The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton has confirmed that the cost to his department of the recent trade mission to China was over €120,000.
In a written Dáil response to Fianna Fáil’s Willie O’Dea, Mr Bruton confirmed the cost of the 17- strong departmental trade mission came to €122,400.
The costs of the travelling Enterprise Ireland delegation alone accounted for €74,000 of the overall cost.
Mr Bruton confirmed that “An Taoiseach and I witnessed significant contract signings from 14 companies totalling more than €35m at business events organised by Enterprise Ireland.”
He said that 130 executives from 90 exporters participated on the trade mission, which was the largest of its kind in recent years.
Mr Bruton said: “China is central to Ireland’s Asian trade strategy. Significant opportunities for Irish business exist in areas like ICT and life-sciences as well as the tourism, farming and food sectors.”
He said: “Contacts made during the mission with education, banking and legal sectors open the prospect of valuable new channels of training and other services exports.
“The trade mission in March was a very important step in growing closer ties and contacts with our Chinese counterparts and that is given physical form with the agreement of both countries to enter into a strategic partnership for mutually beneficial co-operation.”
As well as contracts being signed, a number of Memorandums of Understanding were signed that will be key to securing contracts in the future. He said: “In addition, Enterprise Ireland signed an MOU with their Chinese counterparts (CCPIT), which will see enhanced cooperation and a focus on working closer on sectors of mutual interest.
“Over the course of the trade and investment mission, IDA Ireland met with 16 companies and financial institutions. China is a key strategic focus for securing new sources of Foreign Direct Investment to Ireland over the medium to long term. There are, however, some short-term investments to be won and IDA expects to secure a number of investments over the coming months.”
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