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IRELAND-CHINA

The Official Magazine of the Ireland-China Business Association

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CHINA GOES GLOBAL

A CONSTRUCTIVE PARTNERSHIP

Celebrating the Irish-China Connection

Shanghai resident, Richard Barrett, Bartra Capital

Glanbia spreads the word

Happy holidays

also in this issue: CONNECTIONS WITH IRELAND 6 CHINA’S BIGGEST COMPANIES 6 INTERVIEW WITH CHINESE AMBASSADOR 6 IMPORTANT DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

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Asia-Pacific Group

EXPECT EXPERTISE Arthur Cox acts for Irish and international clients seeking to invest and establish operations in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as for new and existing clients from the region looking to invest and do business in and through Ireland. With specialists drawing on the expertise and experience of all the industry-specific practice areas across the firm as well as our extensive network of contacts both at home and in the Asia-Pacific region, we can help our clients prepare for the opportunities and the challenges they face in doing business overseas. FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Caroline Devlin, Partner, Head of Asia Pacific Group caroline.devlin@arthurcox.com +353 1 920 1224

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Investing in Ireland? A warm Irish welcome is just a phone call away. We’re delighted to welcome Stephanie Fitzgerald-Smith to our Foreign Direct Investment team, enhancing our experience with the Chinese market. If you’re thinking of setting up in Ireland, join the majority of Chinese companies already in Ireland* and work with Ireland’s number 1 Corporate Bank.**

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Visit www.bankofireland.com/fdi * Based on BOI analysis of publically available information relating to FDI companies setting up in ROI, 2018. ** Based on BOI analysis of independent industry statistics 2018. Bank of Ireland is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.


Executive Master of Business Administration

Waterford Institute of Technology’s Executive Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a two year, part time programme aimed at managers in industry who wish to improve their skills and fast track their management career. The programme is structured to address key themes of leadership, market analysis, decision making and research capability with a focus on the practical application of management theories to practice. In addition to class contact time where there is an emphasis on peer learning, students will get to complete an International Management module in Boston and will have the opportunity to work on an organisational change project in their own firms. The programme has multiple entry points, and we are now recruiting for an intake in September 2019. If you would like to discuss our Executive MBA programme, please contact the programme leader, Dr. Tom Egan at tegan@wit.ie or 051-302426. Alternatively contact the Department of Graduate Business, WIT, at 051-302424 or email graduatebusiness@wit.ie www.wit.ie/mba


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Supporting Sino-Irish collaboration A&L Goodbody has long-standing relationships and practical experience with China. This combination ensures that we are well equipped to support our clients in the two-way trade between Ireland and China. For further information please contact: Marie O’Brien Partner and Head of China Programme mobrien@algoodbody.com

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Ireland-China Business Magazine

CONTENTS

44

18

14

34

13| Open for Business Ireland – a magnet for successful Chinese

26| Flying High The China influence in Irish aviation

14| “Chinese market key to Ireland’s growth” Minister Simon Coveney drives engagement with China

28| In the hot seat Caroline Devlin takes the ICBA chair 30| Dancing in Dublin Celebrating year of the pig

18| Our Man in Shanghai Look East, says Richard Barrett, Bartra Capital

34| China Calling The rise of China

22| News Latest news and updates from the ICBA

38| Glanbia spreads the Word Bring Irish dairy goodness to the world 40| Mission Accomplished Susan Barrett hands over the ICBA Chair

28

44| Capitalising on a Crisis Brexit’s silver lining

68| Enter the Dragon New frontiers for Irish food

48| In the Fast Lane China Goes Global

70| A Bridge to Tech Success The China-Ireland growth technology fund

54| One-Belt One Road Linking China to the world 57| ‘New Era, Shared Future’ China hosts World’s largest trade expo 60| All Eyes on China EY Ireland ramps up its China division 66| Performance Counts Bank of Ireland’s strategies for success

72| Closer Ties With China Ibec: A partner you can count on 74| Know the Law Get help from Hebots 76| Inspiring Conferences The award-winning Conference Centre Dublin 79| Cork with China Cork Chamber marks 40 years of diplomatic relations

Whilst every effort has been made to make the information contained herein as comprehensive and accurate as possible the publishers accept no responsibility for additions, omissions or errors. No part of this publication can be copied or produced without the editor’s consent in writing. 9


Ireland-China Business Magazine

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T R U S T E E A N D A G E N C Y | L O A N FA C I L I T Y | C O R P O R AT E A N D A D M I N I S T R AT I V E C U S TO DY A N D E S C R OW | C A S H M A N AG E M E N T

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Ireland-China Business Magazine

83| Sister, Sister Cork consolidates sistercity agreement with Shanghai 86| Meeting of Minds Marketing Mayo to China 89| Invest in the West Galway City – open for business

110| Building Connections Explore opportunities at UCC

128| The Lap of Luxury Retail therapy at Brown Thomas

Ireland-China Business Magazine Published in conjunction with Devlin Media

Managing Editor

112| WIT School of Business China alliance spurs new innovations 115| Weir & Sons: An Irish Icon Show-stopping jewels, gems, exquisite watches and fabulous fashion

92| The Allure of Louth Why WuXi Biologics choose Louth

116| Kilkenny Design Centre The home of Irish design

96| Educate Together Strengthening education links

118| Timeless Beauty Gifts to cherish from Paul Sheeran Jewellers

104| Learn to Lead Lessons in executive excellence

120| Legends of The Claddagh Symbol of love, loyalty and friendship

106| MU Looks East The launch of International College of Engineering at Fuzhou University

122| ‘Nĭ hăo’ from China China gets the travel bug

Tommy Quinn

130| ‘China-Ready’ Guinness style welcome

tommy@devlinmedia.org

134| K Club Luxury on another level

Helen Fairbrother

Sales Paul Halley Martin O’Halloran Linda Hickey

136| Night at the Dogs Feel the speed... enjoy the Fun

Tony Doyle

Travel Editor

138| Irish Icon Historic Kylemore Abbey

Trish Phelan

Production Manager Joanne Punch

144| Welcome to Westgrove Proud graduate of Fáilte Ireland’s ‘China Ready’ programme

Art & Administration Manager Elaine Harley

Design

147| Powerscourt Distillery New spirit in the old mill house

Minx Design ruth@minxdesign.ie

148| Last Word in Luxury Castlemartyr Resort: where dreams are made

Your Key To Successful Property Investment In Ireland, Bartra Capital Is Ireland’s Premier Developer Of Nursing Homes, Social Housing, Superior Houses & Apartments

Bartra Capital Property Group www.bartracapitalproperty.com+353 1 244 0644 info@bartracapitalproperty.com Bartra HP.indd 1

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Ireland-China Business Magazine

Open for

Business Ireland – a magnet for successful Chinese companies writes Marie O’Brien, Partner and Head of China Programme, A&L Goodbody. experienced advisors and an excellent legal and tax regime. The availability of experienced advisors with the requisite expertise is vital to ensuring the most efficient and effective platform is created for new entrants to Ireland. It also ensures their business grows in the best way.

2018 has been a standout year in terms of China’s confidence in Ireland as the best place for Chinese companies who are seeking opportunities to invest across a number of industries including aircraft leasing, biotech, pharma, fintech, food and renewable energy. Ireland’s offering as a great place to do business has become more recognised in China. In recent years, Ireland has attracted more and more attention as success stories from large Chinese state owned and private enterprises that have set up in Ireland become well known.

Ireland’s Track Record Ireland’s ‘secret sauce’ is that there is no secret. The benefits and opportunities Ireland offers are transparent and apply across the board to companies looking for a successful foothold in Europe. The key ingredients, that most agree are essential for success, are the available talent pool,

The availability of such advisors means that Ireland is also not afraid to be innovative. Aircraft leasing is an excellent example of an early ‘disruptive’ industry embraced by Ireland. Opportunities in the areas of fintech and pharma for Chinese companies looking at Europe are obvious and many are ready to grasp them through an Irish headquarters. Ireland is proud of its track record and can be ambitious for another strong pipeline in 2019. A Chinese company seeking to establish outside of China will need certainty and clarity on the legal, regulatory and tax requirements that it needs to meet in order to thrive. International companies in Ireland find themselves embraced by a culture, focused on encouraging foreign direct investment. Ireland, both at a governmental and private level, understands the challenges and concerns companies may have and is proactive in addressing them.

A&L Goodbody’s part in Chinese success A&L Goodbody (ALG) has seen first-hand how Ireland works to ensure a positive

experience for international business in Ireland. We are proud to advise many of the leading Chinese companies in Ireland. Our clients reference factors such as having a common law jurisdiction in Europe, a wide double taxation treaty network and an engaged Government in their decision to choose Ireland as their non-Chinese base. We will continue to outshine our competitors by staying flexible and adaptable and commercially driven in our outlook and approach. ALG’s highly regarded China Programme has been key in ensuring that the firm holds a large market share of Chinese companies doing business in Ireland across a variety of sectors. The ALG China Programme, established in 2010, sees leading Chinese lawyers work in ALG for up to six months and ALG lawyers working in China. This develops our understanding and knowledge of the Chinese business culture. Apart from enriching the firm’s culture, we have had 75 Chinese lawyers work with us, providing us with valuable insight into what Chinese companies need when they wish to invest internationally. This ensures we are well positioned to advise them. Ireland looks forward to helping Chinese companies realise their strategic vision and find success in the Year of the Pig for 2019. For further information contact Marie O’Brien, Partner and Head of China Programme, A&L Goodbody: Tel: +353 1 649 2705 Email: mobrien@algoodbody.com 13


Ireland-China Business Magazine

Hainan announcement

The Ties

that Bind As preparations to celebrate Year of the Pig get underway, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney restates the Irish Government’s strong commitment to boosting Irish-Sino relations. When Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney led a six-day delegation to mark St. Patrick’s Day 2018, it sent a strong signal about Ireland’s emerging diplomatic priorities. A long-time advocate of strong EU and Irish engagement with China, Minister Coveney’s visit to the world’s fastest growing economy left a deep impression. “I was impressed by the scope and dynamism of the Chinese people and industry,” he said. “The Chinese economy has come a long way in a very short time, and the Chinese people have made remarkable achievements in many areas. The resilience and ingenuity the Chinese people have shown reminded me strongly of the Irish people and of our 14

own economy, which has impressively transformed, through hard work, perseverance and intelligence, into the fastest growing economy in the EU. The results of enhanced co-operation between the two countries have been particularly evident in areas where Irish expertise has traditionally been strong, according to Coveney. “We are increasingly working together in areas such as the agriculture and agri-food sectors and also in financial services and fintech, emerging technologies, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, and ICT,” he said. “I think Ireland and China will continue to explore these different avenues of economic cooperation, to build on what

we already have achieved, but also to seek out new, future opportunities that we may never have envisioned previously, and the Irish Government stands ready to see these opportunities bear fruitful results.” 2019 marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Ireland’s diplomatic relations with China, and Coveney is looking forward to launching an ambitious programme which encompasses and celebrates all of our areas of cooperation, including the strengthening of our political relations, trade and economic relations, cultural and people to people relations, educational relations, and cooperation in the areas of science and technology.


Ireland-China Business Magazine

“We have seen substantial growth in these and other areas over the last number of years, particularly in the realm of political engagement. Since President Xi’s visit to Ireland in 2012, we have seen an increase in high level visits both from China and to China, which I think underlines both the Irish Government’s and the Chinese Government’s commitment to further deepening our relationship. “And, of course, we will continue the programme of high level visits to and from China. We are already looking towards St. Patrick’s Day, and exploring the possibilities for cooperation, politically, culturally and economically. I personally hope that, time and schedule-permitting, I have the honour of meeting my Chinese counterpart again during this year.” 2018 was a stellar year and saw the reintroduction of Irish beef into the Chinese market, a result of prolonged engagement which Coveney describes as “one of the great success stories for IrishSino relations last year”. “We hope to build on that this year, and see even more cooperation in the areas of agriculture and agri-food, he said. “We are also looking into and facilitating further ways for our countries to work together in education, and in science and technology.” 2018 also saw the fulfilment of a longstanding objective of the IrelandChina Business Association with the introduction of direct flights between Dublin and Beijing, and Dublin and Hong Kong, new routes which have already enjoyed great success. Minister Coveney hopes to see even more cooperation and additional routes in the area of aviation, which will increase access for tourism and business. He also cites the investment by WuXi Biologics in a new plant in Dundalk is a very good example of the strong links which exist and continue to be strengthened. Minister Coveney also confirms that Ireland hopes to positively engage on the Belt and Road Initiative and will seek synergies with other connectivity initiatives, such as the recent Joint Communication published by the EU -

“Connecting Europe and Asia – Building Blocks for an EU Strategy”. “There are a number of global problems that can only be tackled through global solutions, and it is through connectivity and better understanding that we will find solutions and strategies that deliver tangible benefits for everyone,” he said. Stressing the mutual benefits which have arisen through closer engagement, Minister Coveney points out that 300 Irish-owned companies are now doing business in China, and a further 150 companies have a presence in the country. “We are always pleased to see strong cooperation between Irish and Chinese businesses, which not only leads to benefits for both economies, but also to closer cooperation and understanding between our countries,” he says. “Ireland and China are separated by both geography and language, and strong links – in business, in education, in cultural relations, and especially between people – are very important in bridging that gap. Organisations, such as the Ireland China Business Association, have an extremely valuable role to play in these areas. Ireland is very fortunate that it has such active and enthusiastic promoters of business, culture, education and peopleto-people links, both here and in China.” The first China International Import Expo in Shanghai in November 2018, which was attended by his colleagues, Minister Humphreys and Minister Doyle presented conclusive evidence of the significant opportunities which exist for Irish businesses in China. “I believe some 150,000 Chinese buyers are said to have attended,” he remarked. “This allowed Ireland to highlight the quality and strength of Irish goods and services to a broader number of Chinese businesses than ever before, and we believe that we will see an increase in cooperation, not only in our traditional areas of agriculture and agri-food, but also in areas of innovation, technology, manufacturing, health care and other high-end services. China is growing and changing rapidly, and I believe that there is enormous potential for offering goods and services to new, untapped markets of people within the country.”

Simon Coveney, Minister for Foreign Affairs

“I was impressed by the scope and dynamism of the Chinese people and industry,” he said. “The Chinese economy has come a long way in a very short time, and the Chinese people have made remarkable achievements in many areas.” 15


Ireland-China Business Magazine

As to the challenges that face Irish businesses, Coveney believes that language and cultural differences play a part and create different expectations that need to be managed. “I think it is important to make those people-topeople links and connections, so that Irish businesses can better understand the mindset of their potential customers and the mechanics of the market. I think there are great rewards to be found for those willing to take the risk, but preparation and understanding will pay dividends in the long run,” he says. “I also believe that time must be taken before the results of hard work and perseverance can be seen. For any company wishing to gain a foothold in China, I think time and patience are the key factors that will ensure success. The Government and our State Agencies are committed to supporting Irish companies in diversifying market opportunities and in addressing the challenges they face in markets such as China.” On the international stage Ireland and China engage in a number of areas, including in UN peacekeeping efforts. Currently there are five UN peacekeeping missions where both Irish and Chinese peacekeepers are deployed together, and it is hoped to further deepen engagement in this area in the future, through exchanges of training and information sharing. 16

Ireland and China are also supportive of EU plans for WTO reform. The EU and China have jointly established a working group, which will discuss WTO reform measures. “Ireland looks forward to actively engaging with China on this issue, and we hope to see a solution that ensures a level playing field and benefits for all,” he says. Ireland and China have also taken a strong stand on Climate Change. Both countries are strong supporters of the Paris Agreement, and both have implemented domestic policies to reduce environmental impact. “Looking towards the future, this will be one of the key challenges of our times, and it is heartening to see Ireland and China supporting and cooperating with each other on such an important issue,” said Coveney. While the ongoing trade dispute remains a concern, Coveney is hopeful that the US and China will come to an agreement about the best way forward which will benefit not just their two countries, but which will contribute to collective global interests. “As I mentioned before, global problems need global solutions, which we and our EU partners believe can best be accomplished through multilateralism and cooperation through the existing rules-based trading system, including the WTO,” he said.

“300 Irish owned companies are now doing business in China, and a further 150 companies have a presence in the country. “ Coveney is equally hopeful that Ireland’s relations will continue to thrive and prosper. “I think it is important to continue growing our people-to-people links, to deepen our engagement on a political level, as well as on an economic and cultural level, and to ensure those connections bring benefits to both sides,” he said. “I believe we need to foster an interest and an understanding of our respective cultures in our young people. This is already being done through our educational cooperation and joint initiatives. “Relations between our two countries are not only stronger than they have ever been, but they will continue to strengthen in the coming years.”


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Ireland-China Business Magazine

Our Man in

Shanghai Based in Shanghai, Richard Barrett, founder of Bartra Capital and formerly of Treasury Holdings has witnessed at first hand the astonishing transformation of China. A land of plentiful opportunity for Irish business, Barrett is confident that its dramatic growth and development will be sustained long into the future. Richard Barrett, successful entrepreneur, property developer and founder of International firm Bartra Capital doesn’t believe in doing things by half measure. As co-founder and chief of Treasury Holdings, he masterminded some of the most significant property developments of the noughties. In 2006, convinced that China’s efforts to open up and modernise its economy would prove transformative, he relocated to Shanghai and has since added Mandarin to his stable of foreign languages, which also includes French and Spanish. The majority of Irish entrepreneurs establishing operations overseas tended to focus on the UK and US market but Barrett saw greater opportunity in China and the Asia Pacific region. “It was principally a matter of its size and the sort of opportunities it presented,” he says. “We had already expanded to most 18

of the European markets by 2005, so we had to go outside Europe. The choice was East or West. We chose East and China.”

many Chinese companies in Ireland in a variety of different fields have helped to strengthen engagement.

It’s clearly a path he believes more Irish businesses and entrepreneurs should be pursuing. Sino-Irish relations have advanced significantly in recent years and relations across commercial, diplomatic, educational, cultural and tourism spheres have never been stronger. However, Barrett believes that the Irish business community could be doing more to embrace the substantial opportunities which China affords.

“More and more Irish people are coming to China, although it remains a long way off what it should be and engagement by entrepreneurs and business remains inadequate. The level of interaction does not equate to the importance of China in the global economy and business needs to do more to counteract the perceived effects of distance, culture and language.”

“China’s undisputed role as one of the top two players in the global economy and the fact that it is such a strong export orientated country makes the cultivation of strong links a critical issue for Ireland,” he says. “Easier direct air transport and the presence of

While concerned at any potential disruption to the global economy arising from Brexit and the ongoing US-China trade skirmish, Barrett believes that the Irish Government can use Britain’s impending departure from the EU to its advantage. The UK’s exit effectively displaces the UK as “China’s Best Friend” in Europe and China is now seeking


Ireland-China Business Magazine

alternative allies and a new partner. Germany and France are perceived as being too closely aligned to the US while Norway is one of a number of European countries seen to have been exhibiting anti-Chinese tendencies, following reports that its Government is considering a ban on Huawei’s participation in the country’s 5G infrastructure. “This creates a very favourable environment for Ireland to increase its footprint with China,” says Barrett. “The Government should actively consider a near-term visit by An Taoiseach to China, preferably with a battery of Ministers. In China, symbolism and signalling are very important.” The imposition of US tariffs has placed added pressure on China to increase its exposure to other export markets and the Belt and Road Initiative will significantly enhance China’s access to international markets. As a quid pro quo, China will accept increased exports from Ireland. Barrett believes the Government should encourage more Chinese imports into Ireland, which may also have substantial benefits for the Irish consumer on price,

availability and speed of delivery. There are a number of additional policy measures which Barrett believes would further accelerate Ireland’s blossoming relationship with China. Chief among them is expanding the use of Chinese capital via the INIS’s Immigrant Investor Programme and providing for an increase in funding and a greater number of Mandarin teachers in schools and universities. Barrett would also like to see an increase in interchanges between Irish and Chinese universities via the Erasmus Programme and the establishment of a new programme to assist visits of Irish secondary schools to China and vice versa. In addition, he recommends an increase in funding allocation to Fáilte Ireland to market tourism to Ireland in China while greater support also needs to go towards “soft influence” initiatives and generating greater cultural visibility by sending more Irish artists to China and increasing the number of orchestral tours and other events promoting Ireland’s artistic and cultural heritage. Other measures Barrett believes would

help further progress relations include reassessing the establishment of a Consulate in Chengdu and increasing the number of diplomats assigned to China. Bartra Capital, the investment company established by Barrett in 2016 operates chiefly in Ireland, the UK, Spain, France, China and Hong Kong and is evenly spread between those markets. Bartra’s Shared Living platform, Niche Living is planning international expansion outside Ireland and hopes are high for China and Hong Kong where it is a lucrative investment category. New institutional investors will shortly join Bartra as shareholders. Bartra’s Social Housing programme is receiving strong support from the Irish State and the Nursing Home Division is predicted to be the largest company of its kind in Ireland within 2 years. Expansion plans are also underway at Spike Global Ltd., regarded by many as the world’s best social interaction platform for real estate. Funded by Bartra, the company’s largest shareholder, Spike is planning international expansion of its current sales bases in UK, Ireland and Spain. 19


Ireland-China Business Magazine

Last April, Barrett also partnered with New York-based investment group Avenue Capital to launch Real Estate Loan Management which finances loans of up to €25m over five years for new commercial property development. Bartra has clearly defined investment criteria and its chief strategy is to identify supply gaps with strong demand characteristics in markets that its staff are very familiar with. These include proptech, regtech, transport tech, nursing homes, residential for sale and for rent, student accommodation, shared living, short stay accommodation, renewable energy, affordable rental, social housing, CBD development and the reformatting of mid-market commercial investments. The company also acts as a bridge for Chinese capital into Europe and closely follows Government policies in its target markets. This, allied to its staff’s deep knowledge of its targets, is the company’s key USP and principal distinguishing feature, according to Barrett. Barrett has also been involved in a series of start-ups in China and the technology behind one of his early investments HengXinLi, an online platform he established with Los Angeles based Irish investor, Cormac Doddy was sold to a Japanese firm in 2017. The platform gives Chinese investors access to property in major international cities and his experience with HengXinLi - as a cross border investor from China into the UK and US markets - convinced Barrett of the need for a digitized anti money laundering global platform. This subsequently led to the creation of Know Your Customer Ltd, a company headquartered in Hong Kong but with international offices in Shanghai, Singapore, Dublin and London. This company is growing rapidly and is one of the “Hot 50 Fintechs” globally. It has received major investment from Bartra Capital as well as Enterprise Ireland and a subsidiary of the Chinese Sovereign Wealth Fund. The most threatening cloud on the horizon remains the ongoing trade fracas between the US and China which Barrett says is beginning to have a discernible 20

impact in China, particularly as it prohibits the ability of Chinese exporters to plan properly. “The removal of the US market as a result of the imposition of higher tariffs cannot be instantly replaced by other markets,” he says. “This creates negative investment and consumer confidence issues as well as increasing adverse psychological tensions between the peoples of the two countries.” A no-deal scenario, he says, would spell disaster. “A global catastrophe, it will probably hit China with its excess factory capacity harder than the US, but it will instantly reduce global trade growth significantly and it will also be negative for Ireland. It can lead to worse outcomes if further retaliatory policies are then adopted by either side. Under ordinary circumstances Barrett would be confident of a deal being struck but the firebrand politics of the contrary US president raises doubts. “You can confidently assume a satisfactory outcome when it is in the interests of two protagonists to have one. However, Mr Trump is not normal. He treats international relations as a type of commercial chess game. We can only hope for a rational outcome,” he says. Aside from the US trade dispute, the most significant economic challenges facing the Chinese is to consolidate the country’s excess productive capacity and to balance lending and liquidity guidelines for SMEs. China’s technology offerings also require greater penetration in overseas markets and authorities have to ensure that any likely additional stimulus is directed to the right places and doesn’t result in overheating. In addition, Barrett China needs to provide a better IPR regime. Barrett remains confident that China will overcome the obstacles it is presented with and given the accomplished economic control mechanisms of the Chinese Government, he is counting on a favourable outcome. And his advice to any Irish entrepreneurs and business seeking to gain a foothold in the Chinese market: “Go; go and go again. And then stay there.”

“A global catastrophe. It will probably hit China with its excess factory capacity harder than the US, but it will instantly reduce global trade growth significantly and it will also be negative for Ireland. It can lead to worse outcomes if further retaliatory policies are then adopted by either side.”… Barrett reflects on the prospects of a failure to resolve the US-China trade dispute


Members of PwC Ireland’s China team, many of whom are Mandarin speakers.

Ireland calling

China and Europe’s trade is well over €1 billion a day and is rising as China becomes a consumer driven economy. As the only English speaking member of the EU post-Brexit with access to over 400 million consumers, Ireland is perfectly positioned as a gateway for Chinese businesses expanding into Europe. With 25 offices in China including in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong as well as our Irish practice with fluent Mandarin speakers right here in Dublin, PwC can help Chinese companies be successful in Ireland and Europe.

Contact: Enwright DeSales

enwright.desales@ie.pwc.com

Eddie Cao

eddie.cao@ie.pwc.com

© 2019 PwC. All rights reserved. PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.


Ireland-China Business Magazine

SHANGHAI IN TOP 5 FINANCIAL DISTRICTS

News

Shanghai has overtaken Tokyo to enter the top five in the Global Financial Centres Index, while Beijing, Zurich and Frankfurt have moved into the top 10, replacing Toronto, Boston and San Francisco. The index is based on research of 110 centres. Published by the China Development Institute, the index is based on factors including business environment, infrastructure, reputation and human capital.

