A new direct route between Dublin and Hong Kong will “dramatically” strengthen an already burgeoning business relationship between Ireland and Asia, according to business and political figures.
Cathay Pacific announced it will operate a new direct Dublin-Hong Kong service four times per week from June. The year-round service will be Dublin Airport’s first direct route to the Asia-Pacific region.
Trade between Ireland and Asia has been strengthening at a rapid rate, according to Irish economic think-tank Asia Matters.
The organisation has increased its membership by almost 70% over the last 18 months, with executive director Martin Murray saying the growing business links and exchanges between Ireland and the Asian marketplace has struck a chord with business leaders.
Mr Murray said the new route would solidify the growing relationship. “This is a very significant development to have our first direct air route to Asia commencing next June. Trade between Ireland and Asia continues to expand dramatically and more and more Irish companies are doing business in China, in particular, but also across Asia.
“Being able to fly directly to Hong Kong from Dublin will be of huge benefit in expanding trade and creating jobs.
“It is only a matter of time before other routes are added, particularly to China’s major business hubs.”
During last month’s 2017 half-term review, Mr Murray said that Asia Matters had increased its membership by 33% year on year and by 69% over the preceding 18 months.
Established five years ago, Asia Matters has become the “go-to” organisation in its field, said Mr Murray, who anticipates further growth this year.
Dublin Chamber chief executive Mary Rose Burke said the route provides an opportunity for business to diversify in an increasing era of uncertainty.
“Huge opportunities exist in Hong Kong for Irish firms and the country also provides a gateway into the increasingly lucrative Chinese market. There exist very strong synergies between Ireland and Hong Kong that would enable us to share the knowledge and skills necessary to drive two-way trade and investment links in the areas of fintech, education, technology, tourism, and food and beverages.”
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