Delegation to China consists of 90 firms

Sat, Mar 24, 2012, 00:00

TAOISEACH ENDA Kenny will lead a delegation of nearly 90 Irish companies to China this week in a visit that should help build on the expanded business links from future leader Xi Jinping’s recent visit and will focus on generating jobs in Ireland.

While Mr Kenny has been urged to raise human rights issues during his visit, the focus is still likely to be trade during the trip.

The list of companies includes the traditional strong Irish players in education but also includes law firms and other areas making their first appearance as Ireland tries to expand its role in China.

Irish goods exports to China in 2011 were at 2.7 per cent of total merchandise exports, and foreign firms in Ireland were responsible for about 94 per cent of shipments.

“The fact Enda Kenny is going straight after the Xi Jinping visit to Ireland is good – it’s momentum and it’s really significant. There are opportunities here in the various sectors, like agribusiness. China wants to know how to feed its people with quality food. There is an opportunity for Irish companies and brands,” said Liam Casey, head of supply chain company PCH, Ireland’s biggest exporter in China.