Kenny signs China investment deal


Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Chinese premier Wen Jiabao have signed a deal in Beijing allowing the National Treasury Management Agency and China’s sovereign wealth fund CIC International to co-operate in identifying possible investments in Irish assets.

“Clearly, a country as economically powerful as China expressing interest in being a partner to investment in Ireland is an important indicator in its own right,” the Taoiseach said after signing the deal in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Property, infrastructure and loan portfolios managed by the NTMA are likely to be CIC's initial focus of interest.

He didn’t comment when asked if the agreement would help the Government return to the bond markets, but instead focused on his message that Ireland’s recovery was on track.

“China understands that Ireland is now headed in the right direction. China understands that Ireland is serious about its business,” he said.

During the third full day of his trip to China, Mr Kenny and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton met business leaders from China and Ireland at a breakfast.

They also signed tourism and business deals, and visited Enterprise Ireland's offices and the Forbidden City in Beijing.