieving GDP growth of 6.5 percent in 2017, with the most important aim of that growth being to ensure employment.
Li reflected on the increasing number of job seekers in the labor market over the past few years, and looked ahead this year to 7.95 million university graduates, five million graduates from vocational education and an additional 100,000 laid-off workers entering the job market. He said the government would create an environment and the necessary conditions for people to use their own hard work to generate their own opportunities, rather than relying on the government to provide them with an “iron rice bowl”.
The Chinese premier stressed that the government would not allow for mass unemployment, insisting that the conditions are in place for authorities to help meet the basic needs of those facing difficulty in getting jobs and obtaining basic living requirements.
To boost employment, Li emphasized the importance of government reforms that would streamline administration and cut red tape, and aid mass-entrepreneurship and innovation, which will prove to be key drivers of employment in new and traditional industries, and play an important role in China’s supply-side reform.
Economic globalisation and the Chinese economy
After President Xi Jinping voiced China’s firm support for economic globalisation at the World Economic Forum at Davos earlier this year, China has been seen as a key advocate for free trade and the health of the global economy, against a backdrop of growing protectionism in the West. Addressing a question that asked what actions China is taking to back up this stance, amid criticism from overseas for unfair trade practices and not opening up its economy fast enough, Premier Li said that the country will remain committed to opening up, and pointed to China’s establishment of 11 free trade zones, as well as its moving up 18 spots in the World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking since 2013.
Li called on all countries to work together to push forward the liberalization of global trade, underlining that globalization and the trend of global peaceful development are indivisible.
In terms of China’s monetary policy, Premier Li stressed that China would continue with market-oriented reforms concerning its renminbi currency, continuing to contribute to the stability of the global currency system.
Li underlined that China would remain a strong economic force in the face of a sluggish global economy, saying that China’s target of achieving GDP growth of 6.5 percent this year was not a low target, nor would it be easy to achieve. He described how China’s contribution to the global economy would not decrease, thanks to a greater focus on enhancing the quality of China’s growth.
The premier said that the government was fully aware of potential economic risks, and would take prompt and targeted measures to prevent them from spreading, emphasizing that China’s economy was generally safe and without systemic risks.
Hong Kong and cross-Strait ties
Ahead of the election of a new chief executive in the Hong Kong SAR, against a backdrop of growing divisions in the region, Premier Li said the principle of One Country, Two Systems needed to be implemented in its entirety. He pledged the central government’s support for Hong Kong’s development, highlighted the 2016 launch of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong stock connect system, and spoke of how the government is considering launching a bond market connection between the mainland and Hong Kong, an innovative move that would give overseas capital access to mainland markets, and help the SAR maintain its status as an international finance centre.
With regards to cross-Strait ties, Li spoke of the fraternal bond that exists between the people on both sides, pressing that history could not be changed, and that both sides belong to one and the same China. Li pointed to how the peaceful growth of cross-Strait relations would bring new opportunities for people in Taiwan – with five million visits made by people in Taiwan to the mainland last year, more policies will be introduced to make it easier for Taiwan people to work, visit and live on the mainland.
Source CGTN

ICBA Member, First Irish Recipient of Schwarzman Scholarship

Lara Connaughton is the first Irish recipient of Schwarzman Scholarship

The Ireland China Business Association is delighted to announce that one of our members, Lara Connaughton, is the first Irish recipient of a Schwarzman Scholarship in Tsinghua University, Beijing.  Lara studied BESS (Business, Economics and Social Studies) in Trinity College Dublin specialising in Business and Economics and has just graduated with a first class honours degree.

The Schwarzman Scholarship is a highly selective, one-year Master’s Degree at Tsinghua University in Beijing that is designed to meet the challenges of the 21st century and beyond.  Lara’s scholarship will be fully funded for the duration of the Masters.    She will live and work in Beijing for the duration of her study, fully immersed in Chinese culture. 

Scholars are selected through a rigorous and intensive selection process, designed to identify the most promising young leaders from around the world.   This year 2,747 candidates from 119 countries competed for just 125 places.