BEEFING UP COLLABORATION The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine won an award for Excellence in Collaboration for its success in achieving access to the Chinese Market for Irish beef at the Civil Service Excellence and Innovation Awards which were hosted in Dublin Castle last November. The lasting benefit of the project was market access for beef to China which was announced on 16 April 2018, when Ireland became the first Western European beef exporter to secure access. Since the initial announcement six beef plants are now approved to export beef to China and export of product commenced in June 2018. Minister Creed congratulated the award winners and noted that a key feature was working closely with Team Ireland in China to ensure every opportunity to further our access goal was used. This included promotional work by Bord Bia and hosting important inward visits. The Secretary General of the Department Brendan Gleeson said, “in the current climate with an increased focus on international markets and global trade and partnerships, the Chinese beef access model provides a template for collaboration, relationship building and harnessing a number of strands over a sustained period to achieve a goal.” China is now Ireland’s third biggest market for agri-food exports overall. Dairy exports reached €667 million and pig-meat exports were over €100 million in 2017. These were the two largest categories of food exported to China, and for both of these commodities China was the second largest destination market.

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EMERGING LEADERSHIP PROGRAMME

commercial and professional experience of doing business in China.

The Ireland China Business Association (ICBA) has announced the launch of the ‘Emerging Leadership Programme’. Open only to members, this programme identifies young professionals who would benefit from direct engagement with individuals who have significant

The ICBA will facilitate the initial connection between the two parties and provide a framework for the programme. The programme will run for 12 months during which time the ICBA will also host a number of informal events that will bring together all mentors and emerging leaders.


Ireland-China Business Magazine

IMPROVING LINKS A new China-Europe freight train line was opened last October, linking Delinghai in northwestern China’s Qinghai province with Russia. The first train loaded with freight passed through Kazakhstan before reaching Barnaul in Russia, a distance of 2,700 miles which takes up to 12 days. Since 2016, four China-Europe freight train routes have been opened in Qinghai, helping boost the international competitiveness of local produce. Last August China-Europe freight trains marked 10,000 trips since commencing in March 2011. At the end of June, China’s freight rail services linked 48 domestic cities with 42 European cities.

Elaine Li, Tourism Ireland, accepts the award for Ireland – for top international business tourism destination at the 2018 Goldfinger Awards in Shanghai

IRELAND SCORES AT CHINA AWARDS Ireland was named the top international business travel destination at the 2018 Goldfinger Awards which were hosted in Shanghai last November. Ireland was also named one of the most influential international MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) destinations. Established ten years ago, the awards recognise the best destinations, hotels and PCOs (professional conference organisers) and this year’s ceremony was attended by 800 people from 150 different cities around China. “We are delighted that Ireland has been recognised as one of the most influential destinations for international business travel here in China,” said James Kenny, Tourism Ireland’s Manager China. “Tourism Ireland has been working hard to build awareness of the island of Ireland in China – including our ability to deliver world-class business events. “This accolade will help raise the profile of Ireland and convince more influential MICE buyers and decision-makers to choose the island of Ireland.”

ENTER THE DRAGON Ireland is one of the most popular countries for Chinese people seeking citizenship and a particularly popular destination for wealthy Chinese who set down roots overseas. A recent survey among 224 High Net Wealth Individuals from China found Ireland the fifth most popular country in which to seek citizenship or residency, after the USA, Canada, Australia and the UK. Meanwhile, we rank third on the ‘Chinese Immigration Index’- a list compiled using

indicators such as education, immigration policy, property purchasing, tax levels and healthcare. This places Ireland ahead of both Canada and Australia. Four wealthy figures from the Far East are to pay €1m to the state in return for three years of residency under the Immigrant Investor Programme. The latest figures available reveal that the scheme earned €209m between 2012 and 2016. Last January, Ireland increased its charges for a residency permit from €500,000 to €1m, but this is still lower than the £2m required by the UK.

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Ireland-China Business Magazine

LOOK EAST

the market is out there for them, he said.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is keen to partner with more Irish companies on suitable projects across the region. The bank’s European representative, Robert Schoellhammer recently addressed the Global Asia Matters Business Summit in Dublin about opportunities for Irish business in Asia-Pacific. According to Schoellhammer ADB is seeking to work directly with companies which the bank believes can provide additional expertise to the region and he expressed particular interest in working with Irish agrifood and technology projects. “We are looking to show companies what opportunities are out there and, practically, how companies can achieve them. ADB can provide loans or a guarantee which can be a safety net if a company is working in a part of the world, where they might not go otherwise.” He said ADB was keen to work with smaller and medium sized companies which were not already active in the region. “They are very likely innovative products that there is a demand for, but they don’t know

FAR SIDE OF THE MOON A Chinese spacecraft has landed on the dark side of the Moon and sent back a series of spectacular, close-range images. The only images captured previously of the rugged terrain which is permanently facing away from earth have been from orbiting probes. China said the landing “had opened a new chapter in lunar exploration.” The mission of the unmanned Chang e-4 which is named after a Chinese Moon goddess will include monitoring solar winds, seeking water and investigating whether the environment is suitable to accommodate plant life. Mission Chief Wu Weiren said: “China is on the road to become a strong space nation. This marks a milestone.”

DUBLIN TOPS FDI RANKS Dublin has been ranked first in its category as a city destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) and third overall in the world. Compiled by the Financial Times, Dublin was ranked best large city for FDI while the top two overall ranking cities, Singapore and London won the best major city and best mega city awards. In the five-year period analysed, almost half of all investment in Dublin related to the tech sector.

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Ireland-China Business Magazine

CHINA CASH UNLOCKS BARYROE After a long wait Providence Resources have finally secured a farm-out deal for its Baryroe offshore project. While oil prices have increased farm deals remain difficult to tie down and Providence will be relieved to have agreed a deal with Chinese company APEC, subject to formal regulatory approval. APEC will take a 50% stake in the field while providing Providence and Landsdowne with a non-recourse loan which will finance their share of the costs. Barryroe will only begin repaying the loan when oil revenues begin to come on stream. APEC only stand to lose their investment if the project fails. The chances of successfully developing the Baryroe field stands at 75%, according to Davy Stockbrokers.

BEDDING IN AT BEIJING’S CBD

WESTERN AND NORTH WESTERN BRANCH LAUNCHED Last October the Western and North Western Region Branch of the IrelandChina Business Association was launched in the magnificent Marine Institute. The event was a great success, with many businesses from the local area attending.

The number of foreign-funded companies in Beijing’s Central Business District (CBD) now stands at over 10,000, according to a recent report in China Daily. Quoting sources within the CBD administrative committee, the report said foreign-funded companies have become the major driver of the economic development of the area, located in Chaoyang district.

The launch was opened by Mayor of Galway, Councillor Niall McNelis who commented on the growing and strengthening relationship between Ireland China and in relation to Brexit and said that businesses in the West and North West of Ireland are in an ideal position to make the most of any opportunities arising from Brexit.

53 of the 157 Fortune 500 companies which have opened offices in the area have established headquarters. According to the CBD source, headquarters of foreign companies, including Shell, Toyota Motors and Volkswagen, have contributed 14 percent of the 128 billion yuan ($18.8 billion) in total tax income in the area in the first 11 months of 2018.

Attendees also heard valuable perspectives from two very successful Irish companies in the Chinese market, namely OpenJaw Technologies and Connemara Seafoods.

The drafting of a three-year action plan of Beijing CBD is now underway, aiming to attract more high-quality firms through reform and further opening of the service sector.

‘CHINA THEN AND NOW - THE OPPORTUNITY’ The Ireland-China Business Association hosted its first breakfast talk of the year at the Galway Chamber of Commerce on Merchant’s Road, Galway, recently. The event gave ICBA members and friends the opportunity to meet and exchange new year greetings before listening to a talk from Alan Dixon, Vice-Chair, ICBA, on Alan established Ireland’s first trade development office in China in 1979. when he was based in Beijing from 1979 to 1982 and led the opening up of the Chinese market to Irish exporters. More recently he was Executive Director, Asia-Pacific, Enterprise Ireland (EI), based in Shanghai from 2008 to 2015. Alan is currently a non-executive board member and independent business adviser. A native of Dublin, he is a Chemical Engineer and an M.B.A. graduate from University College Dublin and more recently he completed the Advanced Management Programme at INSEAD, in Paris and Singapore.

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Ireland-China Business Magazine

Flying High As a leading centre for aviation activity, Ireland stands to benefit from China’s increasingly important influence in the global aviation finance and leasing industry, WRITES JOHN PERRY, DIRECTOR, DELOITTE & PIETER BURGER, PARTNER, TAX AND LEGAL, DELOITTE

In a short space of time, the aviation finance and leasing industry has witnessed an explosion of companies establishing new leasing platforms and increasing competition between lessors. Over 125 aviation finance and leasing companies are currently operating in the sector. In the last ten years, China has entered the market with vast sums of capital, causing disruption and significantly increasing competition among lessors with currently 26 Chinese owned leasing companies in the top 125. Both Chinese sovereign and bank owned Chinese lessors have been able to source finance at competitive rates, which is a key strategic advantage above other lessors. In addition, scale (in 26

particular the ability to purchase large amounts of aircraft at attractive prices) is a key competitive advantage.

in service will be leased in 2020.

A reason for the continued entrance of new players in the industry is the expected annual growth in air traffic to average around 5% per annum over the next 20 years.1 To match demand, the size of the global commercial aircraft fleet is also expected to double over the next 20 years. The main drivers for demand are new aircraft required for growth in emerging markets and aircraft for replacement, mostly in mature markets. It is expected that up to approximately 50% of all aircraft

Strong investor appetite for aircraft is supporting lessors’ efforts to meet demands which is increasing competition in the sector. Lessors finance the largest share of new aircraft deliveries either as a result of taking delivery of orders placed directly with Original Engine Manufacturers (OEMs) or through purchase leaseback activity with airlines. However, there may be a risk of overcapacity with airlines and lessors taking delivery of approximately 47,730 of new deliveries by 2037.2 There are record deliveries expected again in 2018 and 2019.

1

2

Boeing, Market Outlook, 2018-2037

Boeing Market Outlook 2037, Appendix 1


Ireland-China Business Magazine

“Mainland Chinese

The Chinese market will require about 7,200 single-aisle planes to meet the growing demand in the coming years.3 China’s airlines increased their passenger numbers by 13% in the first quarter of 2018 from the same period a year earlier, surpassing 100 million passengers for the first time. China is one of the world’s largest consumers of narrow-body aircraft and it is capable of developing its own commercial airline industry. The vast amount of capital Chinese lessors have been able to access and channel into the leasing market has contributed to record order books with Boeing and Airbus, particularly for narrow body aircraft. Chinese lessors are growing their portfolio size and value exponentially and there are now 9 Chinese lessors in the top 50 globally (measured by fleet value). Mainland Chinese operating lessor fleets have grown from 30 in 2008 to over 780 in 2016, representing 9% of the global lessor jet fleet. Including Hong Kong lessors and BOC Aviation based in Singapore, the share rises to 13.5%. Mainland lessor fleet has grown at a staggering compound annual growth rate of 38% since 2010. The annual Flight Global Top 50 Lessor Ranking shows that the total fleet value of the nine China-based commercial aircraft lessors it includes exceeded US$40bn for the first time in 2017 – an increase in their aircraft fleet values of around US$5bn or 15% over 2016.4 The total fleet size of the nine lessors in 2017 was 1090 aircraft - a 13% increase from 2016. According to Flight Global, China-based lessors such as BoComm Leasing have climbed up the ranking in the past year, moving up five places, and above longer-established companies such as Aircastle Advisor, Nordic Aviation Capital and Macquarie AirFinance, based on fleet value. The Chinese leasing market is very competitive. The levels of risk the markets are assigning to Chinese funded leasing is low due to the close association these companies have with China sovereign banks and Chinese lessors are best placed to provide transactions in local currency. However, Chinese lessors lack geographic diversity – vulnerable to the economic volatility of one country. 3 4

Airbus, Global Market Forecast, 2017 FlightGlobal Top Lessor Rankings, 2017

operating lessor fleets have grown from 30 in 2008 to over 780 in 2016, representing 9% of the global lessor jet fleet. Including Hong Kong lessors and BOC Aviation based in Singapore, the share rises to 13.5%. Mainland lessor fleet has grown at a staggering compound annual growth rate of 38% since 2010.” For Chinese lessors, the ability to remarket aircraft is still largely untested. Chinese lessors face particular challenges and risks as their fleets’ age and economic conditions in China evolve. This is where Ireland can create value for Chinese lessors. Ireland is recognised as a leading centre for aircraft financing and leasing. 14 of the top 15 aircraft leasing companies have a significant presence in Ireland and provide aircraft leasing, financing and asset management services. It is estimated that 50% of the world’s leased aircraft are managed from Ireland.5 There are a number of reasons for Ireland’s popularity. Ireland has long been a centre for aviation activity and is home to a large number of experienced aviation professionals and service providers. It is an onshore jurisdiction and a long-standing member of the European Union and the Organisation for 5

IFS 2020, A strategy for Ireland’s International Financial Services, Department of Finance, Ireland

Economic Cooperation and Development. The success of Ireland’s aircraft leasing sector is in no small part attributable to Ireland’s favourable tax regime and extensive double tax treaty network. Ireland has signed double tax treaties with 74 countries. The combination of Ireland’s tax regime and tax treaty network creates many potential tax efficiencies for those wishing to finance and lease aircraft through Ireland, in particular;

A competitive tax regime, Broad exemptions from withholding tax – it is generally possible for Irish aircraft leasing companies to pay interest and dividends free from Irish withholding tax to companies resident in an EU Member State (other than Ireland) or a double tax treaty jurisdiction; and Irish aircraft lessors are generally entitled to receive aircraft rentals free from foreign withholding tax where the lessee is located in a tax treaty partner jurisdiction. In addition to the beneficial tax regime, Ireland is a signatory to the Cape Town Convention thereby facilitating, where appropriate, registration of international interests in aircraft objects. It is apparent that key drivers for a successful aviation finance and leasing platform is driven by the ability to procure aircraft at low cost combined with the ability to source funding at attractive rates. However, these factors in isolation are unlikely to lead to success. The right team, in particular people experienced in the business of aircraft leasing through the peaks and troughs of previous economic cycles, are crucial to success. A team consisting of people with the right industry network, built up over time, is also essential. The people aspect is the “secret sauce” to long-term success in the aircraft leasing industry and is the real infrastructural advantage that Ireland has above all other countries. In addition to accessing world-class talent and experience, a leasing platform in Ireland can also help maintain lower costs, support a steady expansion of business, improve control of risk and profitability, leading ultimately to a viable and longterm successful aviation finance and leasing platform.

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Ireland-China Business Magazine

Seizing the

Opportunity Caroline Devlin, recently appointed Chairman of the Ireland China Business Association (ICBA) discusses her new role and the impact of the flourishing relationship between Ireland and China. Can you tell readers about your professional background and your experience in China prior to being appointed chair of the ICBA? “I am a lawyer, a partner in Arthur Cox, specialising in aviation and tax. I work extensively with Chinese clients, and have been doing so for over 10 years. I have enjoyed being a member of the ICBA, and indeed have been on the council of the ICBA, also for many years.”

What do you think have been the most significant achievements of the ICBA to date? “There have been many events, initiatives and developments over the years, but the key achievement is to have made Sino Irish business accessible. It provides a platform for everyone to understand and gain confidence to engage in business.”

What do you hope to accomplish during your tenure as ICBA chairman? “The ICBA has grown and expanded significantly during Susan Barrett’s tenure as chair, so one objective will be to consolidate the growth. The expansion into branches in the South and West/ North West has been exciting, and these branches are really moving forward. “I see the primary role of the ICBA as being to facilitate key networking experiences and help Inform and educate by way of 28

briefings, seminars and initiatives such as our emerging leaders programme, among others. Of course, an important element of our work is also to maintain high level diplomatic relations, both Sino and Irish.”

What plans do you have to further grow and develop the ICBA? “The success of the ICBA depends on us delivering results and value to our members. We will continue to draw on the extensive experience of the council, and listen closely to our members. Keeping close diplomatic relations is key, and having dialogue with policy makers actively helps shape policies. We also look to collaborate where joined effort yields maximum results. As the only all-Ireland China based organisation, we will be continuing to provide opportunities for our members.”

How would you describe SinoIrish relations at present and how significantly has investment between our two countries increased? “Being the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations, 2019 is a significant year in Sino-Irish relations. Relations are good and continue to deepen every year. The statistics of trade show staggering growth year on year. Industries such as agriculture, technology, financial services and particularly aviation, stand out among the many success stories in our bilateral trade.

“High level diplomatic visits continue each way. It is particularly satisfying to see education, cultural and tourism links flourishing. Direct flights to Beijing and Hong Kong from Dublin have greatly facilitated this.”

Are Sino-Irish relations a sufficient high priority with the Irish Government and state agencies? “We are very pleased with our engagement with the Irish Government, and from this engagement we see a strong commitment to developing Sino/Irish relations. Clearly there are many issues requiring the attention of the Government, such as Brexit, so the challenge is always to have sufficient resources to deal with every issue and opportunity arising.”

How prominent is Ireland among Chinese business leaders seeking investment opportunities in Europe? “’Team Ireland’ does a fantastic job in Asia, and clearly punches above its weight. There is however strong competition from other jurisdictions, so we cannot be complacent. Having more resources to continue to put Ireland to the forefront would be helpful. We encourage members to travel between Ireland and China. With each visit, relationships are strengthened, and the profile of Ireland increases.”


Ireland-China Business Magazine

“Being the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations, 2019 is a significant year in Sino-Irish relations. Relations

Recently appointed Chairman of the ICBA Caroline Devlin, Partner, Arthur Cox

Do you anticipate an acceleration in FDI from China in the coming years? “Yes, the trends of the last number of years indicate that this is almost certain. The key will be for Ireland to keep abreast of Chinese developments and requirements, so that we can identify opportunities for FDI, and ensure that Ireland remains a competitive location for FDI. Changes in tax over the years – BEPS in particular, are likely to benefit Ireland. As a low tax onshore jurisdiction, Ireland has always welcomed FDI, in particular those establishing with true substance in Ireland. The well stated availability of a young educated work force and likely being the only remaining English speaking EU member place Ireland at the forefront of investment destinations.”

Does The One Belt One Road Initiative have any potential commercial opportunities for Ireland ? “Whatever is the final outcome of Brexit, there is little doubt that it opens a gap for Ireland to fill in promoting the Belt and

are good and continue to deepen Road Initiative. It is clearly of benefit to both China and Ireland to see past the UK and identify the mutual opportunities. “Ireland is small, but provides a bridge to the large EU market, and indeed more internationally. We hope to see diplomatic relations continue to explore and exploit these opportunities.”

What advice would you give to Irish companies which are seeking to gain a foothold in the Chinese market? “In terms of advice - patience. Understand the market and do the research. Developing local partners is invaluable. Learn from the experience of others who have gone before you. The ICBA offers a unique opportunity for members to gain market experience and knowledge through networking and speaking forums. There is great generosity in fellow traders to share their experiences. Clearly with a market the size of China, there are opportunities for everyone.”

every year. The statistics of trade show staggering growth each year. Industries such as agriculture, technology, financial services and particularly aviation, stand out among the many success stories in our bilateral trade.” 29


Ireland-China Business Magazine

Year of

the Pig 2019 is the Chinese Year of the Pig and Dubliners will be celebrating in style with a two-week programme of events being held from February 1 – 17

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Ireland-China Business Magazine

A Dublin City Council initiative, the annual Dublin Chinese New Year Festival aims to develop and showcase the best of Sino-Hibernian culture in Ireland and is jam-packed with events for everyone to enjoy. This is the 12th edition of the festival, which began in 2008, so this year the final zodiac animal – The Pig is celebrated. The Year of the Pig festivities 2019 will complete a full cycle of the zodiac for the festival, which has grown to become one of the biggest celebrations of Chinese New Year in Europe since its inception. According to the Chinese zodiac, the Year of the Earth Pig is a year of fortune and luck, a year of friendship and love for all the zodiac signs. The Festival will include talks, visual arts, performance, film, music and many other family friendly events which are suitable for all ages. It provides a wonderful opportunity for Dubliners to immerse themselves in Chinese culture. World-renowned guitarist Xuefei Yang will perform in Dublin as part of the celebrations, on Sunday, February 17 at 3pm at the Freemason’s Hall. Widelyrecognised as one of the world’s greatest advocates of her instrument, Xuefei Yang’s own path to international success is an inspirational one. Born following the Cultural Revolution, she was the first guitarist in China to enter a music school and the first to launch an international performing career. Her international success has led her to be invited to play in more than 50 countries at numerous prestigious venues, frequently invited to perform with the world’s leading orchestras. In the first of two concerts this season, she rings in the Year of the Pig with the vibrant 20-strong GuitaRIAM, directed by Marian Hyland, in a programme that celebrates the richness of her instrument, her home country and music from Ireland. It has also been confirmed that the Spring Festival Gala Ireland 2019 will take place on Saturday, February 16 from 7.30pm – 9pm at the Convention Centre. It will

feature a variety of authentic traditional Chinese dance, acrobatics, arts and instrument performances from the award-winning Hubei Provincial Opera and Dance Drama Theatre.

According to the

Also returning this year will be everpopular Spring Festival Fair, a two-day family fun fair inspired by traditional Chinese Temple Fairs over the middle weekend of the Festival.

is a year of fortune

For further information and full programme details log onto: www.dublinchinesenewyear.com

Chinese zodiac, the Year of the Earth Pig and luck, a year of friendship and love for all the zodiac signs 31


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Ireland-China Business Magazine

2018 ICBA

Annual Dinner Tickets sold out rapidly for the 2018 Irish China Business Association’s Annual Dinner which was held once again in the magnificent surroundings of the Westbury Hotel, Dublin. Sponsored by Arthur Cox and OpenJaw Technologies, the event was the highlight of what has been a busy and productive year for the ICBA. The speech by Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, who takes a deep personal interest in Sino-Irish relations, reflected on the significant deepening of relations and ties between our two countries and drew wide applause. H.E. Dr Yue Xiaoyong, Chinese Ambassador to Ireland and Mr Michael D’Arcy, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure also attended and celebrated with over 160 ICBA members, colleagues and friends. The Irish Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, H.E. Eoin O’Leary, could not attend in person but addressed the assembled guests via video link. The evening was a terrific success and would not have been possible without the support of sponsors Arthur Cox and OpenJaw Technologies and the MC for the evening, Terence O’Rourke, Chairman of Enterprise Ireland.

Photo Credit: Justin Yang

As always the staff at The Westbury contributed to what was a memorable evening.

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Ireland-China Business Magazine

Ireland Calling 2019 marks the fortieth anniversary of China Ireland bilateral relations. WRITES ENWRIGHT DE SALES, EDDIE CAO AND NITA KILLIAN

The rise of China in the global order and rebalancing of its economy from an export driven manufacturing economy to a consumer driven smart economy provides significant future opportunities for businesses in both countries notwithstanding some current global trade and geopolitical issues. PwC with its strong presence in both countries is already serving key clients going in both directions. We have a dedicated team with specialised knowledge and experience of the China market, culture and experience to help our clients in both countries maximise business opportunities.

China-Irish relations 2019 marks 40 years since the birth of official China-Irish relations upon the signing of the Communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Ireland and China. Both countries have made significant economic progress over the last 40 years and their economies are well integrated into the global economy. China is the second largest economy in the world and many of its businesses rank in the top 5 in many areas such as manufacturing, banking, e-commerce to name a few. During this time and particularly over the last decade, the bilateral relationship and co-operation been the two countries has been excellent and there have been a number of visits from the senior leadership of both sides. Through focused 34

and concerted efforts from the Irish government, agencies, businesses and various organisations, trade with and investment from China to Ireland has increased significantly. During this time, trade has risen from €5 million to over €16 billion. Ireland has more than 400 domestic companies in China with an investment of more than €1.4 billion. Ireland is one of three EU countries which has a trade surplus with China. China’s FDI has also been increasing in a wide range of sectors, from biologics to technology to finance. As a result of focused promotions in China, Ireland now receives over 70,000 tourists annually and Tourism Ireland has set ambitious targets to more than double this number by 2025. The direct flights from Beijing and Hong Kong to Dublin as well this year’s new route to Shenzhen will greatly contribute to that number and provide better access for business and leisure travellers.

technology and R&D. Despite its small size, strong bilateral relations, a stable political environment and investor friendly policies should enable Ireland to get a slice of some of the Chinese outbound investment. China FDI has significantly increased over the last few years with the size of the transactions increasing steadily, most notably HNA Group’s purchase of the Irish aircraft lessor Avolon for €2.3 billion; and the acquisition of Genomics Medicine Ireland by WuXi NextCODE.

This anniversary is an opportune time to build upon the existing strong relationship between both countries and take the relationship to another level providing long term business opportunities for businesses in both countries.

Ireland has become a hub for innovation, with our small and medium enterprises credited as being the second most innovative in 2016 across all countries of the European Union (according to Ireland’s Competitiveness Scorecard 2018). Furthermore, Ireland boasts a clustering of the world’s leading technology and pharmaceutical companies with a vast network of highly trained industry participants and supporting professional service staff. The recent announcement by WuXi Biologics to build a significant biologics manufacturing facility in Dundalk is an example of the opportunities for Chinese investment in Ireland.

