Caution is being advised over a large scale development where Chinese firms could showcase their goods and services to European buyers.
Phase one of the Euro Chinese Trading hub has been given the go ahead by An Bord Pleanala for Creggan outside Athlone.
1200 construction and 1500 full time jobs could be created by the development which is 14 times the size of the Liffey Valley and Blanchardstown shopping centres combined.
However Frank McDonald - Environment Editor with the Irish Times - has said that similar proposals have received planning approval at a number of UK sites - but have never been built:
"This country has a peripheral location even in a European context", he said.
"... one would have imagined that if the Chinese were serious about this kind of form of selling their wares that they would be looking at much bigger locations, much better locations places in places like Germany and France and even in Britain".