What Lara had to say on her achievement:

‘The Association was an invaluable resource for me during the initial application process to the Schwarzman Scholarship program. Events like the Financial Forum in September were incredibly insightful, especially having studied business and economics at undergraduate level. Beginning to understand the internationalization of the RMB in the context of China’s transformation from an investment to a consumption-led economy helped me to prepare for the second round of the application process. Most recently, the Sino-Irish Business Seminar really brought to life the interconnection between Ireland and China through the channel of technology. The ICBA has introduced me to the story of China’s inimitable culture through listening to wonderful speakers and by meeting people from Chinese organisations- not something that can be achieved by simply reading up on the subject! This is an exciting time to be moving to Beijing to complete a Masters at Tsinghua University, which centres on the future of global relations and leadership. I wish to thank the ICBA for all their support on this journey.’

The Ireland China business Association would like to congratulate Lara on her amazing achievement and wish her every success.  Lara will be writing articles on her time in Beijing next year, so watch this space!

Further information on the Schwarzman Scholarship can be found here.

Foreign Business in China: Challenges and Opportunities coexist in 2017

Foreign direct investment in the Chinese mainland grew by just over four percent last year, slower than the figure registered in 2015. It left some wondering whether China is becoming an increasingly difficult economic landscape for foreign companies.

Business confidence surveys have shown that most European and American companies still believe China remains a significant investment destination. However, they are facing an increasingly challenging business environment.

Read the full the article here
Source CGTN

Foreign investors to also enjoy ‘Made in China 2025’ benefits

After nearly two years of policy making, the “Made in China 2025” plan has finally got its blueprint completely detailed, according to National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s top economic planner.
The agency revealed the last piece of the plan on Wednesday, which include measures to attract more foreign investment to the country’s manufacturing sector.
Read the entire article here

China Premier Li Keqiang: Economic Openness Serves Everyone Better

This is a testing time.

Almost a decade on, the world is still reeling from the fallout of the global financial crisis. China faces its fair share of challenges, but we choose to confront them head on.

Above all, we remain convinced that economic openness serves everyone better, at home and abroad. The world is a community of shared destiny. It’s far preferable for countries to trade goods and services and bond through investment partnerships than to trade barbs and build barriers. Should differences arise, it behooves us all to discuss them with respect and a keen sense of equality.


China stands resolute with the World Trade Organization and multilateral free-trade agreements designed to be inclusive. Economic globalization has enabled the creation and sharing of wealth on an unprecedented scale. There are problems, too, more on the sharing side. These can be addressed, but only if countries work together to ensure that a rising tide really does lift all boats.

At home, the government is opting for a lighter, more balanced touch while engaging the market. To make doing business in China easier, the state is consolidating administrative reviews and focusing more on compliance oversight, risk preparedness, and providing services. We keep improving implementation of the VAT reform to make sure that tax costs drop across the board.

We are opening new sectors of the economy to investment and widening access to many others. We are piloting a “negative list” model before a nationwide rollout, where investment access is assumed unless specifically restricted. More measures are in the pipeline to ensure all businesses registered in China are treated equally. Companies can enjoy additional incentives if they invest in less-developed western regions or in the northeastern industrial belt.

While the government is continuing to invest in infrastructure to boost domestic demand, more resources are going to improving rural roads, water supply, sewage systems, and information networks—areas that traditionally haven’t been as visible. In parallel with such hardware improvements, we’re continuing efforts to expand the safety net, not least for the more vulnerable members of society.

Structural reforms are showing results.

In 2016, China shed more than 65 million and 290 million tons of inefficient steel and coal-mining capacity, respectively. We plan to raise those numbers to 140 million and 800 million tons within the next three to five years to restore healthier fundamentals to those industries. Meanwhile, the government is working with business communities on various retraining programs. In 2016 alone, 700,000 workers once employed in downsized industries moved on to new jobs.

Entrepreneurship and innovation are taking root. Meanwhile, new business models are thriving, transforming many previously unimaginable services into daily conveniences. The mobile-internet-enabled sharing economy is only one obvious case. Besides ordering takeout or hailing cars, housekeeping, health consulting, and many more services are now just a swipe away.

