Chinese vice-premier to make ‘goodwill visit’

THE vice-premier of China is set to visit Cork next week and ties between the city and Shanghai are to be further strengthened next month.

Zeng Peiyan is to visit the Tyndall National Institute, formerly the National Microelectronics Research Centre (NMRC), next Tuesday as part of what a spokesman for the Chinese embassy said was a goodwill visit to promote further links between the two countries.

It is well known that the Chinese have long admired the way Ireland has advanced in the field of microelectronics and the 68-year-old served in his country’s Ministry of Electronics and for the past 18 years, as well as serving in several leadership roles in key economic and planning organisations.

The Tyndall National Institute was created in 2004, through an initiative by the Department of Enterprise Trade and University College Cork (UCC) to bring together complementary activities in photonics, electronics and networking research.

Meanwhile, Cork Chamber of Commerce has confirmed it is sending a 40-strong delegation to Shanghai for a week, arriving on October 14.

Helen Walsh, the chamber’s event manager, said that the delegation represented construction firms, pharmachem companies, electronics companies, property developers, the food and tourist sectors along with UCC and CIT. There are already a large number of Chinese students attending UCC.

“Cork City twinned with Shanghai in May 2005 and in the same month a delegation from Shanghai came over. The visit to China has been arranged through the Shanghai Chamber of Commerce, as well as Tourism Ireland and Enterprise Ireland which have offices there. It will be led by Minister for State at the Department of Enterprise, Michael Ahern,” Ms Walsh said.

She said a lot of Cork firms were already doing business in Shanghai and this mission was designed to bolster that even further.

The chamber of commerce will be represented on the trip by its chief executive Conor Healy and president Roger Flack.

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