Saturday, 4 February 2017

High Tech trade between Ireland & China expected to grow


Bilateral trade between Ireland and China is likely to rise to €14 billion this year, according to Asia Matters, the business membership organisation that promotes links between Ireland and Asia.

The organisation published a briefing paper today (26.01.17), summarising key opportunities for Irish businesses in China in the aftermath of Brexit. The briefing paper was developed following a private event for Asia Matters members, which took place in PwC in Dublin yesterday, and was addressed by H.E. Paul Kavanagh, Ambassador of Ireland to China, and H.E. Dr. Yue Xiaoyong, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Ireland.

According to Asia Matters, there are particularly strong opportunities for trade between Ireland and China in the areas of agri-food, medical devices, aviation leasing, and high-tech industry.

The briefing paper on China stresses that Ireland is well-positioned to improve existing trade relations in the aftermath of Brexit, as it will become the sole country in the EU with a common-law legal system and where English is the mother tongue. The document also highlights that:

In 2015, two-way trade between Ireland and China was valued at €11.1 billion, up from €7 billion in 2013. The figure for 2016 is likely to exceed €12 billion, and the forecast for 2017 is €14 billion, signalling a doubling of trade over the past four years.
Two-way trade between Ireland and China is growing more rapidly than between China and any other EU member.
Food and drinks exports from Ireland to China trebled in the three years to the end of 2015, principally on the back of dairy exports. There is a major opportunity for beef exporters in the years to come, as the beef market in China opens up.
China now accounts for 25 per cent of global economic growth, and has the second-largest economy in the world in terms of GDP, amounting to over $11 trillion last year.

Commenting today, Martin Murray, Executive Director of Asia Matters, explained that, post-Brexit, it is now vital for Ireland to pivot to Asia which accounts for 40 per cent of global GDP and 60 per cent of global consumers.

“The scale of opportunity is tremendous for Irish providers of quality products and services needed in the rapidly-growing Asian economies, particularly China,” he said.

“The key point to be taken from Ambassador Kavanagh’s briefing is that there is a massive post-Brexit opportunity to enhance trade relations between Ireland and China. On the one hand, by 2030, one in every eight people in the world will be living in a Chinese town or city. These are all target consumers, tourists, partners and students for Ireland.

“On the other hand, Brexit has shown us starkly that, in Ireland, we need to diversity our export markets and economic ties, identifying new sources of FDI. That’s where Asia, and especially China, comes in. These are massively under-exploited markets for Ireland.

“What we heard at our event yesterday is that China has been following the post-Brexit fallout carefully. Now is a good time for Ireland to really stress the positive opportunities arising from Brexit: we already enjoy strong trade relations with China and, after Brexit, we will be the only English-speaking, common-law country in the EU. Businesses in Ireland will benefit from full EU-wide pass-porting of financial products traded from here; and they will have access to EU funding for research and innovation. It is positive attributes like these that will attract Chinese investment and lead to ongoing increases in bilateral trade.

“This weekend will see the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrated, with the Year of the Rooster ushered in. So it is timely to highlight the positive opportunities for growth that exist between China and Ireland.

“For Irish businesses that are ‘China ready’, opportunities will continue to abound in this vast and rapidly-growing country.”