The numbers bear out the case. The economy grew a healthy 6.7 percent last year. More important, despite industrial consolidation and ever more robots finding their way into factories, the job market is proving resilient. The economy has added more than 13 million jobs every year since 2013. Unemployment stands at a multiyear low.

In a world with a plethora of uncertainties, China offers an anchor of stability and growth with its consistent message of support for reform, openness, and free trade. The times may be difficult. But that’s all the more reason not to lose sight of these principles, which have stood China—and the world—in good stead.

Source: BloombergBusinessWeek

Chinese investment into Ireland reached $2.9bn in 2016

Foreign direct investment from China into Ireland surged in 2016 to $2.9 billion (€2.7 billion) from just $10 million a year earlier, according to a study by international law firm Baker McKenzie.

This made us the fifth-largest market in Europe for Chinese investment last year and the sixth-biggest when North America is included.

The big rise in investment was largely down to the HNA Group’s purchase of Irish aircraft leasing company Avolon, for $2.5 billion. The deal, which closed in early 2016, saw Avolon become part of HNA’s extensive interests in the aviation sector, spanning stakes in 20 airlines and nine airports in China.

Avolon has since gone on to announce the $10 billion purchase of the leasing business of CIT Group.

Ireland’s energy sector also received a boost, with a $400 million investment from China General Nuclear Power’s European energy arm, into 14 Irish wind farms owned by Gaelectric.

Other sectors in Ireland to receive Chinese investment in 2016 were: IT at $121 million; financial and business services at $26 million; electronics at $10 million; entertainment at $5 million, and; industrial machinery and equipment at $3 million.

Tim Gee, a mergers and acquisitions partner with Baker McKenzie, said the surge in investment from China into Ireland was indicative of a trend throughout Europe, as Chinese investors look to the transport, energy, ICT and industrial machinery and equipment sectors. “We expect 2017 to be another strong year globally, as previously announced deals reach financial close, and protectionist rhetoric in some major markets could further boost the attractiveness of Ireland as an investment destination,” he said.

China-Dublin route

The Government and IDA Ireland have actively courted foreign investment from China in recent years with the establishment of a direct air route between the counties believed to be under negotiation.

State-owned Dublin Airport Authority and Hainan Airlines, which is part of the HNA Group, are understood to be in talks about a possible service between Dublin Airport and Beijing.

Chinese direct investment into the advanced economies of North America and Europe more than doubled in 2016 to a new record of $94.2 billion. Deal making rose by 130 per cent from the previous benchmark of $40 billion, set in 2015. Acquisitions drove activity, accounting for 97 per cent of FDI value.

In Europe, Chinese investors focused on Germany and Britain, which between them saw 46 per cent of all investment in Europe. Germany saw inbound deals from China rise nearly tenfold to $12.1billion last year. Britain attracted $9 billion of investment, a year-on-year increase of 130 per cent.

The British total was driven by deals announced prior to the EU referendum closing in the second half of the year, with Baker McKenzie saying it was too early to judge the impact of Brexit.

Finland and Switzerland were also major recipients of Chinese FDI in 2016, attracting $7.6 billion and $4.8 billion respectively.

Meanwhile, Italy, Portugal and France saw investment drop by 85 per cent, 50 per cent and 40 per cent respectively in 2016, as Chinese investors focused on integrating large acquisitions they made in those countries in the previous year.

Source: Irish Times, Business, 6th Feb 2017

ICBA Chinese New Year Events!

The Ireland China Business Association is holding two events in association with the Dublin Chinese New Year Festival.

1st Feb @ 9am in the Westbury Hotel our Sino-Irish Business Seminar: Growing China-Ireland Relations Through Innovations in ICT.  

More info and booking available here.

Speakers include:

 Kieron Branagan, CEO, OpenJaw Technologies

 Claus Christensen, CEO, Know Your Customer


 Robert Corbet, Partner, Head of Technology & Innovation, Arthur Cox

 Gerry Maguire, Senior Partner, Atlantic Bridge

 Gerry McQuaid, EVP Commercial, Cubic Telecom

 Kraken Yu, CEO, Cornerstone International, Council Member of Ireland HK Business Forum

1st Feb @ 7pm

The Bath Pub

Gan Bei Wednesday in celebration of the Chinese New Year.  Social evening for all those interested in everything China with live music and a Lucky Dip!  More info and booking available here.  

