Kenny meets China's Xi Jinping

 

Taoiseach Enda Kenny emphasised Ireland's strong position as a place to do business as he met Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping during his four-day official visit to China at the head of a large trade delegation.

The two men met last month during a landmark visit to Ireland by Mr Xi, who is expected to become the next supreme leader of China in a process of transition that starts in the autumn.

"As I told you in Dublin, we see Ireland as being very open, an inviting place for business and potentially a very strong partner for China," the Taoiseach told Mr Xi.

"I have to say that the Irish businesses and companies have been very happy with the reaction and the contracts that they've organised with the Chinese businesses and it's part of our effort to strengthen the relations between our two countries," he said.

Mr Xi received Mr Kenny at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, an iconic Communist Party site in the main government area in Beijing.

Mr told Enda Kenny of how he was "deeply impressed" by his visit to Ireland.

"Over the past month, I have often recalled the pleasant memories of my visit to Ireland," he said. "I was warmly received. I was deeply impressed by this visit."

The development of China-Ireland relations can serve as a driving force in boosting China-Europe ties, Mr Xi added.

Mr Kenny is being accompanied on the visit by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton and Enterprise Ireland's chief executive Frank Ryan, and the trip has a strong trade flavour.

The Taoiseach had earlier travelled from Shanghai, where he had met the Mayor of Shanghai, Han Zheng, and addressed a group of Chinese and Irish firms at a breakfast meeting.

During the meeting he urged Chinese businesses to invest in Ireland, saying the country was "open for business."

"There is a wealth of opportunities for Irish and Chinese business to work together and to generate income and value," he said.