The Government has signed an agreement with China which it is hoped will see Beijing investing in Irish sovereign bonds.
The announcement was made at the end of a meeting between the Taoiseach and the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing.
National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) Chief Executive John Corrigan was in Beijing to sign the deal with the China Investment Corporation (CIC), a subsidiary of China Investment Corporation, China’s sovereign wealth fund.
In a statement the NTMA said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with CIC "to work together in exploring investment opportunities in Ireland".
"This memorandum represents a major initiative for enhanced co-operation and engagement in areas of common interest and we very much look forward to working with CIC International," Mr Corrigan said.
CIC Chairman Lou Jiwei added: "CIC International is a financial investor and seeks stable and sound financial returns over the long run.
"The memorandum signed today reflects our strong working relationship and shared commitment. It will be of valuable assistance for us in identifying and assessing potential opportunities in Ireland."
Ireland is not currently trading bonds and is funded by the Troika bailout. The Government plans to return to the markets at the end of 2013.