China will continue to be one of the largest outbound investors and outbound investment will be aligned to core business, complimentary businesses,

Surging Chinese demand for domestic travel is expected to consume approximately 19% of the world’s demand for new aircraft over the next two


Ireland-China Business Magazine

“PwC with its strong presence in both countries is already serving key clients going in both directions. We have a dedicated team with specialised knowledge and experience of the China market, helping our clients in both countries to maximise their business opportunities.”

Sea View Observation Tower, Wenzhou City, Zhejiang Province, China

decades. The aircraft leasing industry in Ireland will continue to see the benefits of growth in the Chinese aviation sector even though there is competition from other jurisdictions. The opening up of the Chinese financial markets through initiatives like Stock Connect and Bond Connect will allow Ireland’s fund industry play a greater role in connecting China’s financial markets with the more developed financial markets in the EU

and the USA along with opportunities for Fintech companies. Irish agri-food and beverage exports, marketed under the sustainability programme “Origin Green”, may also prove a viable resource for China in addressing its consumers’ changing and rising demand for high quality and safe food. In a post Brexit era, Ireland will be become even more attractive as an European gateway for its ease of doing business, political stability, 35


Ireland-China Business Magazine

Tax team servicing Chinese and Hong Kong clients

open labour market and talent pool, being the only native English speaking country in the EU, tax regime, etc. Chinese technology companies which previously focused on the domestic market and Asia are increasingly focusing on Europe will find Ireland a great base from which to build their European businesses. Currently, Irish companies are doing business in China across many sectors, including Financial Services, ICT, Education, Agricultural and Clean Technologies, Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals. China’s attractiveness as an export market is growing in line with China’s economic growth, urbanisation, growth in consumer markets and favourable political movements, such as the reduction in tariffs by 55% across a range of consumer items. Ireland is already providing China with solutions for its growing aviation sector and its need to diversify its food supply chains on the back of China’s exploding middle 36

PWC’S ROLE China and Ireland have a number of areas of strategic win-win gains which will undoubtedly drive future bilateral trade and investment. Whether it is inbound or outbound, for investments and business involving China; language ability, cultural awareness and a deep China specific market knowledge will be the key to success. For investment into China in particular, the intricacies of the Chinese market and culture must be fully appreciated by Irish businesses. The PwC network has the best-in-field class whose food and travel habits are changing. China is currently Ireland’s 2nd largest market for pork and dairy foods, and 3rd largest market in agri-food overall. The deepening of this export market should receive further weighting in the context of the uncertainties of Brexit and the Irish Government’s ‘Global Ireland 2025’ policy to grow and diversify our export markets.

knowledge and experience in China’s market and related legal and compliance obligations, across assurance, tax and advisory services. PwC Ireland has over 3,000 and PwC China have more than 17,000, highly qualified, experienced professionals to help businesses identify and maximise the opportunities arising from the two countries’ increasing bilateral trade and investment. With a dedicated China team already serving key Chinese and Irish businesses we are best placed to assist businesses in the expansion plans in both countries.


Innovation lives here

Ireland-China Business Magazine

Cork & Shanghai innovating together Sister Cities since 2005 www.growincork.com | www.corkcity.ie

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Ireland-China Business Magazine

Glanbia Ireland Bringing Irish Dairy Goodness to the World

Glanbia Ireland is a world class, ambitious, integrated agri-food and nutrition business, with a diverse portfolio of quality ingredients, leading consumer and agri brands with the proven talent to succeed in the global market. Glanbia Ireland is a joint venture 60% owned by Glanbia Co-op and 40% owned by Glanbia plc. It combines Glanbia Ingredients Ireland, Glanbia Consumer Products and Glanbia Agribusiness. Glanbia Ireland processes 2.4 billion litres of milk a year making it Ireland’s leading dairy processor. This is projected to grow by 700 million litres by 2020. It has 11 processing plants, 53 agri branches and over 1,800 employees with annual revenue of €1.5 billion. Glanbia Ireland is the proud owner of Avonmore, Ireland’s #1 selling Dairy brand.

Ireland’s Dairy Story Ireland, a small island in Northwest Europe, is a world leader in quality food production. Our mild temperate climate and pure natural environment provide ideal conditions for producing some of the best milk in the world. Ireland has developed an international reputation for producing high quality milk due to our 38

natural grass based production system and small dairy herd sizes. With the end of the European milk quota system in 2015, Ireland’s pure environment ensures that it is well positioned to sustainably increase dairy production volumes to satisfy global demand for high quality dairy products. • Over 90% of all Irish Dairy produce is exported internationally • 50% of Europe’s Infant Formula requirements is sourced in Ireland • 15% of the world’s Infant formula requirements is sourced in Ireland

Avonmore At Avonmore we believe that by bringing people together, great things can often happen. This was certainly the case in Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny in 1966 when a group of dairy farmers came together one day to create what has since become Ireland’s #1 milk brand. The Avonmore Creameries Federation was founded in 1966 when 36 smaller co-ops joined forces to form what we now know as Avonmore. The aim was to deliver the finest quality, freshest products without

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compromise, and to this end the newly formed company established their own brand new milk processing facility in Ballyragget, close to the Avon River from which Avonmore took its name. Today Avonmore is the #1 dairy brand in Ireland. We believe that it is by sticking to our founding principles of innovation, freshness and quality without compromise that we have achieved our position in the homes of Irish families. Our products have been enjoyed in Irish homes for over 50 years now and we

believe that only the best quality and taste is good enough for our customers. This is the reason why Avonmore is one of the best known and most loved brands in Ireland for decades! For more information on Irelands #1 Dairy Brand please visit www.avonmore.ie/cn Contact Information Market Asia Contact: Raymond Li raymondli@glanbia.ie Market Middle East & Africa Contact: Rafic Hasbini rhasbini@glanbia.ie Rest of the world Contact: Ian Cahill – icahill@glanbia.ie 39


Ireland-China Business Magazine

Contribution of Ireland China Business Association

Collaboration and Consolidation in China Ireland Relations Outgoing Chair of the Ireland China Business Association (ICBA) Susan Barrett is credited with raising the profile of the ICBA and helping to establish strong relations with China as a significant national priority. As outgoing chair of the ICBA, Susan Barrett, CEO, Select Ireland prepares to hand over the reins to her successor, Caroline Devlin, Head of Taxation, Arthur Cox, she can reflect on a legacy of real achievement. Establishing a strong relationship with China is now a key national policy objective and Barrett was instrumental in establishing ICBA as the most influential representative body acting on behalf of the Ireland-China business community. “Without doubt, the highlight of my term has been the consolidation and national recognition of ICBA’s position as the leading Irish Association for individuals, SMEs and multinationals looking to do business in China,” she says. Established in 2000, the ICBA is a notfor-profit organisation which identifies and explores opportunities and keys areas of potential cooperation between Irish and Chinese companies in the rapidly emerging Chinese market. “We strive to maximise these business, educational and cultural opportunities for our members and there are now exceptional business opportunities for Irish companies in China and equally strong investment opportunities for Chinese individual, corporate and institutional investors in Ireland,” says Barrett. Expanding the footprint of the ICBA and 40

establishing it on a nationwide scale was one of Barrett’s key objectives and during her tenure two new regional branches were established. Key personnel involved in the Western region are Susan Barrett, Alan Dixon, former head of Asia Pacific, Enterprise Ireland and current ViceChair of the ICBA and Alan Loughrey, BD Commercial. Meanwhile, The Southern and SouthWestern Region branch is led by Association members Mary Ruane, School of Asian Studies UCC, Brian Gallagher, DAA, Katherine Fitzpatrick, Connect Cork and DC Calahane, Republic of Work. The profile of the organisation has also been enhanced through a series of new events and membership initiatives as well as a concerted campaign to promote the interests of the Irish and Chinese business community among political leaders, business groups and other vested interests in the education, tourism and retail sectors. “We have expanded the annual diary of ICBA events which has created much added value for our members,” says Barrett. “Among the new events we introduced were a key breakfast talk series featuring industry and government leaders, our prestigious annual financial forum, roundtables, our graduate careers forum in UCD Smurfit and the hosting of an increasing number of important delegations.”

Other initiatives put in place include the establishment of the ICBA Student council headed up by Finn Connolly, DCU and ably assisted by Sarah Kildea, NUM and the introduction of the new ICBA ‘Emerging Leadership Programme’ which offers mentorship to aspiring Chinese market entrants from experienced entrepreneurs. The ICBA has also introduced Business Mandarin classes for members. In terms of key policy issues the ICBA has lobbied Government on the easing of the visa regime as well as pressing hard for the Introduction of Mandarin to the leaving certificate curriculum and the provision of direct air access to China, all of which have now come to pass. Barrett has particularly fond memories of representing the ICBA at the first ever China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai in November 2018 where she sought to identify sustainable co-operation platforms for Association members. “It was a ground breaking event and a great opportunity to actively encourage relationship building and the development of future exchanges as well as raising the visibility of the Association amongst Chinese companies. Again, the key objective was to seek win-win opportunities and partnerships for our member companies going forward,” she says. Barrett’s tenure as chair of the ICBA has


Ireland-China Business Magazine

strengthened her conviction as to the importance of prioritising engagement with China. “Clearly, failure to prioritise further engagement with China is not a viable option in terms of Ireland’s continued economic success,” she says. “China is the fastest growing economy in modern history and a powerhouse for global growth. Given Ireland’s position as a globally focused, export driven economy, the importance of developing and prioritising strategies to enhance engagement with China cannot be over emphasised. “The strategic partnership agreement between Ireland and China signed in 2012 has seen the Ireland-China relationship prosper and grow thanks to the joint efforts of both countries. Growth in trade, cultural and political relations have flourished under this framework. Trade flows in both directions are currently at record levels with two-way trade having doubled between 2013 and 2017 reaching more than €15 billion last year.” It is sometimes difficult for an island of some 6m people to fully appreciate the scale and enormity of a country which numbers over 1.4 billion people across 24 provinces and four autonomous regions. “The wealth and scale of opportunity for Irish companies in the Chinese market is vast,” she says. “As China continues to transition from an export driven to a consumption led economy, it is becoming an increasingly strong source of export growth for Ireland. The significance of these combined factors coupled with the fact it is now essential for Irish businesses to diversify, compete and trade in new markets, reinforces the huge importance of the Chinese market for Ireland going forward.” Performance statistics across a range of key business sectors illustrate the growing importance the Chinese market to Ireland. Chinese visitor numbers to Ireland grew by 40% in 2017 reaching 90,000 with a target of an increase to 175,000 set for 2025. The numbers of Chinese students studying in Ireland has grown to more than 5,000 while the number of Irish students sharing education exchange in China is ever increasing. In 2017, Irish food and drink exports to China reached more than €900 million - representing our second largest market for dairy and pigmeat exports. The introduction of Irish beef to the Chinese market last

“These relationship building visits are key to the successful development of further cooperation,” she says. “Face to face meetings are vital in Chinese business culture and it is hugely important to invest the time to do this.” 41


Ireland-China Business Magazine

medical equipment, healthcare, and other high-end services again very much aligned with Ireland’s strengths and offerings,” she says. “It is vital that Irish businesses take advantage of these synergies and diversify to capitalise on new markets such as China, particularly in the context of Brexit.”

through the Belt and Road Initiative will result in considerably more opportunities for Irish business, according to Barrett. She points to the recent introduction of direct Beijing and Hong Kong flights from Hainan Airlines and Cathay Pacific which she says have opened up a new era in Ireland-China connectivity and facilitated greater access for increased bi-lateral trade, tourism and investment.

year represents further opportunity for Irish exporters. Bord Bia is targeting that Ireland will become the State’s second billion-euro food and drink market by the end of the decade. China’s adherence to its fundamental national policy of opening up and promoting international cooperation 42

Barrett believes it is particularly significant that the priorities identified in China’s 13th Five Year Plan correspond to sectors where Ireland has established a world-leading reputation, for example innovation, entrepreneurship and technology - including greentech, research, and higher education. “The priorities of the inaugural CIIE included areas such as innovation, high-tech manufacturing, food and agri-tech,

But it is not all one-way traffic and Barrett points out that equally strong investment opportunities exist in Ireland for Chinese individual, corporate and institutional investors. Testament to this and vital to the continued growth of the Irish Economy are the number of leading Chinese companies from the technology, financial services and life science sectors who have recently invested in Ireland, and who are using Ireland as a base to serve their global markets. These include Huawei, Tencent, Lenovo, Chinasoft, SATIR, and Firecomms; and international financial services like the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China Aviation, China Development Bank, and the Bank of Communications. A succession of Irish Ministerial visits and trade missions to China have also been vital in demonstrating the government’s commitment to boosting trade, promoting Irish products and services and enhancing cultural links between Ireland and China, according to Barrett. “These relationship building visits are key to the successful development of further co-operation,” she says. “Face to face meetings are vital in Chinese business culture and it is hugely important to invest the time to do this. In turn, Chinese delegations of the highest levels have visited Ireland in recent times. Further high-level visits from both sides to further develop our mutually beneficial partnership are currently in planning. “Doing business in China requires resources and sustained efforts. Having the structures in place to support Irish companies in China is essential. Thanks to the stellar efforts of Team Ireland in China, Enterprise Ireland, IDA, Bord Bia and Tourism Ireland, led by Ambassador O’Leary in Beijing and General Consuls Therese Healy in Shanghai and David Costello in Hong Kong who work tirelessly to promote two-way trade and investment between our countries, Irish companies have benefitted enormously.”


Yang’s Chinese Restaurant

Yang’s Chinese Restaurant (formerly Wongs Chinese - now fully renovated and open under New Management) is the newest addition to Clontarf’s burgeoning restaurant scene. Located on the Clontarf road, a stones throw from St. Anne’s Park, Yang’s boasts a perfect location with sea views. Our goal is to deliver great Chinese food with an authentic Chinese dining experience. Our food is prepared fresh daily and is cooked to order. All our dishes is MSG Free, ensuring the healthiest cuisine. The setting at Yang’s is traditionally oriental with a warm, welcoming ambiance. We are open 7 days a week from 5pm to 11.30pm on Monday to Saturday. Sunday 1.30pm to 11.00pm, Sunday Lunch service till 5.00pm. We also offer a food to go menu.

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For more information

Yangs Chinese Restaurant 436 Clontarf Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3, D03 YH36. (01) 833 4400 / (01) 833 9900 www.yangs.ie


Ireland-China Business Magazine

Brexit’s

Silver Lining One of the world’s largest professional services firm, Grant Thornton has been assisting an increasing number of Irish businesses establish operations in China and is expecting a surge in two-way investment traffic over the coming years. Brexit has been front and centre of the political landscape for over almost three years and still we still appear no closer to a satisfactory resolution. From an Irish perspective, the majority of the commentary and analysis has focussed on the dire consequences of a no-deal Brexit which would see an end to free movement of goods between the UK and EU members states, the imposition of tariffs under World Trade Organisation rules and the likely erection of a hard border between the Republic and Northern Ireland – with all the inevitable social, political and economic turmoil that entails. 44

However, it will come as some relief to learn that the prophecies of doom are not universally shared. While acknowledging the severe disruption that will follow in the event of a disorderly exit, Dara Kelly, Advisory Partner, Grant Thornton also sees significant opportunities arising for Ireland in the wake of Britain’s departure from the EU. Pre-Brexit, the UK, and London in particular, was a natural home for companies in China and Hong Kong seeking to expand operations into Europe. However, following the decision taken in

the referendum of June 2016, that home no longer looks quite so inviting. “It is something we have been looking at for a long time and we see it as a huge opportunity,” he says. “Given the strong historical and cultural links there has been a long established pattern of companies from Hong Kong & China setting up operations in the UK. This is all going to change now following the UK’s decision to leave the EU. Companies from China expanding in to Europe would previously have seen the UK as their first port of call and now with the uncertainly


Ireland-China Business Magazine

of Brexit, that is no longer the case. This opens up huge opportunities for Ireland to position itself as a gateway to Europe for Chinese companies.”

Kelly joined Grant Thornton in 2000 as an audit trainee and was made director in 2010. In 2016, he returned from a three year secondment to New York where he led the Grant Thornton Irish Business Group, advising US firms looking to set up operations or invest in Ireland. His experience includes the provision of all aspects of deal origination, M&A international tax, planning, execution and post-transaction integration services. He was the Lead Advisory Partner in the widely publicised transaction which resulted in the sale of Goodbody to a Chinese investment firm, regulatory approval pending.

According to Kelly the most common approach for Chinese companies seeking to enter Europe is to structure their company in Hong Kong before venturing further afield. “They always have a Hong Kong presence in the middle of their corporate structure and the next consideration is what jurisdiction they choose to locate their European headquarters in. I think there is an excellent opportunity to mirror the story of what made Ireland so attractive to US investors. “The exact same principals apply as they do from the perspective of US investors. Tax considerations are always at the forefront in relation to their planning which is advantageous in Ireland, however other key influencing factors are that Its work practices are quite similar to ours and we are an English speaking nation which offers access to Europe, great connectivity, a talented workforce and a business friendly environment.

Dara Kelly, Advisory Partner, Grant Thornton,

up headquarters. Foreign companies, headquartered in the area, including Shell, Toyota Motors and Volkswagen, contributed 14 percent of the 128 billion yuan ($18.8 billion) in total tax income in the area in the first 11 months of 2018.

Grant Thornton is the world’s sixth largest professional services network and the firm’s China division, was established in 1981. It has formed a network of 24 offices throughout mainland China and the Hong Kong SAR with access to over 260 partners and more than 5,500 professionals. The firm provides assurance, tax, and advisory services to public companies, state owned enterprises, private companies, and foreign investment enterprises.

Opening the Doors to Trade “Now we have Brexit and the UK is no longer an attractive option for Chinese corporations looking to develop their European strategy. That makes Ireland the easiest jurisdiction from which to pursue their goals and we need to capitalise on that opportunity to put Ireland at the forefront of their considerations.”

Another example of opening up to foreign investment which Kelly references is Tesla’s recent investment in a plant and leadership compound in Beijing. This is the first wholly foreign owned entity in China in the new energy sector

While Hong Kong has long been open to business, mainland China is increasingly opening its borders to foreign direct investment, a policy which Kelly believes will prove transformative for the country. Historically, it has been a widely accepted principal that foreign companies could not enter the Chinese market as a majority shareholder and traditionally they have accessed China through joint venture operations where they were always the minority shareholder.

“China has been a closed economy for a considerable period and the Government wants to make the country more attractive for foreign investment. They are opening up in a very controlled manner and a key pillar in their strategy is the One Belt One Road initiative which will greatly accelerate the route to international markets. They want the benefits which foreign talent and technology can bring to sectors such as financial services and to complement the very strong structure and industry pillars which are already in place.

However that looks set to change and Kelly references a recent article from the China Morning Post which reports that the number of foreign-funded companies in Beijing’s Central Business District (CBD) now exceeds 10,000. A total of 157 Fortune 500 companies have opened offices in the area, with 53 of them setting

“Reform of the financial services sector is ongoing for example strengthening regulation on internet finance and tightening controls on crypto currencies and ICO (initial coin offerings). However, policy will continue to protect the domestic economy from external influence,” he says.

Kelly is also involved in the European China Business Group, a group established by Grant Thornton to market Europe collectively to Chinese corporations. The group which includes Grant Thornton offices in 15 countries across Europe has carried out an extensive assessment of the key requirements sought by Chinese companies seeking new markets. “We are looking at what they need in terms of new market entry solutions,” he says. “First and foremost they will need to redomicile their headquarters and decide whether to establish a new operation or enter the market through acquisition. A lot of Chinese companies don’t want to take the time to start up and scale a business and prefer to look at acquisitions which gives them a very quick foothold in the Eurozone. There is obviously tax planning and auditing services required and there will be some intellectual property planning if they are going to be selling the IP into the Eurozone. They are going to have to look at potentially re-housing intellectual property into Irish structured entities and we obviously explain how that can be very attractive. 45


Ireland-China Business Magazine

“The main thing is we work very closely with this Chinese European Business group - packaging all the services and working very closely with member firms across mainland china and Hong Kong. There are 15-member countries that believe they have a certain attractiveness and we go through the decision streams with our clients to see which country suits them best. It is difficult to comprehend how the prospect of a hard Brexit has come to pass but in the meantime, we need to provide a solution to our clients who are finding it very disruptive in terms of planning.”

Supporting Irish business in China Grant Thornton has been assisting a growing number of Irish businesses seeking to establish a foothold in the Chinese Market. According to Kelly, Ireland enjoys a positive profile in China particularly in relation to financial services, dairy and agriculture and aviation which are very highly regarded. “We’re an export-orientated economy and we are open and easy to do business 46

with. The regulatory environment and quality control in relation to the agrifood sector is second to none and we have a strong history and track record doing business across the globe. You do have to spend a lot of time to build up relationships, much more so than most Westerners will be accustomed to. We spent a long time with them developing solutions and learning about their global development strategy and the issues which they are struggling with.” The Chinese are equally keen to engage comprehensively with prospective clients and business partners. “They want to know your credentials and track record, how long you have been in business, whether you have had any corporate failures or scandals. They want to know that you are committed to quality and that there has been no regulatory breaches in your past. These are all common themes and it’s what Chinese investors are primarily concerned about as they value stability & track-record as the majority have long term investment strategies.”

Companies from Hong Kong expanding in to Europe would previously have seen the UK as their first port of call and that is no longer the case. This opens up huge opportunities for Ireland to position itself as a gateway to Europe for Chinese companies.”


A different way of doing business Whether you're looking to export, invest or do business with China/Hong Kong, or you're a company aiming to invest or establish itself in Ireland or Europe, our China/Hong Kong Irish Business Group can help. We have the international capability, cultural understanding and commitment to unlock your business potential wherever you want to do business.

Dara Kelly Partner, China/Hong Kong Irish Business Group T +353 (0)1 680 5799 E dara.kelly@ie.gt.com

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Audit | Tax | Advisory © 2019 Grant Thornton Ireland. All rights reserved. Authorised by Chartered Accountants Ireland (“CAI”) to carry on investment business. Grant Thornton is a member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd. (GTIL).


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Didi Chuxing, China’s most popular ride hailing service which provides over 10m rides per day

China

Goes Global China’s largest companies are racing up the global rankings and expanding their footprint in international markets. The days of cheap reproductions of western products have long been consigned to history and China is creating a new wave of companies which will join the ranks of world leading companies and spearhead China’s continued growth. Last year Chinese companies accounted for five of the top ten companies in the Forbes Global 2000 list last year while all the other companies to make the top ten were from the US. The annual Forbes Global 2000 list includes publicly-traded companies from 60 countries. Collectively, the companies on this list accounted for $39.1 trillion in in 2017, $3.2 trillion in profit, $189 trillion in assets and $56.8 trillion in market value. 48

Led by the largest public company in the world, the Industrial and Commercial Bank, all of the top companies were banks, aside from Apple which came in at number nine. China Construction Bank was ranked in second position while the Agriculture Bank of China and Insurance company Ping also featured among the top 10. US banks were also heavily represented in the top ranks and included JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo.

In terms of the number of companies on the overall list, the U.S. continues to dominate, accounting for almost 30% of the total. Overall, 291 Chinese companies featured in the rankings, up from 262 in 2017. Back in 2003, China and Hong Kong had a combined 43 companies on the list. A number of China’s leading household brands climbed up the rankings including SAIC Motor Company, China’s largest automaker (sales of 7.05 million vehicles in 2017), which moved up to 80th


Ireland-China Business Magazine

position. Alibaba, the Asian e-commerce powerhouse founded by billionaire Jack Ma climbed to 82nd place. The Chinese auto sector, which despite a slowdown in growth has been a major driving force in China’s economic momentum also featured strongly. Global sales of passenger cars and trucks surpassed 90 million for the first time in 2017, and more than a quarter of cars sold were in China, up from less than 15 percent a decade ago. Hong Kong-headquartered Geely Automobile Holdings was ranked the 1,030th largest company in 2017 and Guangzhou Automotive moved up to 691st position from 842nd the previous year. Chinese Electric Car manufacturer, in which Warren Buffet owns a stake fell down the rankings from 599th position to 694th. Critics point to the fact that Chinese companies which feature highest in the rankings are made up largely of banks which merely confirm claims of a credit fuelled economy. US banks also feature prominently but the spread of the top ranked US companies is much more diverse and also features technology, energy, media and telecommunications companies among the top 100. However, among the lower ranked companies there are signs of the “new China” emerging and tech holding company, HNA Technology (which owns Californian electronics distributor, Ingram Micro) and internet security company, 360 Security Technology were among the new entrants to the list. The latest annual report on internet trends Kleiner Perkins Caufield confirms the rapid growth of the Chinese technology sector. It shows the US continuing to lead with 11 of the of the worlds top 20 tech companies, but China is gaining fast and accounts for nine of the world’s top 20, based on market value. By that criteria, the five biggest tech companies in the world today, are Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet (the company which owns Google) and Facebook. But China’s Alibaba came in at number 7 and Tencent recently overtook Facebook to become the world’s fifth

Huawei shipments grew to 52 million units up to the third quarter of 2018 while Xiaomi achieved its 100m annual sales target for 2018 by the end of October - a considerable achievement in the context of declining sales worldwide.

most valuable listed company. Other Chinese companies to make the list of 20 biggest tech companies include Chinese search-engine giant Baidu and smartphone giant Xiaomi. Baidu, which together with Alibaba and Tencent are collectively referred to as BAT, is China’s most popular search engine and is also involved in maps, news, cloud storage, internet TV, and a broad range of search products. The company has expanded into e-payments with Baidu Wallet and it also provides a food delivery services in over 70 Chinese cities. Like Google, it is focussed on artificial intelligence and is developing a selfdriving car in its Silicon Valley laboratory. In 2014, e-commerce giant, Alibaba broke the record for the largest IPO ever, raising a mouthwatering $25B. Last November, it crashed through its single day sales record, racking up more than $30.8 billion in a 24-hour period. The company has a broad spread of interests including Taobao, a peerto-peer marketplace site as well as cloud-computing and mobile-payment services. In 2017 it bought out Youku Tudou, a video service known as the Youtube of China for around $3.5B. Alibaba is also working on a logistics and delivering network, similar to FedEx, called China Smart Logistics Network. The goal is to establish a 1-day delivery service for all of the major cities in China.

