Cork firms urged to diversify into Chinese markets

By Pádraig Hoare

Cork businesses are being encouraged to explore Chinese markets by joining the county council’s trade mission to the Jiangsu region later this year.

County council chief executive Tim Lucey .

Jiangsu on the eastern Chinese coast has 80 million people and the second highest GDP of the Chinese provinces at over $1 trillion (€855m), Cork County Council said.

The local authority said Jiangsu is home to many of the world’s leading exporters of electronic equipment, chemicals and textile and has been China’s largest recipient of foreign direct investment since 2006.

County council chief executive Tim Lucey said there was “unique potential available for companies who wish to enter or expand with the Chinese market” by joining the upcoming trade mission.

“It presents unique opportunities and benefits to participants including access to key economic and government decision-makers, in-market intelligence, unparalleled networking opportunities, business-to-business meetings with potential partners and an opportunity to seek valuable market insight exposing your business to new market opportunities,” Mr Lucey said.

The mission is focusing on export-ready businesses, is open to all interested parties and is not sector specific, Cork County Council said.

The local authority established a partnership agreement with Jiangsu in November 2017.

County mayor, Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy said Cork and Jiangsu “are working together to promote economic links between our two regions and this trade mission presents a real prospect for our businesses”,

Asia trade in 2017 is estimated to have been worth around €15bn to Ireland, double the value of trade in 2013, according to Government figures. Official Government strategy is to double Ireland’s global diplomatic and trade footprint by 2025.

Executive director of think-tank Asia Matters, Martin Murray, has said there are “vast business opportunities in information technology (IT) and pharmaceuticals in Asia as well as food and agriculture” on the continent.

Irish food and drink exports to China have increased sixfold in the last six years.

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