Irish economy growing after crisis, Kenny tells gathering

Tue, Mar 27, 2012, 01:00

TRADE LINKS:THE TAOISEACH has given the most upbeat perspective in recent times on Ireland’s economic situation and its prospects for recovery, during the second day of his official visit to the People’s Republic of China.

At a breakfast meeting of Chinese and Irish entrepreneurs in Shanghai yesterday, organised by Enterprise Ireland, Mr Kenny highlighted the benefits of forging trade and investment links between the two countries.

“I am happy to report to you here, to our Chinese colleagues, that following the global financial crisis, the Irish economy is growing again,” he said.

“Ireland’s economy has improved in the recent past, our public finances have been stabilised, our exports are at record levels, and foreign direct investment into our country is booming.

“The business world knows that Ireland is recovering well. I believe that China also knows this.” This economic recovery was driven by export firms, “including many who are represented here this morning”.

“Thankfully, Irish companies are proving themselves to be world leaders in the dynamic process of transformation and of internationalisation.

“It is because of our capacity to adapt to change and to innovate that our small country is actually able to win solid business here in China, the global economic giant of the 21st Century.

“I believe that the similarities between the Irish and Chinese people are more relevant, much more important, than our differences.

“We have a surprisingly similar business culture, which is centred on enterprise and on innovation.” Mr Kenny also said changes to the visa regime made it “easier for entrepreneurs to invest or to establish businesses in Ireland”.

Meanwhile, Chinese media coverage of the visit has focused on trade, and how trading with Ireland can benefit both sides.

The Global Times, a Communist Party tabloid, spoke of how China was interested in Ireland because it was a “gateway for China into Europe”. The online news site eastnet.comhighlighted the manner in which trade had increased 1,136-fold since diplomatic relations with Ireland were opened in 1979.