Xiaomi can still technically be regarded as a startup. Phoenix-like, the company has grown to become the fourth largest smartphone player in the world and pose a direct challenge to its Chinese counterpart, Huawei which outsold Apple last year and accounts for 15.8% of global smartphone sales.

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Ireland-China Business Magazine

Last year, China’s government caused ripples when it launched its strategic plan to lead the world in AI by 2030

Although not widely known in the west, BAT’s third member, Tencent is worth half a trillion dollars and has a string of high-profile investments spanning Snapchat, Spotify, Tesla and Hollywood film and TV. Tencent’s Holdings’ businesses includes instant messaging services, online media, mobile and telecommunications, interactive entertainment services, e-commerce and online advertising services. The company’s messaging app WeChat, has become the world’s second largest social network behind Facebook with over 900 million users last year.

2018 compared to the 35 percent share collectively raised by companies based in the United States and Canada. This was the first time Chinese start-ups have surpassed U.S. and Canadian companies in venture fundraising.

Meanwhile, Tencent Video service is the biggest in China with exclusive content including NFL games and HBO series such as Game of Thrones. It more than doubled in size in the last year, attracting more than 40 million paying subscribers.

Founded just eight years ago in Beijing, Chinese electronics company Xiaomi can still technically be regarded as a start-up. Phoenix-like, the company has grown to become the fourth largest smartphone player in the world and pose a direct challenge to its Chinese counterpart, Huawei which outsold Apple last year and accounts for 15.8% of global smartphone sales.

Any country aspiring intent on developing a world-leading technology and innovation centred economy requires a thriving start-up ecosystem of the kind that is developing apace in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. According to analysis from Techcrunch, Chinese startups raised 47 percent of all reported VC dollar volume in the second quarter of

A substantial portion of the funds raised Chinese companies was raised in just one round by Ant Financial, an electronic payments service company affiliated with Alibaba which raised a staggering $14 billion in what’s technically a Series C round. To date, it’s the largest venture funding round in history

Despite a downturn in global smartphone sales last year following average growth of 16% for the past five years, both Huawei and Xiaomi bucked the trend and significantly increased market share.

AI is set to be a transformative technology globally and Pricewaterhouse Coopers recently projected that it’s deployment will add $15.7 trillion to global GDP by 2030, with China taking home $7 trillion of that total, as against gains of just $3.7 trillion for the US 51


Ireland-China Business Magazine

Huawei shipments grew to 52 million units up to the third quarter of 2018, an increase of 33% on a year-on-year basis while Xiaomi achieved its 100m annual sales target for 2018 by the end of October - a considerable achievement in the context of declining sales worldwide. Today the Chinese tech sector is unrecognisable from the days when it was noted for cheap reproductions of existing innovations. The volume and calibre of Chinese start-ups has dramatically increased and there is no shortage of innovative companies producing exciting products and disruptive technologies which can compete with the best the West has to offer. There is an exhaustive list of new and recently established Chinese companies expected to make their presence felt on the global stage in the coming years. Companies such as Didi or Didi Chuxing, as it is officially known, China’s most popular ride hailing service which provides over 10m rides per day, five times more than it’s US counterpart Uber. Founded in 2012, Didi now has over 5,000 employees and is valued at over $16 billion. Apple was one of the company’s early investors. 52

Other Chinese companies making strides include Deep Glint, a big datapowered security camera company and Hover Camera which makes personal photography drones. Cheetah Mobile, an Android app maker which is branching out into artificial intelligence and robots with the launch of Cheetah Robotics is another company with a bright future while electric car manufacturer, LeEco is aiming to outfox Tesla in the race to create the first mass market electric car. Last year, China’s government caused ripples when it launched its strategic plan to lead the world in AI by 2030. AI is set to be a transformative technology globally and PricewaterhouseCoopers recently projected that it’s deployment will add $15.7 trillion to global GDP by 2030, with China taking home $7 trillion of that total, as against gains of just $3.7 trillion for the US. In 2017, China accounted for 48 percent of the world’s total AI start-up funding, compared to America’s 38 percent. But AI is not the only industry which China is set to lead. The availability of skilled talent, a strong entrepreneurial culture, vast domestic consumer market and a capital pool to rival the US allied to strong

Government support and light regulation presents China with many competitive advantages. These are being brought to bear across numerous industries where China is already a dominant player including agtech, farming, electric cars, healthcare and medical devices, biotech, and healthcare and pharma.

Chinese start-ups raised 47 percent of all reported VC dollar volume in the second quarter of 2018 compared to the 35 percent share collectively raised by companies based in the United States and Canada.


Is the Chinese consumer the future consumer? Celebrating 40 years of Sino-Irish business relations. ey.com/ie

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On the

One-Belt Road One Belt One Road is an ambitious $1tn project which aims to link 70 countries across Asia, Europe and Africa Spearheaded by Chinese President Xi Jinping, ‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR) is one of the most ambitious developmental projects in history. Its objective is to recreate the ancient Silk Road trade routes by connecting Asia to Europe through a network of roads, railways, oil pipelines, power grids, ports and other infrastructural projects. The vast logistic network that that encompasses South East Asia, EurAsia, the Middle East, East Africa, Russia, and Europe is expected to invigorate trade flows and boost the economies of those countries with poor access and inadequate logistics to the outside world. It is also intended to help narrow regional disparities in China by linking the economies of less developed border regions to neighbouring countries. Expected to cost more than $1tn, Xi’s One Belt One Road Initiative has drawn comparison to the US’ post-war Marshall reconstruction plan. It’s two constituent pillars, the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road will traverse territories responsible for 55% of global GDP, 70% of the global population and 75% of known energy reserves. Investment will be spread across almost 70 countries with the notable exception of India which is boycotting the project. India is concerned over the planned $46bn China-Pakistan Economic Corridor(CPEC) 54

which passes through disputed territory in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and which India says trespasses its sovereignty and territorial integrity. It also concerned about the Chinese investment in the Maritime route through the Indian Ocean, where it has traditionally been the dominant presence. The Chinese economy is facing a slowdown in economic growth and its leadership hope ‘One Belt One Road’ will create new markets for Chinese goods and usher in a new era of globalisation. Over 300 projects are planned, including major pipelines and a port in Pakistan, where it is expected to create over 1m new jobs. In addition, there are plans for a $1.1 billion port project in Sri Lanka, a high-speed rail link in Indonesia and an industrial park in Cambodia. China’s rapid growth has led to excess productive capacity which it plans to channel into new markets opened up by OBOR. China remains outside the G7 group of nations and is intent on developing its international influence and prestige. It is also hoped that the plan will boost Yuan’s usage amongst the countries and strengthen its role as an international reserve currency. One Belt One Road is not without obstacles Some of the countries involved have a very low sovereign credit rating and last year, the Centre for Global Development found

ONE BELT ONE ROAD Six economic corridors and one maritime route have been proposed under the OBOR: 1. New Eurasian Land Bridge. (connect Western China to Western Russia) 2. China – Mongolia – Russia Corridor (North China to Eastern Russia via Mongolia) 3. China – Central Asia – West Asia Corridor (Western China to Turkey via Central and West Asia 4. China – Indochina Peninsula Corridor (Southern China to Singapore via IndoChina) 5. China – Pakistan Corridor (South Western China to and through Pakistan) 6. Bangladesh – China – India – Myanmar Corridor (Southern China to India via Bangladesh and Myanmar) 7. Maritime Silk Road connecting Coastal China to the Mediterranean via Singapore-Malaysia, the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea and the Strait of Hormuz. The ‘belt’ refers to the ‘Silk Road Economic Belt‘ which is land based. It will connect China with Central Asia, Eastern and Western Europe. The ‘road’ refers to the ‘21st Century Maritime Silk Road’ which is sea based. It will connect China to South-East Asia, Africa and Central Asia.


Ireland-China Business Magazine

that eight countries associated with OBOR run the risk of being unable to repay their loans. Some of the nations such as Djibouti, Kyrgyzstan, Laos and Tajikistan – are among the poorest in their respective regions In Europe ‘One Belt One Road’ is largely seen as a major opportunity for global growth as a result of improved connectivity between Asia, Africa and Europe. Supply-chain operator DB Schenker started running weekly block trains between China and Germany as long ago as 2011. The Port of Hamburg as well as DuisPort, Europe’s largest inland port, are also setting themselves up to become OBOR hubs in order to benefit from the increased flow of East Asian and global maritime trade. Duisport is fast becoming Europe’s central logistics hub and round 80% of trains from China now make it their first European stop, with most using the northern silk road route via Khorgos on the China-Kazakhstan border and the Russian capital, Moscow. Every week, around 30 Chinese trains arrive at a vast terminal in Duisburg’s inland port, their containers either laden with clothes, toys and hi-tech electronics from Chongqing, Wuhan or Yiwu, or carrying German cars, Scottish whisky, French wine and textiles from Milan heading the other way. OBOR will provide better access to no less than 66 per cent of the world’s middle class, which is expected to live in China by 2030. The hubs will compete with a range of Southern European ports, which China seeks to establish as maritime gateways for OBOR. Planners are mapping out train lines to move goods flowing in and out of Europe through the Chinese-majority owned Piraeus Port in Greece. In October 2018, The Chinese Ambassador to Ireland, Dr. Yue Xiaoyong delivered a keynote speech at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology where he outlining the opportunities which are open to Ireland as a result of OBOR. In his speech, Ambassador Yue shared

stories of China’s development since the introduction of market reforms 40 years ago. China will only open wider in the new era and continue to welcome more foreign investments. Chinese companies will also be encouraged to increase trade with the rest of the world. “The core spirit of the Belt and Road Initiative is a full reflection of the idea initiated by our president Xi Jinping, which aims to work with nations all over the world and to build a community with a shared future for mankind,” he said. Dr Yue described the One Belt One Road initiative as an engine for global sustainable growth. “In the next five years, China is expecting to import products and services valued at more than $10 trillion and this provides a historic opportunity for enterprises across the world to enter the huge Chinese market.” Chinese overseas investment is expected to reach $750 billion over the same period. “This will provide enormous opportunities for all countries, including Ireland”, Dr Yue added. “It will also create new platforms for countries and peoples around the world to share opportunities.”

Over 300 projects are planned, including major pipelines and a port in Pakistan, where it is expected to create over 1m new jobs. In addition, there are plans for a $1.1 billion port project in Sri Lanka, a high-speed rail link in Indonesia and an industrial park in Cambodia. 55


Ireland-China Business Magazine

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The world’s first national food sustainability programme 56


Ireland-China Business Magazine

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys, Xavier Renaux, CCO, Irish Breeze, Ye Yang, General Manager, JD Worldwide, Therese Healy, Consul General of Ireland for Shanghai, Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland and Sophia Zhang, China Representative, Irish Breeze

‘New Era,

Shared Future’ China’s first International Import Expo ( CIIE) in Shanghai brought thousands of foreign companies together with Chinese buyers in a bid to demonstrate the extent to which the world’s second-biggest economy is opening up to the world. ‘New Era, Shared Future’ was the theme for the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) which took place which took place at the National Exhibition and Convention Centre in Shanghai from November 5th – 10th, 2018. The centre is the world’s largest single-block exhibition complex with a total floor area of nearly 1.5 million sq. m. The 6-day event attracted more than

150,000 purchasers from across China and international markets and 24 Irish companies joined more than 2,800 exhibitors from around the world. Plans for CIIE were first announced in May 2017 by Chinese president Xi Jinping at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. Speaking at a Chinese Embassy event in Dublin for Irish participants attending CIIE, Chinese Ambassador to Ireland, Dr

Yue Xiaoyong, said the trade exhibition was a significant move for the Chinese government and confirmed its firm support for trade liberalisation and economic globalisation and actively opening the Chinese market to the world. “It will facilitate countries and regions all over the world to strengthen economic cooperation and trade and promote global trade and world economic growth 57


Ireland-China Business Magazine

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Ireland-China Business Magazine

in order to make the world economy more open,” Dr Yue said.

working with us on sharing insights on Chinese consumers and building awareness of Ireland’s premium food offering in the market, said Tara McCarthy.

“Any Irish companies who have missed out on this one are welcome to come to the next one in 2019. We want to work with all countries, regions and international organisations to make CIIE a world-class expo, providing new channels for countries and regions to do business, strengthen cooperation and promote common prosperity of the world economy and trade.” Dr Yue described the One Belt One Road initiative as an engine for global sustainable growth and said that over the next five years, China is expecting to import products and services valued at more than $10 trillion. “This provides a historic opportunity for enterprises across the world to enter the huge Chinese market,” he said. Chinese overseas investment is expected to reach $750 billion over the same period. The scale of the CIIE is simply enormous. In addition to the 2,800 exhibitors, more than 200 Fortune 500 companies and industry leaders, were in attendance. Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys led the official Irish delegation to attend the event. “In all, 27 Irish organisations participated in the exhibition, 24 companies along with Bord Bia, IDA Ireland, and Enterprise Ireland. Bord Bia and Enterprise Ireland hosted collective stands exhibiting agrifood products, education, consumer products, high-tech products, and intelligent equipment.” A “lucrative” Memorandum of Understanding with Wyeth China was also signed by the CEO of Bord Bia, Tara McCarthy. The value of the Wyeth agreement to the Irish dairy industry is estimated at €110m annually. China is now Ireland’s second most important market for dairy exports Wyeth is a major strategic partner of Ireland in China and accounts for around €350 million of the dairy exports to China which amounted to €666.4 million in 2017. The Memorandum of Understanding with Wyeth is a commitment by the company

Four Irish companies backed by Enterprise Ireland signed new strategic partnerships with Chinese firms at the CIIE, valued at over €50m.The companies included Irish Breeze, Reagecon, Solvotrin Therapeutics and Novaerus.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland

“The One Belt One Road initiative provides a historic opportunity for enterprises across the world to enter the huge Chinese market.”

to source all of its dairy ingredients for its Illuma base brand exclusively from milk from Irish farms participating in Bord Bia’s Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme. The scheme is part of the Origin Green programme, Ireland’s national food and drink sustainability programme, the only such programme operating on a national basis in the world. Wyeth and Bord Bia agreed to share consumer and market insight on the Chinese market and Wyeth also agreed to undertake awareness raising around Ireland and it sustainable produced food offering and to work with Ireland on research and development. “The agreement is very good news for the Irish dairy industry and a vote of confidence in the Irish food sector by one of its strategic partners committed to

Welcoming the deals announced today, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys said: “The breadth and scale of these four landmark signings is a testament to the hard work undertaken by Irish companies and the support offered by the Government through Enterprise Ireland. “Irish companies are winning business across international markets at an unprecedented scale and I would like to congratulate everyone involved on these latest successes. Our presence at CIIE demonstrates Ireland’s commitment to China and the wider Asia Pacific region, and I am delighted that we had such positive outcomes from our engagement at the event. “I look forward to further developing these links with our Chinese partners in the coming years”. Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon was also delighted at the opportunity to showcase Irish goods and produce to one of the world’s fastest growing economies. “We see great opportunity for Irish exporters to build on existing trade links with China and to further develop our exporting market in the greater APAC region,” she said. “Greater China is currently the fourth largest export market for Enterprise Ireland clients who achieved exports of €1.03 billion in 2017. Reflecting the market potential, we have our sights set on increasing this by 40% to €1.44 billion in exports by 2020. “The CIIE event has been instrumental in promoting the strengths of Irish exporters to the Chinese market and today’s significant announcements reflect the scale of the opportunity for Irish exporters in China.” 59


Ireland-China Business Magazine

Guangzhou

All Eyes

on China With Ireland’s trading relationship with China continuing to grow, EY Ireland has ramped up its China division and Marcus Purcell, a Partner within EY Ireland’s Transaction Advisory Services is urging Irish businesses to take advantage of the substantial opportunities available in the world’s fastest growing economy.

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Foresight is a prized attribute and often a rewarding one. This was amply demonstrated by EY as far back as the 1970s when the global professional and consultancy services firm correctly predicted China’s successful transition from a society largely based around agriculture to a prosperous modern economy, with a GDP second only to the US. Some observers scoffed at the notion that a country mired in poverty following the failure of Chairman Mao’s ‘Great Leap Forward’ could take its place among the prosperous nations of the world. At the time, a collapse in food production brought about by Mao’s policies and the failure to take corrective measures led to widespread famine and a collapse in living standards. In 1978, the Communist Party of China, under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping responded and began to introduce market reforms, including decollectivising agriculture and allowing foreign investment and individual entrepreneurship. China’s subsequent success in reducing extreme poverty is widely acknowledged and World Bank estimates indicate that the number of absolute poor (people consuming less than $1.25 per day in Purchasing Power Parity terms) in China declined by more than 600 million from about 835 million in 1981 to 173 million in 2008. From 1979 until 2010, China’s average annual GDP growth was 9.91%, reaching an historical high of 15.2% in 1984. Wage growth followed suit and individual incomes rose significantly, with the real per capita consumption rising at an annual rate of 6.1% from 1975 to 1986. Today, the average earnings in China exceed $24,000 per annum. EY, which has been present in the region for 50 years, long recognised the potential of releasing the productive capacity of a county of over one billion people. Today, the firm is one one of the largest professional services providers in Greater China and has achieved many major milestones in that time: opening the first Hong Kong member firm office in 1968 as Arthur Young and in 1981, being one of the first international firms to establish operations in mainland China.

EY supports clients through its network of 16,000 professionals and 27 offices in the Greater China Region and brings together practices in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and also Mongolia, making the firm a truly integrated professional services network. As Ireland’s trading relationship with China continues to grow, EY Ireland has ramped up its China division in recent years, according to Marcus Purcell, a Partner within EY Ireland’s Transaction Advisory Services team which specialises in corporate finance advice and support. According to figures from the Chinese Embassy in Dublin, trade between the two countries stood at $11bn in 2017, up 36.7 per cent on the previous year, while in the first half of 2018, it reached $6.71bn, up 24.4 per cent on the same period in 2017. Trade volume for the whole of 2018 is expected to exceed $12bn. EY Ireland, through its on the ground expertise, was prepared for this significant upturn in trade between China and Ireland. Marcus recalls attending seminars and receiving briefings on the potential of China over a decade ago. “We have been getting presentations about the size of China and the potential of the Chinese market for over ten years and some of the stats were and continue to be remarkable,” he says. “We are talking about a market of 1.3bn people and a country with 16 cities which house more than the entire population of the UK. The scale of the market is unrivalled and the potential is enormous. We heavily invested in China at the early stages of development and we continue to do so. We see it as a very valuable opportunity.” Recognising China’s growing importance to Ireland’s economy, this year as part of the 22nd year of EY Entrepreneur Of The Year, 100 of Ireland’s best and brightest entrepreneurs will visit Hong Kong and Schenzhen for a week of executive education, networking and company visits. EY employs over 2,800 people across the island of Ireland and provides assurance (audit), consultancy (advisory), tax and transaction advisory services to Ireland’s top PLCs, entrepreneurial businesses, multinationals, private equity firms and public sector clients. Through EY DKM

“We get fixated on Shanghai and Beijing but businesses should also look to the regional cities. There are 16 other cities below that which have populations exceeding five million people and there has been limited traction in these markets to date” 61


Ireland-China Business Magazine

Economic Advisory, the firm also advises clients on a wide range of specialisms including construction and property economics, project appraisal, transport, urban economics and market analysis. The firm specialises in transaction activities and has been assisting an increasing number of Chinese investors identify suitable investment opportunities, and providing support to navigate the complex regulatory and administrative processes associated with large investment and infrastructure projects. “Typically we provide advice and consultancy to our Chinese partners in relation to investments, and we guide them through the procurement process. We also help develop performance improvement measures to ensure they achieve the best possible returns on their investment. Essentially, we cover the whole suite of services required at the different stages of stages of the investment life cycle,” he says. “We provide similar services for Irish businesses investing in China and we have a substantial Chinese network that we can connect these businesses to. We make the correct professional and diplomatic introductions and help them to navigate the business environment over there, the do’s and don’ts and all the complex protocols which exist.” According to Mr. Purcell, the key challenge facing China is to continue to increase infrastructural investment overseas, while striking a sustainable balance between domestic expansion and income growth, and continuing to grow exports by focussing on the production of high-end products and the development of leading global brands. It is by no means an easy transition and China faces a number of hurdles, not least the ongoing trade war with the US, mounting debt and the potential upheaval arising from Brexit. However, Marcus is confident that the country will successfully surmount these obstacles, and says that the $1 trillion ‘One Belt One Road’ infrastructural development initiative demonstrates the scale of China’s ambition and intent. “China knows that it needs to expand 62

Marcus Purcell, Partner, Transaction Advisory Services, EY Ireland with H.E. Dr. Yue Xiaoyong, Chinese Ambassador to Ireland

its global footprint and influence, and it is pulling out all the stops to achieve that. Like everything the Chinese do, the programme is remarkably ambitious in scale, and demonstrates the country’s support for trade liberalisation, globalisation and the opening up of the Chinese market,” he says. Mr. Purcell notes China’s stated intention to import products and services valued at more than $10 trillion, which he said provides an historic opportunity for enterprises around the world, including Irish firms. Chinese overseas investment is expected to reach $750 billion over the same period. Mr. Purcell was also impressed by the scale of the first ever China International Import Expo (CIIE) at the National Exhibition and Convention Centre in Shanghai – the world’s largest singleblock exhibition complex, with a total


Ireland-China Business Magazine

floor area of nearly 1.5 million sq. m.- which featured more than 2,800 exhibitors and attracted more than 150,000 purchasers from across China and international markets over six days in November 2018. Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys led the official Irish delegation to attend the event which included 24 companies together with Bord Bia, IDA Ireland, and Enterprise Ireland. Bord Bia and Enterprise Ireland hosted collective stands exhibiting agri-food products, education, consumer products, high-tech products, and intelligent equipment. Meanwhile, Irish companies completed deals valued in excess of €50m. Irish Breeze announced a €25m agreement with China’s e-commerce platform JD.com to sell its Waterwipes, while Reagecon Diagnostics Ltd agreed a €10m sales and distribution partnership. In addition, Solvotrin Therapeutics struck a €15m deal to have its product, Active Iron, distributed in China. Cartoon Saloon, makers of the academy award nominated films Breadwinner and Song of the Sea, signed a joint partnership which will give the company access to the Chinese cinema market. In addition, a “lucrative” Memorandum of Understanding with Wyeth China estimated to be worth €1m annually was also signed by the CEO of Bord Bia, Tara McCarthy. While these successes are to be welcomed, Marcus warns that there is much work to be done and we are in not in a position to rest on our laurels. “It is significant and we do offer a number of advantages to China, including the fact that they place a high value on the quality of our agri sector and we will be the only English speaking country left in the Eurozone after Brexit. But we still have to compete with the rest of Europe for their investment and it’s not a question of favourites. Nonetheless, he is encouraged at the overall trend in two-way investment between the two countries. China has grown to be the second largest market for Irish dairy and pig meat, and the third largest export market for Irish food and beverages. In 2018, the Chinese government approved six beef processors in Ireland to export their products to the

Marcus Purcell

Chinese market, making Ireland the first EU country which had suffered from the BSE crisis in the 1990s to resume beef exports to China. China has created more than 1,000 local jobs in Ireland, mainly in aviation leasing, food processing and the ICT sector. The Chinese aircraft leasing companies operating in Ireland include ICBC Financial Leasing, CDB Aviation Lease Finance, BOC Aviation, Bank of Communication Leasing, CCB Financial Leasing and Avolon. Huawei and OpenJaw are among the Chinese ICT companies operating in Ireland while Chinese agri-food companies such as Beingmate and Newbaze have also invested in infant formula plants in Ireland. A number of Chinese high-tech and energy companies such as Shenzhen Satir, Haotong Aviation and CGN Energy have also invested in Ireland. Last year Wuxi Biologics and Zhong Ze Culture made greenfield investments or acquisitions worth about $600 million, which will create more than 400 new jobs in this country. According to Marcus, whilst the potential for Irish businesses is huge, firms examining opportunities in the Chinese market should be prepared for significant cultural differences, as the Chinese set considerable store on cultivating strong relationships and building trust. As such, nobody entering the Chinese market should expect to get deals done in a hurry. “It takes time, it takes patience and it takes perseverance. But it can be a very rewarding journey for those

We are talking about a market of 1.3bn people and a country with 16 cities which house more than the entire population of the UK. The scale of the market is unrivalled and the potential is enormous. We heavily invested in China at the early stages of development and we continue to do so. We see it as a very valuable opportunity.” 63


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Skyscrapers in Shenzen

prepared to make the effort. Indeed, those companies who invest this time will reap the rewards, as I firmly believe that no ambitious business can afford to ignore China,” he said. Marcus also advises business intent on entering China not to restrict their efforts and attention to the traditional entry points of Shanghai and Beijing. “We get fixated on Shanghai and Beijing but businesses should also look to the regional cities. There are 16 other cities below that which have populations exceeding five million people and there has been limited traction in these markets to date. The Chinese also have an affinity toward quality brands and quality produce which is something that plays well into Irish companies and their skill set.” Ireland and China have many similarities 64

in terms of traditions and culture which Mr. Purcell believes have been instrumental in the development of closer relations. “From a values perspective Ireland and China are very alike. Family is extremely important in China as it is in Irish culture and both countries place a great deal of emphasis on building relationships and establishing trust,” he says. “It’s all about building that relationship. They like to see that you are turning up to events and that you are committed to building a relationship with them and they want to know that they can trust you to deliver. It’s important to embrace cultural differences and build them into your go to market strategy. China is a huge economy enjoying significant growth. They realise the power they have in that relationship and they don’t give things up easily.”