Minister Eoghan Murphy concludes Enterprise Ireland Trade Visit to China

Minister Eoghan Murphy concludes Enterprise Ireland Trade Visit to China.

Minister Eoghan Murphy travelled to China with Enterprise Ireland this week (16-19 January 2017) to support the increasing number of Fintech companies targeting the Chinese market. 

The aim of the trade visit was to support the increasing number of Fintech companies targeting the Chinese market as part of Enterprise Ireland’s ongoing focus on market diversification and the growing cooperation between Ireland and China.

Minister Murphy outlined the purpose of his visit saying it was “to demonstrate the readiness and capability of our financial services sector to meet the challenge of the year ahead.  Last year’s Brexit vote requires us to accelerate and intensify market diversification beyond our traditional markets.  The rapid growth in Ireland’s trade with China over the last number of years and the 20 plus Irish Financial Services and Fin-tech firms doing business in the region illustrate the potential to attract further investment into Ireland.” 

Over 4 days Minister Murphy met with over 20 existing and potential customers of Irish companies to reinforce the innovative capacity and strong offerings of Irish tech companies in the financial services industry.  Significant leads for several Irish companies were created and progressed during the visit highlighting the opportunities in China for Irish companies with a strong well developed value proposition. 

In Hong Kong and Beijing, the Minister hosted two business events with over 180 guests including Irish companies and their Chinese customers and spoke at the Asian Financial forum in Hong Kong on the topic of Payment Technology and Cyber Security. 

Leo McAdams, Enterprise Ireland’s Divisional Manager, Financial Services and Business Process Outsourcing who accompanied Minister Murphy during the visit said “The financial services and software sectors are strategically important, fast-expanding sectors in Ireland.  In 2015, Enterprise Ireland clients exported €3.7 billion in internationally traded services & software to more than 100 countries. As part of the Enterprise Ireland 2017-2020 corporate strategy we aim to ensure that Irish fintech companies are well positioned to continue to grow their business and make new business contacts in China. Enterprise Ireland is working collaboratively IDA Ireland to achieve the IFS2020 strategic goals which include increasing the number of start-ups, increasing the number of direct employees by 10,000 and driving innovation and research in the sector”. 

Minister Murphy met with a number of senior executives from the Asian finance, banking and insurance industries who will travel to Ireland next week with Enterprise Ireland to visit the European Financial Forum and meet with over 30 Irish companies. 

The Minister also witnessed an agreement between Enterprise Ireland and SPD bank, one of China’s leading banks, to facilitate the promotion of education in Ireland to the growing number of Chinese students looking to study overseas. 

Sino-Irish Business Seminar

Growing China-Ireland Relations Through Innovation in ICT

Leading technology companies presenting include Huawei, OpenJaw Technologies, Atlantic Bridge, Cubic Telecom and Know Your Customer. 

In association with the Dublin Chinese New Year Festival.

Booking is open!   Detailed agenda will be available soon.

EU Trade Mission to Beijing November 2016

The European Union is organizing a trade mission to Beijing from November 23 till 25 for companies in the circular economy. The mission is being organized concurrently with the China International Circular Economy Exhibition ( The aims and the sectoral focus of the European trade mission are as follows:

  • To help EU green business and in particular SMEs to operate internationally by exploiting green business opportunities in the European Union and in China
  • To promote green business partnerships in targeted sectors by participating in matchmaking events with local entrepreneurs
  • Resource efficiency and sustainable use of natural resources
  • Eco-innovation
  • Chemicals
  • Waste management
  • Water management
  • Energy saving

More information on the European-Chinese circular economy trade mission is available at:

The mission is organized by the Directorate-General Environment of the European Commission. Contact person is Senior Expert Véronique Hyeulle ( – tel: 02-2990235)

Interested companies can register online.

Meeting with Ambassador Dr. Yue

On Friday, 17th June 2016, Susan Barrett, Chairman of Ireland China Business Association (ICBA) met with H.E. Dr. Yue Xiaoyong, Chinese Ambassador to Ireland.

