Chinese officials in Ireland for government training
The Senior Officials Training Programme is aimed at promoting and developing avenues for Ireland’s economic interests in Shanghai
The Department of Foreign Affairs: organised training and briefing programme. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien
A group of government officials, leading Communist Party cadres and executives from state-owned enterprises from Shanghai, Suzhou, Nanjing and Beijing, arrived in Dublin last week for a training and briefing programme organised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in co-operation with Enterprise Ireland, the IDA and UCD.
The Senior Officials Training Programme is aimed at promoting and developing avenues for Ireland’s economic interests in Shanghai and the huge economy of the region.
The programme has proven very effective in cultivating contacts for Ireland in the State system here, organisers say. Former participants on the programme, many of whom are now in key positions, remain open and well-disposed to Ireland over the course of their careers.
The 12 officials and executives are visiting Dublin for a six-week programme, and are being accommodated in home stays with Irish families near UCD. They pay their own travel expenses, while their costs in Ireland are covered under the Asia Markets Fund of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and by other nominating Irish State agencies.
The programme gives the officials in-depth exposure to Ireland and includes a comprehensive one-week briefing on the Irish system – the economy, government, regulation, business and investment environment.
Government guidanceThe officials receive guidance from many government departments, including of the Taoiseach, Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and from State agencies including Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Tourism Ireland, Bord Bia, Forfás and the Environmental Protection Agency.
They also get to visit TCD, UCD and the Institute of Public Administration, as well as the Dublin and Cork city councils. McCann Fitzgerald and PWC are engaging with the group this year on professional services in Ireland.
Among the participants are officials from Shanghai’s commerce commission, the food and drug administration, the education commission and the foreign affairs office.
Participants also hail from Nanjing’s municipal investment promotion commission, the Suzhou municipal economic and information commission and the Shanghai branch of the Communist Party School.
There are also representatives from the China Pharmaceutical Association of Plant Engineering and the Centre for International Economic and Technological Co-operation (CIETC), at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Beijing.