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Ireland-China Business Magazine

High Performing

Partnerships Bank of Ireland’s Foreign Direct Investment team share the ingredients necessary to achieving success with Chinese companies Many Irish companies have tailored their services to support the ever-increasing flow of Chinese investment into Ireland, with some notable success stories. Bank of Ireland Corporate Banking is one such example, having worked with the majority of Chinese companies setting up in Ireland for several years now. We caught up with Derek Collins and Stephanie FitzGerald-Smith from the bank’s Foreign Direct Investment team to find out the secret to their success.

With uncertain shifts in the global economy, China is increasingly looking to alternative markets, beyond the traditional FDI destinations of the UK and US. According to Bank of Ireland’s China specialist Stephanie FitzGeraldSmith, “Ireland, with our pro-business environment, access to the EU, English language capability, highly skilled talent pool and excellent track record, is well placed to grow bilateral trade and investment with China.”

Continued Growth in Bilateral Trade

On the Ground Experience

2019 marks the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Ireland and China, and suffice to say, bilateral trade has never been stronger, reaching $15 billion in 2017 – double the amount of trade in 2013. Bank of Ireland has seen a notable uplift in investment from the region over the last number of years. “We see China as a region of strategic importance both to us and to Ireland,” according to Derek Collins, Head of Foreign Direct Investment at Bank of Ireland. “Our focus is closely aligned with that of the Irish Government – with a greater focus on key sectors, including Financial Services, Aviation Leasing, Technology, Life Sciences and Food & Beverages.”

Bank of Ireland has provided banking services to Chinese investors in Ireland for over two decades now, catering for the majority of Chinese companies doing business in Ireland. Explaining the reasons for this success, FitzGeraldSmith continued: “We have the language skills and a deep knowledge of China on our team. We also understand the importance of developing relationships early on, as a foundation for doing business long term with the Chinese.”

Bank of Ireland assists global companies setting up operations in Ireland, using Ireland as a gateway to the EU.

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According to Derek, Chinese companies entering Ireland will often retain their relationship with global banks, and require a local bank to complement this. “That’s where Bank of Ireland comes in, offering a one-stop-shop for local banking needs to international companies. We provide a full local banking service, including process

payroll, executive accounts, FX, and personal banking to relocating senior executives,” he says. Stephanie FitzGerald-Smith, who joined the Bank of Ireland FDI team in 2018, said that their service doesn’t stop there: “We develop good relationships and we are a key point of contact for Chinese investors to call on for help navigating local markets. We utilise our strong network of contacts across the FDI and IrelandChina business community to support Chinese companies setting up a base in Ireland. We help executives integrate into the wider business community network and we provide many softer supports also – like help with schools.”

Language Skills – A Bonus As Bank of Ireland FDI’s newest team member, Stephanie FitzGerald-Smith 张 爱莉, speaks Mandarin fluently, having graduated with a Masters in Mandarin from Shanghai University. Stephanie spent five years living and working in Shanghai, and worked closely with the Irish Consulate and Irish Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai to boost awareness of Ireland in China and forge closer links between the two countries. Having worked on projects with the Chinese Government and received dozens of Chinese delegations while working in the Ireland-China space with IDA Ireland and Dublin Chamber, Stephanie has a


Ireland-China Business Magazine

deep understanding of Chinese culture and business etiquette. Stephanie believes that speaking the language is hugely beneficial when building relationships with the Chinese. “The standard of English in China is really impressive, but some executives are understandably more comfortable communicating through their native language. If a conversation starts in Mandarin, I’ll just go with it and it’s great to have that versatility in business interactions. It’s hard to describe what happens when you speak to a Chinese person in their own language, they see it as a sign you that understand and respect their culture and have invested a lot of time into doing so, and in turn they respect you for it. It also lays a good foundation for friendship, for trust and that ultimately helps do business.”

Taking a Long Term View Chinese and Irish cultures have many commonalities – relationships and family lie at the centre of both. Collins points to the significant similarities between the two cultures on many levels. “Family is hugely important to Chinese people, and Ireland presents an attractive environment for senior executives to raise a family in, something that further reinforces Ireland’s case for Chinese investment. Decisions may be a little slower, but investing in strong relationships is a key to success. Bank of Ireland is in tune with the Chinese business audience and so we take a very long-term relationship approach with our Chinese clients.” “The strong presence of 27 Irish companies at the recent inaugural China International Import Expo along with the growing number of government visits between our countries highlights this increasing closeness. Add to that the recently initiated direct flights to Beijing and Hong Kong, and the stars are very much aligning for the relationship to take off. This is due in large part to the stellar work of Ireland Inc., both in Ireland and in China – the Irish Embassy, the consulates, IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Tourism Ireland and all the other stakeholders, who together with the close-knit Sino-Irish network are driving the relationship forward.”

Stephanie FitzGerald-Smith and Derek Collins, Foreign Direct Investment, Bank of Ireland

“We see China as a region of strategic importance both to us and to Ireland. Our focus is closely aligned with that of the Irish Government – with a greater focus on key sectors, including Financial Services, Aviation Leasing, Technology, Life Sciences and Food & Beverages.” Derek Collins, Head of Foreign Direct Investment at Bank of Ireland 67


Ireland-China Business Magazine

New Frontiers

for Irish Food Last year The Irish Food Board, Bord Bia reported a six-fold increase in agri-food exports to China which is now the second largest market for Irish dairy produce. In the wake of Brexit, the agency has worked hard to unlock new markets for Irish food and drink and it scored a notable success last April when Ireland became the first European beef exporter to secure access to the Chinese market. In 2019 Shanghai will become the second largest of Bord Bia’s 13 overseas office locations as two additional market specialists join the team working to progress Irish food exports in China. This commitment, achieved during the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Ireland and China places in no doubt the importance Bord Bia and, in 68

turn, the Irish food industry places on relationship with China currently and, indeed, into the future. Bord Bia Shanghai was established in 2007 to close the gap between Irish exporters and Chinese importers while driving awareness of Ireland as a sustainable source of high quality,

traceable European food in a market with a growing appetite for the best the world has to offer. These efforts, framed within an environment of closer relationships between Ireland and China at government level and coupled with strong industry efforts have led Irish exports to grow from €270m in 2013 to over €700m in 2018.


Ireland-China Business Magazine

Today’s consumers demand ultimate trust in what they feed their families and this rings true whether you are in Galway or Guangzhou. The Irish food and drink industry has been built on a platform of safe, secure and sustainable production that resonates with both Chinese trade partners and consumers. Ireland has a real credible position in this regard, facilitated through Department of Agriculture controls and enhanced through Bord Bia’s Sustainable Assurance Schemes across meat and dairy. These controls have encouraged the most renowned global players in Infant nutrition to invest in Ireland and secure their supply of the highest quality Irish milk pool. Certainly the success of brands like Illuma, Eleve and Similac have helped establish the profile of Ireland in China where Irish produced life-stage nutritional powders command 10% market share. Indeed, this success has created a halo effect on all export sectors positioning Ireland as a credible source of natural food production in a clean environment. Sharing best practice and investing in relationships for mutual benefit have been key features of the closer relationships between Ireland and China at government level. Indeed, Bord Bia has a very close relationship with Ambassador Yue and his colleagues at the Embassy of China, Dublin. This relationship was important in encouraging Irish food and drink exporters to exhibit at the inaugural China International Import Expo in Shanghai last November under a Bord Bia/Origin Green banner. 2018 also saw the 10th anniversary of the Ireland China Knowledge Transfer Programme run in collaboration with the Irish Department of Agriculture and the Embassy of Ireland in Beijing. To date approximately 80 Chinese government officials have visited Ireland as part of this initiative which looks to share information and learnings around food security and production controls. Senior representatives from four different government departments attended in 2018 and included the lead agency of the Import and Export Food Safety Bureau (GACC) who spent two full weeks in

Ireland where they visited a number of farms, meat export plants and centres of excellence for research, and innovation as well as educational establishments. In April of 2018, and in recognition of these standards, Ireland became the first European beef exporter to secure market access to the Chinese market. Since then Bord Bia together with Irish beef exporters have been busy welcoming in a number of high profile delegations of Chinese buyers and government officials into Ireland. The key objective of these study visits is to outline the key credentials of our grass-fed, sustainable beef and lamb production systems as well as outlining the importance of food safety controls. Much additional activity has been implemented through a €3.75 million campaign “European Beef and Lamb – Excellence in Food Safety & Sustainability” which Bord Bia was awarded the honour of implementing in China, Japan and Hong Kong on behalf of the European Commission. With 80% cofunding support from the EU, this threeyear campaign provides the industry with an excellent platform to demonstrate how Ireland implements best practice in EU production and food safety standards and further deepen relationships at government and trade level. 2019 promises to be another productive year for the Irish food industry in China and has particular resonance given the 40th year of diplomatic relations between the 2 countries. Bord Bia will exhibit at SIAL China in Shanghai from May 14th-16th and will continue to drive collaboration and unlock partnerships for mutual collaboration for Irish exporters to China. Strategies supporting the continued success of seafood, pigmeat and dairy sectors will be boosted while the 2nd year of market access for Irish beef will see concentrated activity in ensuring this sector can match the long-standing success of those already mentioned. Ireland’s commitment to the Chinese market and the strong relationships in place position both parties for a partnership for mutual benefit well into the future.

Knowledge Transfer participants at the National Ploughing Championships

2018 also saw the 10th anniversary of the Ireland China Knowledge Transfer Programme run in collaboration with the Irish Department of Agriculture and the Embassy of Ireland in Beijing. 69


Ireland-China Business Magazine

A Bridge to

Tech Success in China The China Ireland Growth Technology Fund builds ties between leading-edge Irish technology companies and a new wave of Chinese innovation The scale of the opportunity for Irish technology companies in China is widely understood, but knowing what it takes to succeed in a market that’s very different to the US and Europe is more of mystery. Any company Atlantic Bridge backs with our second China Ireland Growth Technology Fund – launched in March 2018 in Beijing – has to fulfil some fundamentals that we always look for in tech firms and some characteristics that are unique to China. Having a proven product with paying customers is fundamental to every business we invest in; what’s different with China is that we’ll consider technologies outside of our usual sweet spot of software and semiconductors. We are looking to invest €150m, between €10-20m in individual firms that are innovating in high growth sectors such as enterprise software, semiconductors, med tech, ag tech, industry 4.0 and IoT (Internet of Things); companies with a roadmap that naturally aligns with the biggest and fastest growing technology market in the world. Atlantic Bridge is run by some of Ireland’s most successful tech entrepreneurs, people with a track record in launching global businesses. They apply their expertise, knowledge and know-how to our portfolio companies, with a 70

strong focus on what it takes to enter new markets, scale, and then exit. The ‘Bridge Model’ we have developed is about helping Irish companies crack new markets, usually North America and increasingly China.

much greater significance in China. We know this first-hand and are better able to advise our firms because our own entry into the country was based on a relationship we forged with a Chinese investment fund West Summit Capital

On-the-ground expertise

They were very helpful on our initial forays into China, when we knew enough about the complexities of the market not to attempt to enter without a local partner. Since then our relationship has flourished, leading to this latest funding initiative which partners with the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) and China’s CIC.

The irony is that we are looking for robust companies with a strong business model, even though the model may well be turned on its head in China. Doing business there is very different to doing business in Europe or North America. We have a solid platform for assessing a company’s strategic fit; when there’s a clear business case we have partners on the ground to facilitate market entry. From hiring staff and making customer introductions to identifying C-suite talent and follow-up funding, our onthe-ground expertise is invaluable. We help build relationships with partners and distributors, and introduce sales models and pricing structures that will be unfamiliar. Crucially, many more sectors in China are regulated and require a license to enter the market. Our network links our portfolio companies with the right Chinese partners that are authorised to operate in the sector. Relationships are a mainstay of every successful business but they assume

Through West Summit and Atlantic Bridge’s own Chinese network, we have gone on to develop a presence in China that delivers full-lifecycle cross-border support to our portfolio companies through our deep network of senior relationships with large Chinese corporations and investors at the most senior levels.

Funding success stories From the first China Ireland Fund launched in 2013, we have a strong track record of helping Irish companies establish a foothold. Among them is Decawave, a chipmaker that now generates half its revenue inside China. This is a path we have been down before


Ireland-China Business Magazine

Decawave $30m Funding round announcement alongside Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation Heather Humphreys, CEO of Enterprise Ireland Julie Sinnamon and Gerry Maguire, General Partner at Atlantic Bridge, 22nd February 2018

with Movidius, a computer visioning semiconductor company that was subsequently bought by Intel. At a crucial stage in its growth Shenzhen-based DJI was among its biggest customers. Atlantic Bridge is looking for companies that can create a synergy between Ireland and China. It’s not just about doing deals, it’s about Atlantic Bridge’s ‘value add’, facilitating cross-border engagement for leading edge Irish technology to play a part in a new wave of Chinese innovation. We have invested in a clean air company, WellAir, which has opened offices in China. The opportunity is obvious in a country looking to solve high levels of air pollution in its cities. Another portfolio firm with a growing Chinese footprint is Swrve, a pioneer of multi-channel customer engagement that is a good fit for the biggest mobile market in the world. China is an increasingly important market for technology companies. Around 80 per cent of our portfolio companies are doing business in the region, which has

Launch of the China Ireland Growth Technology Fund II - An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Simon Coveney T.D. and Vice Chairman and President of CIC, Tu Guangshao, Beijing, 16th March 2018

contributed enormously to our knowledge and understanding of the market. Every new company we invest in is a beneficiary of this heard-earned expertise and we want to find more of them. We would like to hear from ambitious entrepreneurs and management teams that have the passion and drive to scale up their businesses and exploit the major growth opportunity that China presents. For more information go to www.abven.com 71


Ireland-China Business Magazine

Mr Yu Yuantan of the Ministry of Commerce, Mr. Danny McCoy CEO Ibec, Madame XUE He of the Chinese Embassy in Dublin and Mr. Marc Coleman Head of International Business Development Ibec during discussions in December on the forthcoming Joint Economic Council between Ireland and China.

Closer Ties

With China As Ireland’s largest – and one of Europe’s most influential - business representative organisations Ibec is an essential partner for Chinese business doing business in Ireland, MARC COLEMAN, HEAD OF INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, IBEC.

As Ireland enters the year that marks both Brexit and also the 40th anniversary of Ireland’s diplomatic relations with China, there has never been a better time to leverage Ibec’s size (with over 7,500 members) with the expertise and insights provided by the Irish China Business Association and other key organisations promoting Ireland’s vital trade relations with China. Last year Ibec worked hard and successfully with all key stakeholders to build a strong platform for success. This year we will build on that platform 72

in partnership with key stakeholders to maximise the opportunities for Irish business in this vast market. Last September Ibec was honoured to host the highly successful “China Ireland Business Exchange” at which Ibec CEO Danny McCoy spoke. The event was held in cooperation with both the ICBA and the Association of Chinese Enterprises in Ireland with His Excellency Ambassador Yue as a very welcome guest of honour. That month Ibec also welcomed another

distinguished guest in the form of the President of the China Pharmaceutical Association, Mr. Sun Xianze. His meeting with BioPharmaChem Ireland (BPCI), - Ireland’s trade association for the pharmaceutical sector which is part of Ibec – demonstrates how Ibec’s many organisations can greatly benefit twoway trade and cooperation not just at a macro but also at a sectoral level. The announcement a month later that leading Chinese pharmaceutical company Wuxi biologics is to create 400 jobs in Dundalk


Ireland-China Business Magazine

Marc Coleman welcoming a delegation from Nanjing software valley visiting Ibec’s Technology Ireland Software Innovation Forum in December.

was extremely welcome and symbolises in a big way the growing ties between Ireland and China. Regional links are also important: In September Ibec’s Head of International Business Development Marc Coleman was a key speaker at a conference promoting links between Ireland and Jiangsu province, a region of 81 million people. In November Ibec and Ibec member companies were well represented at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai. The following month Ibec was delighted to welcome a visit from China’s Ministry of Commerce together with key embassy officials. Later that month, a delegation from Nanjing Software valley cooperation met in Ibec to initiate collaboration with Irish companies. As well as Madame Xue He of the Chinese embassy, Ibec was delighted to welcome Cork county council CEO Tim Lucey to this event to discuss Cork’s regional links with Nanjing. Finally on 18th December, China marked the 40th anniversary of the opening of China’s economy under Deng Xiaoping. Paralleling Ireland’s own journey of economy reform since it joined the EU, this event was a milestone in bringing China along the road to prosperity and economic success. Responding to the

event Ibec’s President Danny McCoy was quoted by Xinhua news agency welcoming how China’s reforms during this era has brought great benefits to the Irish economy. China’s rise to become one of the world’s two largest economies within a space of 40 years is very impressive. The strong pace of China’s economic expansion in this period - and the rising living standards made possible for hundreds of millions of Chinese people – are not only welcome in themselves, but have created enormous opportunities for Irish business. During the most recent global downturn China’s economy was an important source of support for the world’s economy. For Ireland this came at a critically important time. From €2 billion in 2014 Ireland’s exports to China have risen dramatically to €5 billion in 2017. At the same time China’s exports to Ireland have risen from €3.5 billion to €4.5 billion during the same period and Ireland is one of the few economies that exports more to China than it imports. As we head into a more challenging time – with Brexit and a possible moderation of Ireland’s growth rate both due to occur 2019 – Ireland retains a strong interest in the success of the Chinese economy and we welcome increased collaboration.

“China’s rise to become one of the world’s two largest economies within a space of 40 years is very impressive. The strong pace of China’s economic expansion in this period - and the rising living standards made possible for hundreds of millions of Chinese people – are not only welcome in themselves, but have created enormous opportunities for Irish business.” 73


If your company is considering doing business in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), it’s vital for you to know the workings of Mainland Chinese law and its effects on dispute resolution, to avoid ending up in a Chinese court. To gain this understanding, it’s important to go beyond Acts and seek insights into Chinese society, history and philosophy. And for that, we’ll need to look at how the law has traditionally been regarded in Chinese society. Over the past forty years, the PRC has transformed the world’s economy while simultaneously developing and reforming its own institutions. Yet the way in which the law is regarded in China is not what the Irish businessperson may assume. Ask a law student in Ireland, ‘What is law?’ and while you may not get a simple answer, the Irish student will generally view the law as sacrosanct. In contrast, Chinese tradition holds the law in low esteem. For decades after the Chinese civil war and the proclamation of the PRC in 1949, no real effort was made to distinguish politics from law. Since the opening of the country in 1978 under the de facto leadership of Deng Xiaoping, the socialist rule of law became slowly part of the official policy. Professional standards have improved, particularly in commercial law, and a less political and more institutionalized and codified system of law has been established. On 1 October 1999 the Contract Act (“Hetong Fă ”) was enacted. This Act is strongly influenced by the German civil code, and the interpretation of this Act is not on the letter of the text (as in Ireland), but on the intention of the legislator – i.e. the purposive interpretation (as on the continent). The essential difference between the law in Chinese tradition and the Irish rule of law is the matter of how the relationship between law and morality is conceived. The great Chinese philosopher Confucius regarded regulation through laws to be a matter of moral performance; he made no sharp distinction between morality and law. In the Confucian ideal, morality is the highest warranty to secure social order, and this is regulated through moral rules, constituting a code of etiquette - conventions (called Lĭ (礼)) enforced by society, rather than the state. The rules imposed by the state (called Fă (法)) were historically limited to criminal law and regulated the relationship between the state and individuals. The word Fă in Chinese does not relate to fairness or justice, but is closer to Fá (罚), which means penal punishment, and Lü (律), which means written laws. The contrast between Lĭ and Fă marks a distinction in Chinese political theory as to the nature of political order and the preferred means of achieving such order. In Ireland we’re told the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk, where Jack trades the family cow for magic beans which grow into a vine up to the sky, to a giant’s castle. Jack returns laden with gold, and he and his mother live happy ever with the riches (Fù (富)). It’s said that the giant’s catchphrase was: “Fe-fi-fo-fum! I smell the blood of an Irish man: Be he alive, or be he dead, I’ll grind his bones to make my bread.” However, what the giant might equally have said was: “Lĭ, Fă, Fŏu,Fù !”. Arguably, the giant might have warned foreigners like Jack that if they didn’t understand the dichotomy between Lĭ and Fă, they could never find (or would be denied Fŏu) riches (Fù) in his kingdom. This is the same message we give at Herbots Solicitors to Irish businesses who venture into China. Seek advice first: we can help you. In that regard, the new book by our  Chairman and accredited arbitrator with the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC), Dr. Prof. em. J. Herbots, “Contracts in the People’s Republic of China,” is an excellent starting point.


Ireland-China Business Magazine

The CCD Choosing the destination for your next international conference Over the last decade Ireland has established itself as one of the world’s leading locations for business and a centre of excellence for research and development. It remains competitive globally, ranking 12th in the IMD Global Competitiveness Yearbook rankings, achieving higher ranking positions in a number of important subfactors in Western Europe. As the world’s second largest software exporter, Ireland is recognised internationally as a leading location for companies in the software sector. Sixteen out of the top 20 global technology firms have strategic operations in Ireland and the city is home to well-known international companies, including Microsoft, Google, Apple and Facebook. Many key players in cloud computing have also already been attracted to Ireland, while a wide spectrum of technology companies with Irish operations are actively expanding into and researching the Cloud. 76

And many of these companies are continuing to invest and expand in Ireland too. Earlier this month, Facebook announced it is making an investment of 1,000 new roles bringing to 5,000 the number of people employed by the company across three plants in Ireland. And only last week, Salesforce added to this news that it will bring 1,500 more jobs over five years and is expanding its investment in Ireland into Dublin city centre, establishing an urban campus right next to The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD). Ireland is globally recognised as a centre of excellence in medtech with 9 of the world’s top ten companies have operations here, including names such as Abbott, Bayer, Boston Scientific, Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic. As the second largest exporter of medtech products in Europe, Ireland supplies 95 of the world’s top 100 countries (ranked by GDP).

With so many global headquarters based in Ireland, it’s hard to deny that one of the best countries in the world for doing business, is also the perfect destination for hosting business events. Ireland’s location at the gateway to Europe offers many logistical benefits. With Dublin airport serving over 180 routes, including direct flights to the UK, US, Europe, the Middle East and China, it is highly accessible for all. Dublin is a small and compact city, with great transport infrastructure, making it easy to get around and meaning nothing is ever too far away. Served by over 20,000 competitively priced hotel rooms within a 10km radius, delegates can choose from a range of accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets. However, choosing the destination is just the first step in attracting delegates. The venue choice can often seal the deal for the international business tourist. As


Ireland-China Business Magazine

Ireland’s only purpose-built convention centre with the capacity to host conferences for over 5,000 people, The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD) has become a valuable asset to many global organisations hosting international conference events. Located in the heart of the capital and 15 minutes from Dublin Airport in Dublin’s Docklands, The CCD is ideally positioned to entice the international business tourism market to Ireland. Dublin Airport serves over 180 routes worldwide, including direct flights to Beijing, Hong Kong and the recently announced Shenzhen route

Why The CCD: The CCD’s purpose is ‘setting the stage to welcome the world to Ireland’, borne out of its history, whereby it was built to increase business tourism to Ireland. The business has set its vision to be ‘the world’s favourite venue, experts in delivering world class events. We set the standard for excellent, creating memories and experiences worth sharing.’ Since opening in 2010, The CCD has hosted over 1,650 events and welcomed over 1.15m visitors from across the world. The CCD has become an iconic landmark in the Dublin skyline, with the signature atrium or ‘drum’ being integral to the design. With six-light flooded foyers for networking and hospitality, as well as a range of flexible halls, meeting rooms and auditorium, The CCD is the perfect venue for any event. The state of the art, purpose-built facilities coupled with a dedicated team of experts ensures delivery of any style of event. The CCD is not only famed for its iconic building and convenient location, but also for its exceptional customer service. The venue prides itself on offering first-class service with a high level of expertise, coupled with a sense of Irish warmth and hospitality. The CCD allocates a dedicated team to each event who will ensure all levels of service are kept consistently high for every event, and work relentlessly to offer an unrivalled experience for guests. The core team responsible for Events, Technical Production, Hospitality and ICT, is complemented by a full range of in-house services such as hosts, cleaning

and security. Flexibility is key for clients at The CCD, they can avail of a fully inclusive package, but also have the opportunity to make bespoke out-ofthe-ordinary requests. 2018 was a solid year for The CCD, hosting 180 events in total, including 62 international conferences attracting almost 38,000 international delegates to the venue and Dublin, making a contribution of over €60.5m to the local Irish economy. 2018 was also a strong year for tourism in Ireland and we saw growth in both inbound and outbound tourism from Asia and the Pacific, most notably China. There has been a steady increase in Chinese visitor volumes to Ireland and, according to Fáilte Ireland, this is projected to hit 175,000 in 2025. Fáilte Ireland reported that 20% of all Chinese outbound travel is for business purposes, with this figure growing year on year. Ireland’s unique culture and hospitality coupled with the increasing number of direct flights between Ireland and China makes The CCD and Dublin

the perfect location to mix business and leisure. Dublin and The CCD have been friends of China for many years now. Since 2011, the Dublin Chinese New Year Festival Gala Dinner, which attracts an estimated 2,000 guests, has been hosted at The CCD. The special event features a variety of authentic traditional Chinese dance, arts and instrument performances. The CCD also supports the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Ireland by participating in the China Red Initiative, whereby the venue lights up its iconic ring beams to mark Chinese New Year. The CCD continues to see huge interest in what it has to offer as an international conference venue and has confirmed a host of high-profile conferences up until 2026. These include the 18th World Congress of the Academy of Human Reproduction, Global DIY Summit, Velo-city 2019, the 30th Annual World Congress for the Information Security Forum and the 67th Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America.