Susan welcomed the Ambassador-designate to Ireland on behalf of the Ireland China Business Association and highlighted the Association’s commitment to furthering Sino Irish relations. The Ambassador emphasized that he is ready to work closely with ICBA to further tap the potential in mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation. New achievements and opportunities in bilateral business relations and matters of mutual interest were discussed.

Also present during the meeting was Madam Xue He, Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Embassy.

Ms Susan Barrett meeting with Dr Yue Xiaojong

Tánaiste welcomes Liu Yunshan to Ireland

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, TD, today meets with Mr. Liu Yunshan, a leading member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China. The visit provides an opportunity for the Tánaiste to welcome the agreement of the Chinese Government to the opening of a new Irish Consulate General in Hong Kong this year.

Read more…

Ireland China Association Council member Shelly Xiong recently attended the EU China Business Association (EUCBA) General Assembly

Ireland China Association Council member Shelly Xiong recently attended the EU China Business Association (EUCBA) General Assembly on Friday, 14th June 2013 in Cologne.
The EUCBA is an umbrella organisation composed of China related business associations from 17 EU countries. The Ireland China Business Association is one of its members. The EUCBA meets every year in one of the member states to discuss the opportunities and challenges faced by each association. This year’s theme was to discuss the future of the EUCBA. Member associations have submitted a proposal which aims to grow the influence and capacity of the EUCBA to benefit member associations. If the proposal can be approved by all of the member associations, Ireland China Business Association members can expect to benefit tremendously from the new function of the EUCBA.
People in the picture (from left to right): Tom Jensen from Danish Chinese Business Forum, Stephen Philips from China Britain Business Council, Shelly Xiong from Ireland China Business Association, Gwenn Sonck from Flanders China Chamber of Commerce and Rainer Gehnen from Deutsch-Chinesische Wirtschaftsvereinigung E.V.

China 360 Volume 1

The Global China Practice is pleased to release China 360 Volume 1, a collection of 9 articles released during the past months. Most of these articles were originally released as China 360 articles, but we have included additional articles authored by the Global China Practice research team as well. Together, these materials act as a China business primer, covering a range of topics from basic banquet etiquette to China’s new leadership and macro-economic developments. We will release additional volumes of new material once or twice per year.
China 360 is a monthly newsletter produced by KPMG’s Global China Practice (GCP) designed to keep readers up-to-date with topical issues in China. Each issue focuses on a separate topic, which may include current economic analysis, analysis of government and policy developments, and tips and practical advice on doing business in China or with Chinese companies. China 360 provides a well-researched point of view, insights and a ‘drill down’ into China business topics hard to find elsewhere. 

For more information click here.

China’s urbanization: Funding the future

This issue of China 360 examines China’s recent history of urban construction, including how China has paid for its urbanization process and what challenges this presents for the next wave of urbanization. It also looks at a number of developments that may be pursued as part of China’s urbanization efforts in future.

For more information click here.

E-commerce in China: Driving a new consumer culture

This issue of China 360 breaks down China’s explosive e-commerce industry within its business-to-consumer (B2C) and consumer-to-consumer (C2C) arenas. Of particular interest are the home-grown platforms underpinning the rise of on-line transactions, as well as the increasingly important roles of social media and mobile devices. This article also outlines the importance of knowing China’s landscape as well as its diverse consumer public and tendencies, while highlighting some foreign and domestic success stories.

For more information click here.

Investment in China: Numbers and Trends (Q3 2013)

In response to the second quarter slide in GDP growth, the Chinese government introduced a series of economic measures in July to boost growth and stabilize market expectations, including an increase in investment spending and stronger export support. Thus, the economic rebound can be predominantly attributed to relatively greater investment in manufacturing and export growth. However, the foundation of the Chinese economy remains fragile, and the fourth quarter may see another flattening or dip in the GDP growth rate. Year-to-date inbound investment reported favourable growth statistics, bucking its negative trend in 2012. Hong Kong was the largest contributor of M&A funds to China, while the consumer goods and services industry represented the largest recipient of inbound investment from foreign countries. Europe continues to be a large contributor to FDI, after its relatively slack contribution in 2012.

For more information click here