Robinson and McGuinness say China offers a world of opportunity
The First Minister Rt. Hon. Peter D Robinson, MLA and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, MLA today met with Mr Sun Yongfu, Director General, Ministry of Commerce in Beijing.
The meeting was arranged to discuss economic and trade opportunities for Northern Ireland businesses in China and to investigate potential investment opportunities.
The First Minister said: “China is an important and growing export market for Northern Ireland companies. This market is currently worth in excess of £110million in terms of exports by Northern Ireland companies to China and sustains valuable employment.
“Northern Ireland companies recognise the huge business potential and emerging opportunities that exist through China’s dynamic marketplace. After London, Belfast has attracted the most Foreign Direct Investment compared with any other city in the UK, particularly in technology and financial services. We are determined to increase trade between the two countries and raise the profile of Northern Ireland in China.
“We look forward to hosting an international economic investment meeting in Belfast in the Autumn and we hope businesses from China will join us.”
The deputy First Minister said: “There is no doubt the size and distance from the north of Ireland can make China a challenging if not daunting prospect for many of our businesses, Beijing alone has a population in excess of 20 million people.
“However, the success many of our companies have already achieved shows it is possible to gain significant rewards here. The eight exhibitors who joined us at the Food China Expo in Shanghai, in November 2012 reported potential sales of over £8million from the event.
“The fact we received an invitation to visit China from the Vice Premier, Madam Liu Yandong, underlines the relationship is progressing and rest assured we will explore all areas where we can both benefit with a particular focus on our economy, education and cultural links.”