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Ibec Business Leaders Conference

A Sustainable Future - Real and Virtual 26 February 2019, The Convention Centre Dublin, 8:30 – 13:00 Andrew Marr, Award Winning Journalist and Political Commentator, will give his observations on UK and International politics.

Themes to be explored include: Securing Ireland’s economic success Ireland’s competitiveness is influenced by our quality of life and our ability to attract and retain staff. We look at what needs to be addressed to secure our economic success. The future of Europe The UK’s new relationship with the world and the implications of wider geopolitical trends for Irish business. The next phase of business sustainability A showcase of how companies can transition to a more sustainable business model.

Keynote: Andrew Marr

Award Winning Journalist and Political Commentator

Safeguarding intangible assets A cyber security attack would cause widespread disruption, reputational damage and compromise Ireland’s FDI. A critical issue not just for domestic considerations but also due to the number of MNCs located here.

For more information and to register, please visit www.ibecconference.ie Event sponsors

Media partner


Ireland-China Business Magazine

“A dynamic city with all the resources you need to do anything you imagine. You can start, learn and move faster than anywhere else in the world with your startup or project and the marketplace is open to innovative ideas and willing to support and test them.” Darren O’Connell, a graduate of Cork Institute of Technology who founded a social enterprise in Shanghai called ReLabs.

Connecting Cork

with China In the year that Ireland is commemorating the centenary of the first meeting of Dáil Éireann, and 40 years of diplomatic relations with China, Cork Chamber of Commerce is also marking a historic milestone with their bicentenary celebrations. Throughout its 200 year history, Cork Chamber has consistently worked to drive the economic development of the region and the region’s business leaders have always been ambitious about the promotion of Cork in international markets and to global audiences. While the closest historic relationships were naturally with the UK and the US, the Chamber’s activities have developed over the years to reflect the changing global trends, and China is now very much on the agenda.

As the largest business organisation in the Cork region, Cork Chamber has collaborated closely with Cork City Council in helping to develop the business relationships between Cork and Shanghai since the two cities were twinned in 2005. Cork County Council has also built up strong collaborations at government level in Jiangsu province in recent years. Annual visits to China have led to Cork Chamber signing MOUs (Memorandum of Understanding) with their Chamber

counterparts in Shanghai and Hangzhou, and the Chamber’s international team have held events and workshops focusing on the Chinese market every year since the relationship began. According to Katherine Fitzpatrick, Director of International Relations in Cork Chamber, there is a growing interest in the Chinese market: “Year on year, the number of enquiries we receive about China is increasing. Businesses 79


Ireland-China Business Magazine

are very conscious about the fact that global growth is strongly influenced by the Chinese economy, and many SMEs want to explore whether their businesses can benefit from access to the growing middle-class consumer market in China.

Katherine Fitzpatrick, Director of International Relations in Cork Chamber.

As the largest business organisation in the Cork region, Cork Chamber has collaborated closely with Cork City Council in helping to develop the business relationships between Cork and Shanghai since the two cities were twinned in 2005.

“China’s reputation as primarily a lowcost, manufacturing base is no longer the reality on the ground, and businesses that have visited China with us for the first time are taken aback at the scale and speed of infrastructural developments and technological advances, particularly in relation to areas such as mobile technology and payments. In order to help businesses to better understand these trends, our own China-focused events have focused on areas such as e-commerce and mobile applications in recent years.” Large companies such as PM Group, Kerry Group and Dairygold have led the way in entering the Chinese market, and more recently, a number of Cork SMEs such as Wilson Architecture and Solvotrin Therapeutics, have set up their own successful China operations or partnerships. Others are following their clients into the Chinese market. Mackin Consultancy is an Integrated Management Solution (IMS) company that helps businesses from all sectors and sizes (including multi-nationals at their numerous global locations) to achieve certification in Quality, Health and Safety (H&S) or Environmental standards. The company already has offices in the UK as well as on the East and West coasts of the US, and 2019 will see them expanding into China for the first time. Andy Mackin, CEO, contacted Cork Chamber to look for advice about entering the Chinese market: “Like every growing business it is always about the next stage of the building project for the company. In 2019, I am delighted to say that Mackin will be moving into new markets to support a number of our international clients that are increasing their presence overseas. China is the market that we are most excited about and we hope to be up and running by the end of March or early in April.” Apart from assisting companies to access information and make connections

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in China, a lot of Cork Chamber’s international focus over the last few years has been done through their ‘Connecting Cork’ initiative. As Katherine explains: “We have proactively engaged with our Irish diaspora networks, to both update them on business developments in Cork and to learn from the experiences of Irish professionals living abroad. Although the ex-pat communities can be fairly transient, organisations such as the Irish Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and the Asian GAA work hard both to keep the Irish community connected to one another in China, to facilitate business links and to promote Ireland to the local communities.” Darren O’Connell, a graduate of Cork Institute of Technology, landed in China almost 4 years ago while studying a Masters in Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Two years ago, he founded a social enterprise in Shanghai called ReLabs, whose mission is to get people active while raising awareness around health and environmental issues. He describes Shanghai as a “dynamic city with all the resources you need to do anything you imagine. You can start, learn and move faster than anywhere else in the world with your startup or project and the marketplace is open to innovative ideas and willing to support and test them.” Darren has recently joined the Irish Chamber in Shanghai in order to become more connected with the Irish community in China, but also to see how he can help create connections between Shanghai and his native Cork, while keeping a pulse on what’s happening back home. However, China is not the right market for everyone, according to Katherine. “Regulations are complex and navigating the language barriers and other cultural nuances can be extremely challenging,” she says. “Nonetheless, companies can learn from the experiences of those who have been there before them, and if nothing else, it is worth visiting China just to see first-hand the scale of the country that, according to the World Bank, has been the largest single contributor to world growth since the global financial crisis of 2008.”


Ireland-China Business Magazine

The

Earth Pig ‘Peace loving, he tries his best to maintain harmony wherever he goes. He is a thoughtful and helpful friend to all, including strangers.’ Amidst the many current international uncertainties, what with Brexit etc etc, the irony of 2019 being the Year of the Earth Pig in the Chinese calendar is surely not lost on anyone. However, as 2019 slowly gets to its feet, it’s heartening to reflect on the levels of trust, sincerity and friendship that exist between the people of Ireland and China. And, in that regard, the relationship between Cork city and Shanghai can be viewed as the epitome of the two countries’ warm and ever-strengthening ties. Indeed, some thirteen and a half years after Cork City Council and the Shanghai People’s Municipal Government signed a formal Sister-City Agreement between the two cities on May 19th 2005 in Cork’s Millennium Hall, the axis has never been more potent. The solidity of the Sister-City Agreement was luminous last October when a delegation from Cork city travelled to China to attend the prestigious Pujiang Forum in Shanghai. There, Ann Doherty, Chief Executive of Cork City Council, delivered a presentation to an international audience entitled “Cork and Shanghai – Innovating together”. “It was a real honour for Cork to be represented there and a real recognition of the uniqueness of what we do in terms of our research, industry, education, business, the arts, culture and good local government,” Doherty enthused. “I felt it a privilege and an honour to be present at the Forum, representing Cork City Council and the people of

Cork who have all been so positive and hard working in their support of our relationship with Shanghai for many years.” In what was a keynote speech, the Pujiang Forum - hosted by the Ministry of Science and Technology of People Republic of China and the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government  - heard the Cork civic leader deliver a detailed description of the innovation ecosystem in the Cork region. At the core of Doherty’s presentation was conclusions spawned by research carried out by Professor Emeritus of UCC Deirdre Hunt and Siobhan Finn of Cork Innovates, working under the direction of Seamus Coughlan, Head of Economic Development at Cork City Council; all of

whom made the trip to Asia along with Catherine Fitzpatrick of Cork Chamber of Commerce. “Our trip, while very successful, shouldn’t be looked at in isolation because the relationship between Cork and Shanghai has been consistently developed over an almost fifteen year period,” explains the Bruff, Limerick native. “For instance, the commitment of our two cities to one another was strengthened and deepened by the joint signing of the Memorandum of Understanding two years ago and now, in addition to all the other different themes that we continue to jointly explore, the whole area of innovation has been added.”

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Crucially, the aforementioned MoU included a clause, for the first time, concerning collaboration in the area of Entrepreneurship and Innovation with the overarching aim of promoting cooperation between start-up companies, incubators and science parks in innovation and entrepreneurship in Cork and Shanghai and to support research institutions in carrying out joint research and development projects.

beneficial relationship. We enjoy a very respectful relationship in so many spheres with local government in Shanghai, at city level to district level and right up to mayoral level. “

“When we went to China in the autumn of 2017, our delegation met with the principal parties of the Shanghai Institute for Science of Sciences (SISS) and the Commission of Science.

And the strengthening ties between Shanghai and Cork are becoming more Ann Doherty tangible. Right now, Cork has 700 Chinese nationals resident in Cork city and county with over 500 more registered at UCC. The Chinese diaspora in Ireland is mushrooming.

“It was agreed at that stage with our Shanghai hosts that our people would undertake a research exercise to map the innovation ecosystem in Cork using the criteria Shanghai used for measuring their own innovation ecosystem.” Doherty tells us it would be the first time such a comprehensive assessment and overview of the innovation ecosystem in the Cork region would be undertaken: “The paper subsequently produced by our research team is just another byproduct of the type of collaboration and understanding we have enjoyed with our friends in China over the years,” Doherty adds Doherty whose presentation evoked a lot of positive reaction from such luminaries as the OECD and the Chinese Academy of Science. So thirteen years on from the twinning of Shanghai and Cork city, can we expect even greater engagement with what is undoubtedly one of Asia’s economic powerhouses? “I would very much like to think so. China has been very progressive country in the areas of innovation and science so Shanghai – as our sister city – isn’t a bad place to go and investigate the innovation ecosystem there and compare it with ours. They have strengths and weaknesses as we do but the opportunity now exists where we can learn from each other’s strengths and help each other with our weaknesses. “Ours has always been a mutually

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Meanwhile, Chinese IT company, Huawei, which is among the top three smartphone makers in the world, boasts offices at the Capitol building in Cork city while Beingmate has also established offices in Mahon. And in recent years, the Beijing-based Kang family also bought the Kingsley hotel and Fota estate in Cork. Furthermore, Cork City Council supports UCC’s Confucius Institute to offer student and teacher student exchanges between Cork and Chinese primary and second level schools to further cross cultural and social understanding amongst young people. Through the Cork City LEO, it also supports SMEs who want to develop Chinese markets. Last year, delegations from Shanghai’s Department of Health visited their Cork counterparts with one of their delegations spending time running the rule over Cork city’s emergency planning and looking at how the city delivers its services in its acute hospitals while another group honed in and focussed on community based care in Cork. “More research type work will be carried out across the two cities in terms of identifying what works for us and what

doesn’t work,” Doherty advises. “I’m excited by the fact that one of our industry partners has been invited to take part and contribute in the next scientific forum in Shanghai in May next. “We have also looked at Shanghai University at how we have lots of incubators and they have too and how we can strengthen the relationship between the two sets of incubators and how we can entice potential investors from china to come to meet with our incubators and vice versa after we get the incubator managers connected up. “We are working on a programme to see how we can support incubator managers from here to spend some time in China and understand how Chinese investment, Chinese research and Chinese development works. “We had some very good meetings on our last visit to Shanghai with some specific innovators from the private and public sector. Those meetings were about building programmes for companies who are trying to get into the Chinese market and, more specifically, about incubator management. “But we’re talking about a far longer game; it’s about building capability and capacity.” Words to the wise.


CELEBRATING 200 YEARS Cork has seen a lot of change in the last 200 years, and Cork Chamber has been there every step of the way. From taking our place on the international stage to navigating times of huge growth as Ireland has changed, Cork has risen each time and the Chamber has been there to champion the region. In 2019, Cork Chamber will celebrate our 200 year anniversary, and we see no limit to what we can achieve over the next 200 years. We will soon announce a programme of events and activities to mark this momentous year with our members and the wider community. See www.corkchamber.ie


Ireland-China Business Magazine

Marketing

Mayo to China Mayo County Council is providing increased support to local business aiming to attract Chinese tourism to Ireland, according to Michael Kelly, Communications, Mayo County Council. In so many ways, Mayo is a county that perfectly exemplifies Ireland. Everything that we love about the country, and all the images we associate with it, can be found in Mayo.

captivating coastal driving routes in the world, Expect thundering surf, epic cliffs, stunning scenery, phenomenally fresh seafood in cosy bars and coastal restaurants along the way.

O’Malleys, became tenant farmers, and over the past five years they have made massive inroads into the Chinese tourism market with County Mayo as their source material.

The beaches: long, sweeping stretches of soft sand, the towns and villages: charming funky little hubs where there’s always some craic to be found, the mountains, the hills, the history and of course, the people.

Marketing Mayo to China is becoming increasingly important as the Chinese market begins to open up as a new frontier for business and tourism.

Glen Keen Farm is already China-ready. Through years of building up contacts, along with much support from the Council’s Tourism office and Local Enterprise Office, the attraction has gone above and beyond to welcome Chinese visitors.

For visitors and locals alike, Mayo is home to a host of attractions and activities to enjoy. What better way to discover Mayo’s charm than taking to the great outdoors? Mayo embraces the Atlantic Ocean with many of the County’s unforgettable landmarks dotted along its coastline - majestic Croagh Patrick, Clew Bay, Achill’s unmistakable cliffs, the Stacks of Broadhaven and Dun Briste. Mayo’s Atlantic coastline is a playground for those with an adventurous spirit, offering world-class deep-sea fishing, surfing, coasteering, kayaking and kite surfing. Mayo is at its wildest and most adventurous along our stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way. This 2,500km coastal driving route is one of the most

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A number of Mayo based businesses and tourist groups are already attempting to make their way into the Chinese market, with some experiencing great success over the past number of years. How to make Ireland China-ready has been occupying the minds of tourist authorities, retailers and service providers for more than a decade, with visitors from that country said to be worth a lot more to the local economy than their British or European counterparts. Glen Keen Farm, just outside Louisburgh, close to Killary Harbour on the MayoGalway border, is one of the largest farms in Ireland’s agri-tourism sector with over 1,400 acres on which sheep roam freely. It has been in the same family since 1700s when the current owner’s ancestors, the

Proprietor of Glen Keen farm, Catherine O’Grady-Powers, says the support from the Local Enterprise Office in particular over the past two years was invaluable; “The export grant from the Local Enterprise Office has been a huge support to us in attending international trade shows which help to attract the likes of the Chinese delegation. That support mechanism from the Council is absolutely fantastic and we wouldn’t have been able to make the original steps without it.” Shortly after a China Tourism Night in Dublin in May 2017, Glen Keen Farm welcomed a two-day delegation of six government officials visiting Europe from Huanghsi City in the Hubei Provence, which has a population of approximately 58.5 million people.


Ireland-China Business Magazine

On the first day of their visit, Catherine and Jim Powers were honoured to host the delegation visit to Glen Keen Farm for a celebration of friendship and cultural exchange. On day two, the delegates, escorted by Catherine O’Grady-Powers, visited Westport House, the Michael Davitt Museum and attended a very successful meeting with members of Mayo Local Enterprise Office, Mayo County Council and GMIT. Delegates enjoyed a stay at the Westport Coast Hotel and a night of live traditional entertainment at The Porterhouse Bar, Westport. Mayo County Council also played a role in hosting the delegation with John Magee, head of the Local Enterprise Office in Mayo, and Anna Connor, Mayo Tourism, meeting with delegates and introducing them to Mayo. Catherine O’Grady-Powers says their input and support helped make the trip a success; “Mayo County Council were absolutely hugely supportive of that trip. I contacted Anna Connor and told her about the fantastic and amazing opportunity for County Mayo. I felt if we were going to take the opportunity of going to Shanghai then it was better to promote the destination of County Mayo to Chinese visitors and not just a single farm in Co. Mayo. “Anna was great. She was actually completing the Mayo itineraries at the time and from there she facilitated us with the itineraries. There were 10 developed tourist itineraries for visiting Mayo and we contacted Tourism Ireland and got that brochure translated into Mandarin, which was a huge sales tool for us going to China. “The imagery and the content of that brochure is really what made our trip

successful and what enticed visitors from China to come to the West coast of Ireland. We had three tour operators expressed an interest in visiting within days.” Head of the Local Enterprise Office in Mayo, John Magee, praised the likes of Glen Keen farm, and many other businesses in Mayo, for raising awareness of the county; “It is very heartening to see the progress that has been made in raising awareness of Mayo as a potential location for investment and for overseas groups to visit as they learn of good practice in terms of approaches to local economic development. In 2018 we hosted 8 groups with focus ranging from enterprise, cultural and educational development. Each of the groups were particularly interested in learning about our local approach to integrated development and left with a heightened sense of how Irish Local Authorities are driving economic development in innovative and diverse ways”. County Mayo has its own International Airport, Ireland West Airport Knock, known as the gateway to the West of Ireland. The airport serves more than 25 scheduled and charter destinations across Ireland, Europe, the UK and further afield.

Shortly after a China Tourism Night in Dublin in May 2017, Glen Keen Farm welcomed a twoday delegation of six government officials visiting Europe from Huanghsi City in the Hubei Provence, which has a population of approximately 58.5 million people.

So why not come and see for yourself, Mayo, the perfect location to Escape, Explore and Enjoy! For further details and information on County Mayo, visit: www.mayo.ie

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Galway City Open for Business City of Innovation • 9 of the 10 top MedTech companies in the world are in Galway. Galway employs one third of the country’s 25,000 medical device employees and the West accounts for 39% of regional distribution of medical devices. • 4 of the 5 top ICT companies in the world are located in Galway. • The city is home to a thriving marine sector, with marine research at The Marine Institute linked with the environmental, marine and energy research at The Ryan Institute in National University of Ireland Galway.

Galway is a vibrant, diverse city. It is a city of learning, a city of youth, a city of rich cultural heritage and of stunning natural environment. Galway, as the largest urban centre in the west, is also a

key driver of economic development and competitiveness in the region. Galway and the West region have been continuously endorsed by global brands

• Galway is home to the National University of Ireland, Galway – The Sunday Times University of The Year 2018; and the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology. The city has a population of 25,000 students, with 8,000 graduating every year. Over 45% of adults living in Galway have third level education. For more information on investing in Galway, see IDA Ireland www.idaireland.com/invest-in/galway

Diverse and Inclusive City • Galway is a diverse and inclusive city, with 1 in 4 residents born outside the state - making Galway the most international of the 5 major Irish cities. • Friendliest City in the World 2018 (US Magazine Travel + Leisure). • ATCM Purple Flag 2017 and 2018 – promoting a safer night out. • Galway is a city of festivals – including The Galway Races, The Galway International Arts Festival, The Galway International Seafood and Oyster Festival and The Galway Food Festival among others.

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Ireland-China Business Magazine

City of Culture • In 2020, Galway will become the European Capital of Culture – a prestigious designation from the European Commission recognising the richness and diversity of cultures in Europe. • Galway is the cultural heart of Ireland and is a bilingual and multicultural city. The city thrives on its traditional music heritage and old-style Irish dancing. • Galway is a UNESCO Creative City – City of Film. The Galway Film Fleadh, now in its 30th year, is a qualifying festival for the Academy Awards. • National Geographic Traveler Magazine ‘Best Trips 2019’ Culture listing - Galway is the only Irish city to be included in this list, and one of only 7 European destinations included in the list of 28 worldwide.

in life sciences, software development, telecommunications and the games industries. These knowledge-intensive companies are drawn to the area due to the skilled, multilingual workforce and local expertise in business, science, engineering and management.

Sustainable City • European Green Leaf City 2017 – Galway was the first Irish city to receive this award from the European Commission. Green Leaf is a sister initiative of the European Green Capital designation for cities with a population of less than 100,000 people. • European Region of Gastronomy 2018 – an award of the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism. • Top 20 Global Destination Sustainability Index 2018 - Galway is the only region in Ireland to place in the Top 20.

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Galway is a harbour city on the west coast of the Republic of Ireland, located just two hours from the capital city, Dublin. The city is sited where the River Corrib meets the Atlantic, with 12km of coastal area and four beaches - two of which have been designated as Blue Flag Beaches. The municipal district of Galway City covers 53.4km², with a population of 79,504. The aim of the Municipality of Galway City is to create a city that people aspire to live in, to work in and to do business in – a worldclass city of innovation and creativity. For further information, contact Galway City Council, City Hall, College Road, Galway, H91 X4K8, Ireland: Email: customerservice@galwaycity.ie Tel: +353 91 536400 Fax: +353 91 567493 Web: www.galwaycity.ie


Ireland-China Business Magazine

Companies located in Louth are within easy reach of ten universities and higher education colleges.

The Allure

of Louth Louth’s strategic location mid-way on the busiest economic corridor in Ireland between Dublin and Belfast, ideally positions it to benefit from developments on the island, according to Joan Martin, Chief Executive, Louth County Council. “Businesses in Louth benefit from its ease of access to key markets, a critical mass of talent and exceptional infrastructure designed to support enterprise,” she says. “Businesses also benefit from an enterprise-friendly environment where the local authority actively works with entrepreneurs and business managers 92

to help them succeed. Businesses in the county can also take advantage of more affordable property solutions and a more competitive operating base.” As part of its economic development drive, Louth County Council offers a range of business incentives and supports

to encourage those with a business idea to develop it in Louth. When it comes to business, the county’s ‘can do’ attitude is reflected by the Council, which acts as a ‘one stop shop’ for investors – whether they are local start-ups or large multinationals. Its


Ireland-China Business Magazine

economic development team partners with businesses to remove any obstacles that might slow down their journey to business success. This is best illustrated by the track record the county has with many leading national and international businesses which successfully operate from Louth. There is a vibrant cluster of successful home-grown enterprises in the county, including Glen Dimplex, Irish Life, Digiweb, Boyle Sports, Kerry Group, Horseware, MultiHog, Nature’s Best, Boyne Valley Foods, Irish Cement, Intact Software and Ovelle. The county is also a thriving hub of activity with foreign-owned multinational companies in a wide range of sectors including Lifescience, International and Financial Services, Engineering and Technology based businesses. Companies such as Satir, SuMi Trust (part of Sumitomo Mitsui Group), PayPal, CocaCola, Xerox, State Street, BD, IT Governance, Prometric, and CargoTec successfully operate from the area.

Recent Development In recent times there is a renewed sense of confidence and optimism in Louth. Leading international companies have announced over 2,000 additional jobs in new investments in the county, including WuXi Biologics, PCI Pharma, Almac Pharma, Graebel Inc., Mobile Technologies Inc., Yapstone, Wasdell Group and National Pen. There are also a number of substantial housing and commercial property developments active in Louth which is adding to the county’s capacity to grow business. Leading Chinese biotechnology firm WuXi Biologics is about to commence construction of a 45,000m2 building on a 23-hectare campus at IDA Ireland’s Science and Technology Park in Dundalk, Co Louth. Irish Life and IDA Ireland are both completing construction of new advance office buildings, which will provide an additional 7,000m2 of advance office space. And both Wasdell Group

Dundalk Institute of Technology

and Almac Pharma are completing 12,500m2 of manufacturing facilities at IDA’s campus in Dundalk. With the on-going development of a number of substantial housing developments and the impressive campus at Dundalk Institute of Technology many companies are choosing to invest in the area.

WuXi Biologics choose Louth

Companies located in Louth are within easy reach of ten universities and higher education

Louth is privileged to have WuXi Biologics, China’s leading biologics medicine manufacturer invest €325 million in a new biopharmaceuticals contract manufacturing facility in Dundalk, Co. Louth. Located mid-way between Dublin and Belfast, the facility will be less than an hour’s drive from Ireland’s two largest cities.

colleges, three

This highly significant investment will provide a valuable employment boost for the region, leading to the creation of 400 jobs when in full production. The jobs at the facility will range from manufacturing to technical and quality assurance roles as well as associated administration positions.

an uncongested

This represents WuXi Biologics’ first ever manufacturing investment in Europe and marks the company’s first investment of this scale anywhere outside of China.

international airports serving 290 destinations, an intercity rail service, motorway, deep sea ports, a strong probusiness environment and 35% of Ireland’s young and highly educated workforce. 93


Ireland-China Business Magazine

When complete, WuXi Biologics Ireland will be the world’s largest facility using single-use bioreactor technology.

those generating economic activity in the county. It has devised an overall 10-point plan identifying specific areas to be addressed within its work programme. A task group has been formed for each of the areas, including developing Indigenous Business and attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

About WuXi Biologics Headquartered in WuXi, Jiangsu, China, with three sites located in WuXi, Shanghai and Suzhou, WuXi Biologics is the main player in China’s biologics services market. The company also holds leading positions globally and is quoted on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. WuXi Biologics works with 200 partners worldwide, including 13 of the 20 largest global pharma companies. Commenting on its Dundalk investment, the company’s CEO, Dr. Chris Chen said: ‘I’m looking forward to growing our future together; 400 exciting jobs is just the start. Our goal is to make this facility one of our biggest biologics manufacturing sites globally. We are very committed to Ireland and we will make this facility a showcase for the global technology community.”

