Bank of China, the 64 per cent state-owned bank, opened a Dublin branch on Tuesday to benefit from the growing importance of economic relations between the Republic and the world’s second-largest economy.
The branch will focus on corporate lending, targeting Chinese companies operating in Ireland, Irish groups with interests in China and multinationals with large offices in the State. The branch will be managed by Tian Jun.
"As the most active Chinese bank in the international markets, the opening of our Dublin branch will support the vision and determination of the Irish people," said Tian Guoli, chairman of Bank of China, who attended the event alongside Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and the Minster for Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald.
IDA Ireland chief executive Martin Shanahan, said attracting investment from Asia was a "crucial part" of the agency's global strategy.
Bank of China already has a presence in Ireland through its aircraft leasing operation, BOC Aviation (Ireland), which will continue to operate as a separate business.
Business links between Ireland and China have expanded in the past five years, following a visit from then-Chinese vice president, Xi Jinping, to Ireland in February 2012, just a year before he became the country’s president.
Bord Bia predicts that China, currently our second-largest market for pork and dairy products, will become the Republic’s first billion-euro market for Irish food and drink exports outside of the UK by the end of the decade.
In December, China General Nuclear Power acquired a portfolio of Irish wind farms, valued at €400 million, from renewable energy specialist Gaelectric.