Louth County Council: Supporting Business Louth has rolled out a range of new business supports with a collaborative approach working closely with the IDA and Enterprise Ireland to help deliver economic growth and job creation. For new property developments, a revised Development Contribution Scheme provides reduced commercial levies. Qualifying investments by IDA, Enterprise Ireland and Local Enterprise Office clients can avail of a 50% discount for property development contributions making Louth one of the most attractive locations in Ireland for development.

The Louth Economic Forum Louth County Council’s Chief Executive Joan Martin explains how the Louth Economic Forum (LEF) came into being in 2009: “We firmly believed that collaboration across sectors was needed to drive economic growth and job creation. Louth County Council chose to take the lead in this project and we 94

“I’m looking forward to growing our future together; 400 exciting jobs is just the start. Our goal is to make this facility one of our biggest biologics manufacturing sites globally. We are very committed to Ireland and we will make this facility a showcase for the global technology community.” Dr. Chris Chen, CEO, WuXi Biologics, commenting on its Dundalk, Co Louth investment.

invited IDA-Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, SEAI, the education sector, Teagasc, Fáilte Ireland, the Department of Social Protection and the business community to become part of the process.” Chaired independently by Martin Cronin, former CEO of Forfas and Chairmen of InterTradeIreland, the forum comprises of the business sector of county Louth, the local authority management and all of the State agencies that interact with

The FDI Strategy has set a target to create 3,000 new jobs in Louth over a 10-year period. Just halfway through that period over 2,100 jobs have been created, according to Martin. “The purpose of the Forum is to ensure that the right conditions prevail to attract FDI into Louth. We work collectively to overcome any barriers and to promote the attributes of this wonderful county to potential investors and influencers,” she says.

Investing in Louth The key requirements of today’s international investors include the availability of a highly skilled workforce, a stable industrial and business environment, access to markets and suppliers through a sophisticated transport and logistics infrastructure, proximity to leading higher education institutes and the availability of suitable serviced property with the correct infrastructure. Companies located in Louth are within easy reach of ten universities and higher education colleges, three international airports serving 290 destinations, an intercity rail service, an uncongested motorway, deep sea ports, a strong probusiness environment and 35% of Ireland’s young and highly educated workforce. As a result, Louth is proving to be an exciting location for new businesses and is continuing to lead the way in attracting leading international investment into Ireland. Its strategic location, growing reputation and the support of the local authority all provide a competitive and compelling offering to businesses seeking to make key investments.


Airports

Reduced Development Levies

Louth County Council, Dundalk, Co. Louth, Ireland Tel +353 42 9335457 Web www.louthcoco .ie

@louthcoco


Ireland-China Business Magazine

Strengthening

Education Links China’s increasing global stature and influence has accelerated efforts by Ireland’s education establishment to engage with China. Numerous joint programmes have been established and the number of Chinese students attending Irish universities, already at record levels is predicted to rise sharply in the coming years. The international education sector is currently worth approximately €1.58bn to the Irish economy and the Department of Education has set targets to increase this figure to €2.1bn by 2020. Non-EU students are a significant contributor to revenues in this sector, accounting for approximately €700m 96

per annum. Targets are also in place to double earnings from students outside the EU by 2021. Despite operating during a period of extensive budget cuts, Irish higher education institutions (HEI) have been largely successful in promoting the

merits of the Irish education system abroad. The number of international students in third-level colleges in Ireland is rising sharply and is expected to accelerate further following Brexit when Ireland will be the only Englishspeaking country in the EU, aside from Malta.


Ireland-China Business Magazine

There were 225,628 foreign students in publicly-funded colleges in 2016/17, according to the Higher Education Authority and they now account for 10.6pc of all enrolments in publicly funded universities, institutes of technology and teacher training colleges. There are also many more attending private colleges. Over the past two years the number of Chinese students in Ireland has increased by 17% and now with almost 3,500 students, China is now second only to the US in terms of the numbers of citizens attending public education institutions in Ireland. Unsurprisingly, the Irish Government and individual colleges are eager to attract more Chinese students, not solely for the significant fees they pay but also for their wider economic contribution and the cultural bridges which are established. Irish universities have been feeling the pinch of austerity for the past decade and non-EU students pay three to four times as much in tuition as their European counterparts. The Chinese market which is worth up to €70m million annually represents an important source of revenue for the threadbare coffers of Ireland’s colleges. For the last twenty years, there has been a concerted strategy to establish Ireland as a leading international education centre and increase recruitment of international students. The policy has been largely successful and Irish and Chinese higher education institutions now have an unprecedented number of joint programmes, joint campuses, collaborative research agreements, summer schools and student and staff exchanges. While these initiatives deliver obvious financial rewards, they also help establish deeper bonds with China at an individual, institutional and national level which it is hoped will bring deeper engagement and further economic opportunities in the future. Ireland benefits from being an Englishspeaking member of the European Union with a long history of international engagement and an education system which is globally respected. The country’s educated workforce is widely

acknowledged as a critical factor in helping establish Ireland as a global centre for inward investment which has attracted nine of the world’s top ten ICT companies, eight of the world’s top ten pharmaceutical and life science companies and half of the world’s major financial services companies. Irish universities have also taken a far-sighted approach and responded enthusiastically to China’s efforts to improve education links. Trinity, UCD, and Maynooth have been particularly pro-active in establishing exchange mechanisms with key universities such as Peking, Qinghua and Fudan which has significantly increased the number of Chinese students arriving in Ireland academic transfers. 97


Ireland-China Business Magazine

Trinity was one of the first universities in the European Union to welcome Chinese to its campus, with students from Beijing and Nanjing studying in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Established in 2012, UCD’s partnership with the Beijing University of Technology sees about 40-50 Chinese students joining the science, technology and commerce departments each year and paying fees and administration costs of between €14,000 - €16,000. The university also recruits Chinese students through its international office and a global centre in Beijing. It has established three partnerships with Chinese universities and operates a number of engineering, science, business and law courses in English through the BeijingDublin International College, a joint collaboration with Beijing University of Technology. Last October, Maynooth University launched its International Engineering College in Fuzhou University, one of

China’s leading universities. The Joint College will offer four undergraduate programmes, including a BE in Electronic Engineering, BSc in Computer Science & Software Engineering, BSc in Robotics and Intelligent Devices and a BSc in Mobile Multimedia and Web Programming. Maynooth University expects the initiative to lead to more research and innovation partnerships, particularly in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics. The Maynooth International Engineering College is only the 2nd Sino-Irish joint university offering undergraduate level courses. FZU has undertaken to provide around 300 students per year for the four STEM based programmes offered in 2019. The first student intake will be in September and the graduates will be awarded with degrees from both Fuzhou and Maynooth University. 99


CORK

JOIN UNIVERSITY COLLEGE CORK’S COMMUNITY OF INDEPENDENT THINKING University College Cork is a top-ranked research university located in the heart of Cork City in the south of Ireland. A powerful combination of worldleading academics, sought-after courses, internationally competitive research centres, and a long tradition of close collaboration with the enterprise sector, equips us to support your R&D, innovation and talent acquisition needs.

To discover more about working with University College Cork visit www.ucc.ie/en/research


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Trinity also has a longstanding relationship with China which dates to the Mission to the Far East and the establishment of Trinity College Fuzhou. The Dublin University Far Eastern Mission (founded in 1886) established Trinity College Fuzhou in 1907, now the Fuzhou Foreign Language School. Later, Trinity was one of the first universities in the European Union to welcome Chinese students to its campus, with students from Beijing and Nanjing studying in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Today, engagement between Trinity and China is continuously deepening in terms of student recruitment, research collaborations, university partnerships, student mobility and general engagement, including through the establishment of the Trinity Centre for Asian Studies. Trinity College has about 250 Chinese undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD students and the college also has a representative in China with staff travelling regularly between the two countries to recruit students. Like all Irish universities, they attend fairs, deal with education agents and actively engage in social media. China also promotes its language and culture and seeks to foster a broader understanding of modern China through approximately 500 Confucius Institutes which it has established on campuses worldwide, including University College Cork and University College Dublin. At both Confucius Institutes, volunteer teachers visit primary and secondary schools to deliver Chinese-language classes and are involved in the organisation of Chinese new year and other cultural and education events and festivals. Reciprocal arrangements such as the establishment of the Irish studies centre at Beijing Foreign Languages University also help to raise much needed awareness of Ireland among Chinese citizens. The granting of “country of honour” status to Ireland at the prestigious China Education Expo 2016, which was held in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai and attended by an extensive Irish delegation led by then Minister for Education Richard Bruton, was another important step in raising Ireland’s profile in China.

This is particularly important in the context of Brexit which could increase Ireland’s appeal as an education destination. Just as the UK tightens its immigration policy, the Irish Government announced plans to extend the right of international students to remain and work in Ireland after they complete their studies. The US and the UK both have numerous world-class universities and have traditionally been primary destinations for Chinese students. However, there are signs that the trade and political tensions with the US could reduce the numbers choosing to study there. In November 2018, the Minister of State for Training and Skills John Halligan led a delegation to China determined to convey the message that Ireland remains firmly within the EU, while its closest neighbour prepares to leave. Fifteen Irish Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) participated on the mission which included engagements in Beijing, Wuhan and Fuzhou. The main opportunity to promote Ireland as a destination for study abroad was the week-long China Education Expo where Enterprise Ireland hosted 11 Irish HEIs on a dedicated Irish pavilion. Minister Halligan addressed the China Annual Education Conference and met with the President of the China Education Association for International Exchange and the China Service Centre for Scholarly Exchange to promote Ireland as a high quality, safe and career-enhancing destination for Chinese students to study at third level. Minister Halligan was at the Embassy of Ireland in Beijing to witness four Chinese Universities sign Memorandums of Understanding with Irish HEIs. The Minister also attended the opening ceremony of a joint graphic design programme by Athlone Institute of Technology and Jianghan University. Over 50% of the Chinese students studying in Ireland come as a direct result of this type of institutional cooperation. The most significant announcement during the mission was the inauguration of the Maynooth International Engineering College at Fuzhou University (FZU) which brought the total number partnerships between Irish and Chinese higher education institutions to five.

Last October, Maynooth University launched its International Engineering College in Fuzhou University, one of C hina’s leading universities.

The granting of “country of honour” status to Ireland at the prestigious China Education Expo 2016, which was held in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai and attended by an extensive Irish delegation led by then Minister for Education Richard Bruton, was another important step in raising Ireland’s profile in China. 101


MARY IMMACULATE COLLEGE Mary Immaculate College (MIC), founded in 1898, is Ireland’s leading university-level College of Education and Humanities. The College has a growing and diverse community of almost 5,000 students, who are enrolled in undergraduate programmes in Education, Liberal Arts, Contemporary and Applied Theatre Studies and Early Childhood Care and Education, as well as a range of postgraduate programmes at Diploma, MA and PhD levels. Additional subjects available to our international students include Irish Heritage Studies, Beginners Irish Language, English as a Foreign Language and English for Academic Purposes. MIC has a vibrant international community, collaborating with more than 50 partner universities & colleges in Europe, North America and Australia, and hosting over 500 international students annually. The College has been nominated for two Irish Education Awards in 2019, including “Best International College Achievement”. MIC has also been nominated for “Best International Collaboration Project” for successfully hosting 300 students from St. John’s University, New York and their “Discover The World: Europe” programme. MIC is recognized and appreciated for its excellence in teaching, learning and research and is renowned world-wide for top-quality education provision, educating 40% of Ireland’s elementary school teachers. The highly research-active faculty, 82% of whom have PhDs, pro-actively engage in developing international best practice. The College plays a pivotal role in third-level education in a diverse and inclusive Ireland. It provides an ethos and an environment where students have both the freedom and the opportunity to achieve their full potential. The programmes of study at MIC are among the most highly sought-after in the country, but the College is equally proud of its reputation as a caring institution, where there is genuine concern for the individual, in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. All qualifications from MIC are fully recognised internationally, through the Irish National Framework of Qualifications and the European Credit Transfer System. MIC graduates are found at the top level of many sectors nationally and internationally, most notably education, psychology, public policy development and media and communications.

CONVENIENTLY LOCATED IN LIMERICK CITY, WITH A SAFE, ACCESSIBLE & FRIENDLY CAMPUS MIC’s main campus is conveniently located in a safe, leafy suburb just ten minutes’ walk from Limerick city centre. Limerick, a picturesque riverside city with clean, fresh air, was originally founded in the 10th century as a Viking fortress. It is located in Ireland’s Midwest region and is the third largest city in the country, with a population of around 162,000. With half the city’s population under 30 years of age and three institutions of higher education, there is a vibrant student culture in the city. Limerick also has its own airport, Shannon International Airport and this is just 20 minutes from MIC and close to all the most beautiful scenery and tourist destinations in the Shannon region, like the Cliffs of Moher and Bunratty Castle. The city offers a complete experience, from its stunning landscapes to its buzzing city and it consistently performs brilliantly in various European rankings. It is ranked 1st by the Financial Times for “European City of the Future”, based on its population category. While Silicon Republic has named it one of the most exciting start-up cities and hubs in Europe, labelling it “a tech city and a beacon for digital ambitions”.

ACCOMMODATION AT MIC Superb modern facilities can be found all over the College. Students will find comfortable and welcoming low-cost accommodation very close to MIC, with various options, including on-campus, self-catering accommodation. Off-campus, self-catering accommodation is also available at privately run facilities nearby and students may also rent private accommodation in the neighbourhoods around MIC. Being a city campus, no city neighbourhood is outside walking distance! The International Office is happy to assist students in finding suitable accommodation near to the campus.


UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMMES

POSTGRADUATE PROGRAMMES

Mary Immaculate College offers the following undergraduate programmes to international students:

Mary Immaculate College offers postgraduate programmes in Liberal Arts (Humanities) and Education. These include programmes of research as well as taught programmes. Research programmes may be initiated by agreement with a supervisor at MIC. Taught programmes are listed below:

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN LIBERAL ARTS (BA) The subjects available in the Liberal Arts (BA) programme are: • Mathematics • Economics • Media & Communication Studies • Music • Drama & Theatre Studies • Sociology • Philosophy • Psychology • Politics & International Relations • Public Administration & Leadership • English • Geography • History • Linguistics with TESOL • Theology & Religious Studies • Irish Language and Cultural Studies • German Studies (beginners level available) • French Studies (beginners level available) • Spanish (beginners level available) BACHELOR OF ARTS IN CONTEMPORARY & APPLIED THEATRE STUDIES The BA degree programme in Contemporary & Applied Theatre Studies examines drama and theatre across a range of practical applications and non-traditional settings, including, but not defined by, stage performance and the study of literary texts.

LIBERAL ARTS • • • • • • •

MA/PhD in Applied Linguistics MA in History MA in Language and Literature MA in Media Studies MA in Philosophy and Literature MA in Theological Studies MA/PhD in International Development Practice

EDUCATION • • • • • • • •

Structured PhD/Masters in Education MEd in Adult and Further Education MEd in Education Leadership and Management MA in STEM Education MA in Education and the Arts MA in Educational Psychology MA in Education and Well-being of the Older Person MA In Music Education

For more information on courses offered, please visit www.mic.ul.ie/intlexchange or email: international@mic.ul.ie

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE & EDUCATION (BA ECCE) The BA degree programme in Early Childhood Care and Education is designed to provide an exciting and challenging programme for those interested in working with young children in a range of educational settings. BACHELOR OF ARTS IN EDUCATION, BUSINESS STUDIES & ACCOUNTING This is a four-year degree programme in Business and Accounting with a concurrent teacher education degree. Graduates are qualified to teach Business Studies and Accounting. They are trained in the most current methodologies and cutting-edge technologies available to enhance their teaching of these subjects at high school level. BACHELOR OF EDUCATION International students can link into this programme if they are studying to become elementary school teachers at another university.

Mary Immaculate College, International Office, South Circular Road, Limerick, Ireland www.mic.ie Tel: +353 61 774787 Email: international@mic.ul.ie www.mic.ul.ie/intlexchange

www.mic.ie


Ireland-China Business Magazine

Executive

Excellence The UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School MBA has a strong international track record and a distinguished 54 year history. Established in 1964, the school’s part-time Executive MBA programme was one of the first in Europe while the full-time one-year MBA was established in 1991. UCD Smurfit School is the only Irish institute that has been included in the prestigious Financial Times Global MBA rankings for almost two consecutive decades. Currently the full-time MBA is ranked 94th in the world, while the Executive part-time MBA is ranked 68th. In December 2018 the school was ranked 23rd in the 2018 Financial Times’ ranking of leading European Business Schools. 104

UCD Smurfit School is the only school in Ireland to hold the ‘triple crown’ of accreditation from AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA – an accolade accomplished by only 82 other schools worldwide.

Ensuring a truly global perspective The Smurfit MBA is designed to develop global leaders. A member of the Global Network of Advanced Management

(GNAM) network of 29 business schools including Yale, INSEAD and LSE, the Smurfit MBA will offer you a global perspective through international study trips and exchanges, action learning via global collaboration, exposure to thought leaders on global issues and problemsolving in international settings. Students have the option of participating


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Smurfit Building

Doing Business in International Markets combines a variety of high-level company visits, presentations and panel discussions from leading executives, government officials and entrepreneurs, all relevant to the core management disciplines being studied. in a global network immersion week at another international business school and UCD Smurfit School also hosts Global Immersion Weeks for visiting MBA students. In October 2018 UCD Smurfit School hosted a GNAM week entitled Digital Business Leadership with students visiting from IE Business School, Yale School of Management and ESMT Berlin. Students can participate in two international modules delivered overseas - Doing Business in International Markets and the International Consulting Project. Doing Business in International Markets combines a variety of high-level company visits, presentations and panel discussions from leading executives, government officials and entrepreneurs, all relevant to the core management disciplines being studied. Key themes are developed for each destination creating a unique environment from which to learn about the country’s business and cultural landscape. Importantly, the Study Tour not only provides a unique learning experience, but also a fantastic opportunity for participants to spend time together socially and lay the foundation

for strong future relationships. Previous Study Tour destinations have included South Korea, Japan, South Africa, China, India and Brazil. Last year students could avail of trips to Vietnam & Singapore and Chile & Santiago and this year’s destinations include Tokyo & Seoul. The purpose of the International Consultancy Project Trip is to develop research knowledge and skills to solve live business problems faced by companies operating in international markets. Key topics include organisational diagnosis, data collection, data analysis, a foundational overview on the strategic and cultural nuances of operating in a specific market, strategic planning tools, project feasibility, and collaboration with clients. The overall module involves classroom learning and a live consulting project in an international location. For the past two years students travelled to Iceland. To find out more about the Smurfit MBA visit www.smurfitschool.ie/mba

HIGH PRAISE FOR THE SMURFIT EMBA PROGRAMME “Having worked in a Top 500 IT company for a few years, I felt the need to refuel myself and further improve my career network. The Smurfit EMBA programme seems to be an ideal choice as it allows me to carry on my current job while being fully immersed into the systematic curriculum at weekends. I was always looking forward to an opportunity to study in a reputable business school like UCD Smurfit School and join a group of like-minded and aspiring classmates. Doing the EMBA at Smurfit is intense but also a lot of fun! The programme really tests my time management skills and ability to balance work, study and life. Case studies are so far my favourite part as you need to think like a CEO and challenge as a board member. The sparking of ideas in the classroom is amazing.” Shan Wu, Executive MBA Student & Business Development Manager at Lenovo Group

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Fuzhou launch: Professor Philip Nolan, President of Maynooth University, and Fu Xianzhi, President of Fuzhou University

Maynooth University

Looks East Maynooth launches landmark International College of Engineering at Fuzhou University in Fujian Province, China Sitting in one of Fuzhou University’s half a dozen student-run cafes, more Asian bohemian than Irish hipster (novels on shelves, postcards from friends abroad, video games, a guitar), it’s clear that the next generation of Chinese leaders is well 106

disposed to putting their own stamp on their country’s future. Thirty-five thousand young people in this city of five million, in a province of 37 million, are preparing to do just

that. Across Fuzhou University’s (FZU) seven campuses, they buzz on electric motorbikes to class, to meet friends or hit the library. They jog through the lush, tropical campus that proudly boasts a dormant (thankfully) volcano and


Ireland-China Business Magazine

tranquil, lakeside teahouse. And by the spring of 2023, 300 of those 35,000 will become the newest class of Maynooth University alumni. Their destiny was sealed on 23 October 2018, when an MU delegation travelled to Fuzhou to officially launch the Maynooth International College of Engineering, Fuzhou. The inauguration ceremony marked the first step in a partnership with one of China’s leading universities that will see 1,200 Chinese students graduate with degrees in computer science, engineering, robotics and web programming from Maynooth University over the next four years. Also part of the event were Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD; representatives of the Fujian Provincial Government; Irish Ambassador to China, Eoin O’Leary; President of Maynooth University, Professor Philip Nolan; and Niall O’Donnellan, Head of ICT, International Services and Client Management Development at Enterprise Ireland. With the pageantry of a true Chinese celebration, speeches from both university presidents and Minister Halligan, and the unveiling of the new official logo for the college, the partnership was underway. Then, the real work began. Departmental planning meetings, lab tours, patient translators, and relationship-building ensued. There are students and lecturers to recruit, a website to build, calendars and facilities and expectations to manage - all necessary steps to give the programme its best chance for success. After all, the MU-FZU partnership is only the second Sino-Irish joint college at undergraduate level (the other: Beijing-Dublin International College, a UCD partnership with Beijing University of Technology founded in 2012), and it comes at an important moment for both institutions. In the last year, each institution has celebrated a significant anniversary (MU turned 20 and FZU 60), so the partnership represents a new chapter, a new phase of expansion, for each institution. Both find themselves in educational environments

that are more competitive than ever—in geographies equally as competitive—and both chose to respond similarly: by boldly looking to the future. Located in the southeast of China, Fuzhou University in Fujian Province has been identified as part of China’s Project 211, which aims to bolster the standards of the top 100 Chinese universities and cultivate strategies for socio-economic development. The partnership not only supports this goal, but also encourages the exchange of knowledge, research and students. The initiative is assisted by Enterprise Ireland and is expected to enhance global research endeavours while also raising Maynooth’s profile in the world’s fastest growing market. Minister Halligan described the inauguration ceremony as “an auspicious moment” for both Ireland and China’s collaboration in education. “The launch of Maynooth International Engineering College, Fuzhou University, with a yearly intake of 300 students, is a great achievement and augers well for the future relationship between both of our countries.” The joint College will offer four undergraduate programmes: BSc in Computer Science & Software Engineering, BE in Electronic Engineering, BSc in Robotics and Intelligent Devices and a BSc in Mobile Multimedia and Web Programming. Maynooth University is currently recruiting a team of 13 lecturers plus administrative support for the venture as part of a commitment to developing a world-class education partnership. Professor Ronan Reilly, who is Associate Vice-President for International Affairs (Asia) at Maynooth University, will be Executive Vice-Dean of the new College. Professor Philip Nolan expressed hope that the partnership “will prove to be a powerful model of third-level internationalisation, one in which we engage fully with and learn from the local culture and local academic environment and strive together for world-class development by exchanging knowledge and collaborating on research in a deeper and more sustainable way.

“The inauguration ceremony marked the first step in a partnership with one of China’s leading universities that will see 1,200 Chinese students graduate with degrees in computer science, engineering, robotics and web programming from Maynooth University over the next four years.”

“This bold initiative by Maynooth University, as well as being an important partnership in undergraduate education, will foster future research and postgraduate collaboration through scholarships, joint workshops and academic cooperation,” he said. Professor Wang Jian, Vice-President of Fuzhou University, welcomed the college as “a significant opportunity for both institutions to mutually benefit through 107


Ireland-China Business Magazine

Wanjun Yang (BA 2017, Accounting & Finance) pictured at her graduation in November with an MA in Accounting. Wanjun, who was born and grew up in Xiamen, China, is an Audit Assistant with Deloitte Ireland

the enhancement of education and research in key sectors that are critical for the new era in the Chinese and the world economy.” “We see the IEC as a win-win partnership that will serve as a foundation for the development of additional innovative programmes in the future,” he said. Ireland’s higher education institutions are known for delivering ‘employmentready’ skills so students can transition smoothly into the workplace, according to Niall O’Donnellan, Head of ICT, International Services and Client Management Development at Enterprise Ireland. “This has been an important driver in Ireland’s transformation into a hightech, knowledge-based economy. This new partnership exemplifies that innovation, as students here will gain expertise in the key disciplines that will drive the future for us all,” he noted. 108

Maynooth University Opening Doors Fujian Province native finds Maynooth degrees opened doors at Deloitte Ireland At 18 years and fresh from High School, Wanjun Yang arrived to Ireland from her home city of Xiamen in Fujian Province six years ago. It was her first time travelling such a distance, she explains. “After I finished in High School in China, I came straight to Maynooth to learn English and get work experience. Before I came here, I asked to see photos of the University and I thought it was really pretty, especially the old, South Campus. It’s very lovely, especially on a sunny spring day. She completed a one-year International Foundation Programme at Maynooth University in 2012, to develop her English and study skills, followed by a four-year BA in Accounting and Finance.

She undertook a nine-month work placement with the global consulting and finance company, Deloitte, and is now employed on a three-year contract with the company. In November, Wanjun graduated with an MA in Accounting from Maynooth University, which was funded by Deloitte. Maynooth University brought some more good fortune: This summer, Wanjun became engaged to the boyfriend she had met in her English class six years ago. Xiang Xu graduated with an MSc in Computer Science from Maynooth, and works as a senior software developer at Cartell.ie based in Clane, Co Kildare. She notes that the new Maynooth University International College of Engineering, at Fuzhou University, specialises in Xiang’s subject, computer science, and is just a two-hour drive from her home city in Fujian Province, opening new prospects for the future.


Experience knowledge set free.

Learn more at: www.maynoothuniversity.ie

Twitter: @MU_Research LinkedIn: linkedin.com/school/maynooth-university/


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Fei LIU, International Office, Shanghai University, Emma Connolly, International Office, UCC, Dr Christopher Brown, Director, International Office, UCC, Dr Wei CUI, Director, International Office, UCC, TD Simon Coveney, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Eoin O’Leary, Irish Ambassador, Therese Healy, Consul General, Tom Cusack, Director, Enterprise Ireland, Asia Pacific

Connect with

China at UCC Whether you are an Irish SME looking for opportunities to learn more about how to effectively do business with China, or you are a Chinese organisation, academic or student looking to explore opportunities in Ireland, find out how University College Cork can support you. For almost two decades, University College Cork (UCC), Ireland’s comprehensive university of the South of Ireland, has supported growth and development opportunities between China and Ireland, through strong research collaborations, learning opportunities and UCC’s strong international outlook and impact.

In addition, they offer a range of short evening language courses in Chinese, Japanese and Korean and business Chinese training courses to companies who are interested in doing business in China through UCC’s Confucius Institute (www. ucc.ie/en/asian/confucius) To find out more, Email: asian-languages@ucc.ie

Executive Education Education and Training UCC have a range of training and development opportunities for professionals and companies looking to learn more about Chinese culture, language and business. 110

A range of short courses, diplomas and masters programmes are provided across Cork University Business School and the Irish Management Institute on international business, finance, management and leadership: For further details log onto:

www.cubsucc.ie or www.imi.ie

Work Placements There are a number of students taking the BCommerce (international) with Chinese Studies, who can speak Chinese, have lived in China and can offer immense value and insight to your business if you are looking to build closer alliances with the region. You can find out more about placement opportunities from our careers team e-mail: a.waterman@ucc.ie

International Programme in Teaching and Learning (HE) This innovative and award-winning


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programme for international higher education staff combines support for teaching and learning in higher education in an international context with english language development. It also offers participants the opportunity to enjoy UCC campus life and Irish culture. The programme is grounded in the work of two major drivers of contemporary theory and practice in teaching and learning in higher education in the USA: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and the Project Zero Classroom at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Such influences, coupled with local commitment to teaching and learning at UCC, make the programme the longest running and most successful in the country.

The Advanced Technology Centre lab houses ten research Masters students with the capacity to expand to 20 in the future. The research is focused on key areas including State Street Ireland, USA and China.

China-Ireland International Cooperation Centre for Food Material Science and Structure Design Launched in 2015, the international food science research centre is based in Fujian Province and has been endorsed by the Ministry of Science and Technology and a number of prestigious Chinese universities, including Zhejiang University, Shanghai Jiaotong University and Beijing Agriculture University. The research centre is currently led by Prof Song Miao, a senior Teagasc research fellow and UCC adjunct professor.

Research UCC is one of Ireland’s leading research universities. It has established collaborative links with 118 institutions in China and co-authored 231 publications. Some examples of UCC’s world leading and globally impactful research with Chinese partners include:

State Street Advanced Technology Centre International bank, State Street Corporation (NYSE:STT), University College Cork (UCC) and Zhejiang University (ZJU) in China launched a three-way collaboration in December 2016 to fund a new technology centre at UCC. The collaboration expands State Street’s relationship with both universities and focuses on emerging technologies and how they impact on the financial services industry. “The State Street Advanced Technology Centre in UCC is an exciting initiative that will enable us to better understand emerging technologies and their impact on our businesses and our clients,” said Tadhg Young, Head of State Street Global Services Ireland. “Ireland has developed a solid track record of stimulating multiple exciting products and services in the Fintech space, this partnership will enable us to expose and leverage these opportunities in the future”.

All inter-disciplinary aspects of food, from research, market, security and sustainability, are topical issues for China and this centre places UCC at the heart of current research. Building on the centre’s success, a CSC-UCC-Teagasc joint postgraduate training project in food and technology discipline, initiated by Prof. Song Miao, will be launched in 2019/2020.

Supporting an International Network UCC supports an international network of students, staff and academics, alumni and partners and China has been a particularly significant part of our growing community. Over the last sixteen years, UCC has been engaged in an active student recruitment campaign in China. Over 500 Chinese students are currently studying in UCC, across various levels: visiting students, undergraduates,postgraduates (taught and research) and lecturers.

HIGH PRAISE Feedback from our Chinese Academic delegates ‘I got a lot of examples of problems I can use in my classroom... especially how to use student engagement.’ ‘I have learned that teaching and learning is a combined process. It was a really wonderful experience for us and our English has been enhanced.’ To find out more, log onto: www.ucc.ie/ en/cirtl/vissch/

FACTS ABOUT UCC UCC graduates the most undergraduates of any Irish university UCC was the first university in the world to be awarded the prestigious Green Flag from the Foundationof Environmental Education UCC is a leader in collaboration with industry - €10 million in R&D secured and invested by UCC’s industry partners makes it the leading university by a distance University College Cork (UCC) has collaborative links with 118 institutions in China and co-authored 231 publications. UCC has a diverse community of staff and students with 530 students and 30 staff from China

UCC prides itself on establishing two-way student traffic with an increasing number of UCC students transferring to China for part of their studies. The Institute for Chinese Studies was established in UCC in June 2006, and the following year a Confucius Institute was set up at UCC with Shanghai University as partner (helped by the sister city relationship). UCC’s Confucius Institute was awarded “Confucius Institute of the Year” in 2011. UCC CI teachers are very active in outreach work, teaching Transition Year students across the South of Ireland. 111


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A

China Alliance New Chinese collaborations and innovations with WIT School of Business WIT have taken a lead role in Ireland in the creation of an open innovative research and learning environment which co-locates research with industry and regional entrepreneurs in an innovation-led eco-system for the knowledge economy. Through its research activities, it seeks to increase the competitiveness of south-east firms through the continuing enhancement of the interdependencies between the three key pillar activities – research, practice, and teaching. However while the School Of Business is regionally focussed it is also embedded internationally through the activities of its faculty, research groups and centres. The openness of the School to international influence through robust strategic international partnership continues to be an important dimension to its strategic development. International collaboration and engagement at the Business School is multifaceted incorporating student exchange, co-partnering initiatives, involvement in programme collaborations and delivery and more recently, international research and development initiatives. As an internationally embedded School 112

and Institution, WIT has further strengthened its relationships and partnerships with Chinese business schools. Two faculty members contribute as visiting professors at the Shanghai University MBA Centre in China and other colleagues are involved in applied research collaborations with the Zhejiang University of Technology at Hangzhou. Newly appointed as High End Foreign Expert by the Chinese government, Professor Denis Harrington argues that this commitment to international engagement and knowledge exchange with Chinese universities and businesses has positioned WIT Business School as a key enabler of a knowledge and innovation eco-system between China and Ireland. This innovative approach has supported the flow of ideas, knowledge and research between the institution and its Chinese educational and business stakeholders. This year, in a new initiative for the School, the dean of School Dr Thomas O’Toole and colleagues arranged for special invitations for a visiting Chinese Professorial delegation to attend the Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference (BCERC) 2018 which was held at the Waterford Institute of Technology from 6th to 9th June 2018.

Commenting on this important milestone Dr Thomas O’Toole noted that it was the first time in BCERC’s 38 year-history that the conference was held in Ireland. “Babson College is recognized as the No. 1 leader in entrepreneurship for 23 consecutive years,” he said. “The Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference (BCERC) is considered to be the most prestigious entrepreneurship research conference in the world. BCERC was established in 1981 to provide a dynamic venue where academics and real-world practitioners, through spirited dialogue, could link theory and practice.” The conference was attended by over 350 delegates from around the world who presented and debated the most recent theories and research on all aspects of entrepreneurship education, actuation, and practice. A Doctoral Consortium is held in conjunction with the Conference and was created as a means to unite future entrepreneurship educators and scholars with established leaders and researchers in the field. In addition to regularly being held at Babson College, BCERC has been hosted by 26 of the most influential Universities from the US and Europe. The Chinese delegation participated fully in the conference activities and


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Photographed with the WIT Dean of Business School, Dr Thomas O’Toole and Head of Graduate Business, Professor Denis Harrington are a visiting Chinese delegation attending the Babson Entrepreneurship Conference hosted at Waterford Institute of Technology. WIT Business School has active teaching and research collaborations with a number of Chinese university business schools including Shanghai University MBA Centre and Zhejiang University of Technology Business School.

had opportunities to network and meet with entrepreneurship research scholars in WIT and elsewhere. The interaction with leading researchers and practitioners led to new insights, methodologies and processes that enhance the commercialisation of research, the nurturing of innovation and increasing the success rate of entrepreneurs internationally. These experiences cultivate and enrich WIT students who will make economic and societal contributions both nationally and internationally. “The partnerships between the School of Business and its Chinese counterparts is broadening and deepening since it accepted its first Chinese student exchange almost 20 years ago. Whist creating opportunities for students is still the main part of what we do, working together on creating new knowledge in and between our two countries is now a core part of our Ireland-China mission,” concluded Dr. O’Toole.

This commitment to international engagement and knowledge exchange with Chinese universities and businesses has positioned WIT Business School as a key enabler of a knowledge and innovation eco-system between China and Ireland. This innovative approach has supported the flow of ideas, knowledge and research between the institution and its Chinese educational and business stakeholders. 113


DISCOVER THE HOME of IRISH DESIGN

and our Award Winning Restaurant Flagship Store • Nassau St • Dublin 2

POTTERY | CRAFTS GIFTS | CRYSTAL JEWELLERY | KNITWEAR FASHION

WORLDWIDE SHIPPING TAX FREE SHOPPING 15 Stores Nationwide • kilkennyshop.com


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An

Irish Icon From show-stopping jewels and gems to exquisite watches, fabulous fashion brands and gorgeous gifts, Weir & Sons bring you the very best Irish and international brands along with own brand designs. Founded in 1869 by Thomas Weir, Weir & Sons is one of Ireland’s bestloved jewellers, occupying a stunning landmark building on Dublin’s Grafton Street, Ireland’s world-famous and most prestigious shopping street, and a state-of-the art store in Dundrum Town Centre, Ireland’s largest shopping centre.

Michael Kors, Swarovski, Ted Baker and many more. In addition, a team of expert in-house jewellers also create exclusive Weir Collection pieces, using superior diamonds and other precious stones sourced from all over the world, creating heirlooms of the future.

Since it was established 150 years ago, Weir & Sons has played an integral part in Irish history, creating the Aga Khan trophy in 1926 and welcoming Ireland’s most discerning men and women as well as international stars and dignitaries, including Jacqueline Onassis, Princess Grace of Monaco and Walt Disney. The Weir & Sons of the 21st century is still a family-run business, run by fourth and fifth generation family members, and embodying the values of quality and service of days past, while combining the talents of a young and vibrant staff mixed with familiar faces you will recognise from over the years. With over 85 employees, staff in every department are hand-picked for their expertise in their field and commitment to quality customer service, and receive regular training to ensure they stay at the forefront of the industry. While proud of its heritage, Weir & Sons is firmly focussed on evolving with the times, launching The Fashion Room, a whole floor devoted to fashion jewellery and watches, to the Grafton Street store in 2014, and introducing online shopping to the business in 2015. The expert team at Weir & Sons is constantly searching for the very latest and most covetable watch, jewellery and gift brands, catering for every taste and budget, often securing

brands exclusively in Ireland. Recent exclusive additions include exquisite and opulent jewels and objects from iconic brand Fabergé, fine gold and silver jewellery from Irish brand Soul Engraver, and stunning creations by award-winning British fine jewellery designer Shaun Leane, whose signature yellow gold vermeil talon earrings were worn recently by the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle. Weir & Sons also remains the go-to destination for exquisite engagement rings and wedding bands, carrying more gold, diamonds and worldrenowned brands than any other jeweller in Ireland. Both stores, Grafton Street and Dundrum Town Centre, are home to an ever-expanding range of fashion jewellery and watch brands, including high-end brands including Patek Philippe, Rolex, Cartier, Bvlgari and Tag Heuer along with fashion brands like Alex and Ani, Calvin Klein,

Departments within Weir & Sons include the Watch Department, Jewellery Department, Silver & Leather Department, Antique Department, Service Department and The Fashion Room. The landmark building on Dublin’s Grafton Street also features a purpose-designed exhibition room on the newly remodelled lower ground floor, with superb lighting and classic displays making for the perfect unhurried viewing environment, where Weir & Sons will host a series of exhibitions from the world’s most prestigious jewellery and watch brands. www.weir.ie

Ladies Patek Philippe Twenty-4 Automatic RRP€24,260

Rolex GMT Master II 40mm ‘Pepsi’ Bezel Oystersteel Watch, €8,650

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Julien Behal Photography

Ireland-China Business Magazine

The Home of

Irish Design Kilkenny’s roots are defined by Irish cultural and design heritage, engaging customers with the largest and most inspiring collection of Irish handmade crafts and designs all under one roof. Owned and run by the O’Gorman family from County Cork, the company works with creative and contemporary Irish designers and craft makers who make beautiful products which can create precious memories for visitors to Ireland. CEO Marian O’Gorman, credits much of the company’s success over the years to their unwavering dedication to developing new Irish designers and promoting the finest Irish craftsmanship whilst providing customers with a warm welcome, a great shopping experience and delicious Irish sourced food. 116

With an unforgettable welcome upon entering Kilkenny stores, customers are immersed into a haven of Irish design and craft with unparalleled five-star customer service. Knowledgeable team members know the scéal (Irish word for story) behind each designer and maker stocked in Kilkenny, sharing stories and experiences of the rich creative, cultural and design heritage expressed through the contemporary work of renowned brands such as Nicholas Mosse, Foxford Woollen Mills and Waterford Crystal.

Craft Food Experience Kilkenny also has a strong reputation for delivering authentic and genuine hospitality with homemade, locally sourced and truly delicious food in their cafes in Kilkenny Design Centre Food Hall, Kilkenny City, Nassau Street, Dublin and Shanagarry East Cork. The Kilkenny Café offers delicious wholesome dishes cooked from scratch on-site every day using locally sourced ingredients. Kilkenny is passionate about preservative free cooking and is proud to offer both gluten-friendly and


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dairy-free as well as vegetarian options. Overseas visitors can avail of tax-free shopping and free shipping.

The Story of Kilkenny There’s a fascinating back-story to Kilkenny which many customers are unaware of. Kilkenny was originally set up as Kilkenny Design Workshops (KDW) in April 1963 by the Irish government to help develop novice Irish craft-makers into self-sufficient entrepreneurs and to create sustainable design jobs in Ireland. Designers and craftspeople from all over Ireland were asked to relocate to Kilkenny town, where they shared skills and worked collaboratively to build links with industry and grow the market for Irish design. The initial workshops included the working of precious metals, wood-turning, ceramics, candle-making, weaving, linen knitting, printing textiles, local pottery clays, bog oak, dense black limestone known as Kilkenny marble, and Irish mined silver.

At the official opening of KDW in 1965, guests wanted to purchase some of the gorgeous crafts and gifts on display, which inspired the government to open the first Kilkenny Shop to sell all of the products produced at the workshops. In 1976, KDW opened a second store on Nassau Street in Dublin, and both stores set up thriving cafes. The products developed and sold at KDW became renowned for their design, aesthetic, craftsmanship and advances in industrial design, and the name ‘Kilkenny’ became synonymous worldwide with good design. Marian O Gorman became CEO of the Kilkenny Group in 1999 after spending more than 28 years in Blarney Woollen Mills, also a family business. Since then, she has gone on to grow the group phenomenally to a position where it now includes a total of 17 stores around Ireland, 3 cafes, a restaurant and a thriving online shop. Kilkenny also has an online store which ships worldwide, www.kilkennyshop.com. 117


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A Gift

to Cherish “A gentleman’s choice of timepiece says as much about him as does his Saville Row suit.” - Ian Fleming Paul Sheeran Jewellers was established by Paul Sheeran and family in 1994 and is situated in Johnson’s Court, just off Grafton Street. Building the foundation of its business on specialising in fine diamond jewellery and luxury Swiss watch brands, it has gained a reputation across Ireland and beyond for offering only the very best products in the luxury market. The company sets itself apart from competition through the stylish and luxurious environment it provides to customers. Its team of in-house designers, goldsmiths, watch makers and diamond experts have attracted a strong base of support from locals and internationals alike. 118

Paul Sheeran Jewellers has created an enhanced, guest centric instore experience. This includes the International Watch Room on the first floor, which was designed as a ‘boutique within a boutique’ for customers to view their favourite watch brands in a comfortable setting. To date, the business counts Longines, Tag Heuer, Tudor, Breitling, IWC and Jaeger LeCoultre as the haute horology brands available at the International Watch Room with Tudor being the latest luxury brand launched at the International Watch Room in November 2018. Moving forward into 2019, the business

is going from strength to strength, and is continuously bringing luxury jewellery and watches in Ireland to the next level. Paul Sheeran, who is a trained horologist, states “symbolising wonderful moments and special occasions with you is our privilege. From graduations, engagements to weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, or those special ‘just because’ presents, we love to see the joy on people’s faces when they either choose to give, or are the recipient of a special gift.” The store also offers a bespoke service, so whether you are looking for a simple solitaire ring, a pair of personalised cufflinks or a beautiful pendant, the in-


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house team of designers and goldsmiths can bring your wishes to life. The team at Paul Sheeran Jewellers understand that jewellery is a celebration, and are on hand to share advice, such as informing you on the latest watch trends and jewellery styles. Paul Sheeran Jewellers offers regular six-monthly check-ups and lifetime steam-cleaning service for jewellery purchased from the store, free of charge. For day-to-day storage of mechanical watches, Paul Sheeran Jeweller’s watch specialists recommend watch winders, which keep the movement from seizing, and in turn, there is no need to correct the time. It is important to consider the wear and tear that a watch or a piece of jewellery experiences on a daily basis. Therefore, it is essential to get your jewellery and watches serviced by a trusted professional. “Going to have your jewellery and watches maintained is comparable to going to your dentist for a

check-up,” says Paul Sheeran. “It’s not something you can do at home yourself, and it is important to find someone you can use time and time again.” As well as the Paul Sheeran Collections, the store also stocks a wide range of top jewellery brands including Gucci, Dior, Chimento and Utopia. Paul Sheeran advises, “Diamonds are not just a fashion trend, they are the pieces you buy for the one you love. It makes sense to invest in a good quality piece, because it will be something you will have for decades to come.” Paul Sheeran Jeweller’s specialist team ensure discerning customers leave satisfied, and the professional aftercare service guarantees your purchase will maintain its quality for years to come. Tax-free sales are available to international customers. Call +353 1 635 1136 and the specialist sales team will provide you with more information or visit www.paulsheeran.ie

“We love to see the joy on people’s faces when they either choose to give, or are the recipient of a special gift.” 119


Ireland-China Business Magazine

Legends of

The Claddagh The iconic symbol of love, loyalty and friendship, the Claddagh dates back hundreds of years and is intrinsically linked with Galway. Claddagh Jewellers is part of a family run Irish manufacturing company that began making fine jewellery in 1967. With shops in Galway and Dublin, the company also operates an active online business with the tagline “From Galway with Love”. In 1991 the first Claddagh Jewellers store opened in Galway’s Eyre Square Shopping Centre, enabling them to display their full range of jewellery and at the same time, to showcase jewellery from other Irish manufacturers. “The guiding ethos throughout has always been to promote Irish design with a focus on maintaining and expanding the manufacture of jewellery in Ireland,” explains Director Andrew Fried. 120

As they continued to develop new designs including a range of diamond set Claddagh rings inspired by locations around Galway, Claddagh Jewellery quickly became a recognised destination, gaining a reputation as a high-quality producer of genuine Irish made jewellery among locals and visitors alike. In 2006, Claddagh Jewellers moved to its current location, a prominent three-story building at the intersection of Shop Street, Mainguard Street and High Street in the heart of the old City of Galway, The Latin Quarter. “This move allowed the company to consolidate all parts of the business under one roof with retail sales on the ground floor, online sales and service on

the second floor and a large workshop on the top floor overlooking St. Nicholas’s parish church, the oldest church in Galway,” explains Mr. Fried. With their reputation for quality and authenticity fully established, a total of three jewellers and a qualified diamond setter are now employed, and their range of jewellery includes fully handmade pieces, jewellery made through lost wax casting and a range of semi-manufactured stamped items in Sterling Silver, gold and platinum. In 2012, Claddagh Jewellers applied to the Irish Patents Office for recognition of their business identity and subsequently, their trading style was granted protection as an


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Irish trademark. This allowed Claddagh Jewellers to position themselves as makers of the Authentic Claddagh Ring, a term which is defined as a traditional Claddagh Ring that is designed and made from start to finish, within the old city walls of Galway, with the date of manufacture of the ring recorded in a central register.

information centre, an ample viewing area and a gift shop. Within the cottage is a workshop that comprises a cutting-edge casting plant which entered production in October 2015 and is on view to visitors who can see the various steps in the lost wax casting process from the injection of wax into moulds to the final polished product.

From Galway with Love

“The opening of this centre will obviously be a huge boost both in terms of visibility to the public and in manufacturing capability for Claddagh Jewellers, who as the only Galway based member of the Federation of Jewellery Manufacturers of Ireland (FJMI) and the London Diamond Bourse (LDB), continue to promote jewellery made in Ireland by FJMI members while at the same time ensuring that these skills are not only kept alive but continue to grow in Galway,” says Mr. Fried.

When the opportunity arose to secure the adjoining unit at 26 Shop Street, the decision was taken to convert it into a visitor & manufacturing centre open to the public, named ‘Legend of The Claddagh Ring’. Making this the focus of the celebration of 25 years since the opening of their first store, Claddagh Jewellers completely refurbished the location and produced a fascinating short film, using only local talent, telling the tale of how the legend of the Claddagh ring came to be. The visitor centre includes a thatched cottage reminiscent of the dwellings that existed in the village of the Claddagh before the 1920s and highlights the origin of the Claddagh ring and its importance to Galway. Combining the story of the Claddagh ring and keeping the spotlight firmly on the central theme of the tradition of Claddagh rings in Galway, it contains a workshop,

Claddagh Jewellers also operate from a prestigious Dublin base at 2 Grafton Street. Centrally located on the corner of Grafton Street and directly opposite Trinity College, this is the only retail location in Dublin where visitors can buy Claddagh rings that are made in Galway.

The visitor centre includes a thatched cottage reminiscent of the dwellings that existed in the village of the Claddagh before the 1920s and highlights the origin of the Claddagh ring and its importance to Galway. 121


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China says

‘Nĭ h�o’ to Ireland With over 100 million Chinese travelling overseas in 2014, up from 10 million just 4 years earlier, the UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organisation) estimates that outbound travel from China will reach 200 million by 2020. In 2014, China overtook the USA as the world’s largest outbound travel market, both in terms of generated arrivals and total travel expenditure. Thanks to a massive population, rising disposable incomes, rapid urbanization and relaxation of restrictions on foreign travel, China is now the largest source of international tourism globally. Europeans and Chinese are visiting each other in increasing numbers. The European Travel Commission (ETC) has reported that the EU-China Tourism 122

Year, 2018, a major strategic political initiative designed to promote Europe as a destination to the rapidly growing Chinese tourism market, is delivering the tourism growth intended. Its report is based on a study of Chinese travel to the European Union (EU) countries undertaken by ForwardKeys, which monitors over 17 million flight booking transactions a day. The first four months of the Europe-China Tourism Year 2018 registered a healthy performance for Chinese arrivals in the

Tourism Ireland’s ambition is to grow Chinese visitor numbers to 175,000 per year by 2025.


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Rock of Cashel

European Union, thanks to the busy 2018 Chinese New Year period and the new air connections launched in the early spring. The next four months (MayAugust) continued to see that Chinese forward bookings gave preference to EU destinations, the most outstanding of which were for trips to Belgium and Ireland. With a population of 1.3 billion, China has the potential to exert great influence over the development and marketing of tourism destinations worldwide over the next decade. With the uncertainty of Brexit looming for the British market, Ireland offers everything the Chinese visitor is looking for in a holiday: bustling cities, rich culture, great shopping, ancient history, stunning landscapes, unforgettable driving routes and golf – one of the fastest growing industries in China. There are many factors that favour Ireland as a destination. The country has become far more accessible with the launch of two new direct routes connecting Ireland with Beijing and Hong Kong in 2018. The Hainan Airlines Beijing-Dublin route has 4 flights per week in the peak season, and 3 flights per week in the low season. The Cathay Pacific Hong Kong-Dublin flight has 4 flights per week. The new BritishIrish Visa Scheme also makes it easier

The Burren

for Chinese visitors to visit Ireland and the UK (including Northern Ireland) on a single visa at a cost of CNY680 (approximately €85). When it comes to offerings, Ireland covers all of the bases, whether it be for adventure travel, heritage, culture, sporting or gastronomical breaks and Ireland is known worldwide for its friendly people, something that the Chinese market values when selecting their chosen destination.

‘China Ready’ Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland have worked hard to extend the hand of friendship with a hugely successful marketing campaign as well as the launch of the ‘China Ready’ programme, aimed at educating Irish tourism businesses about the opportunities available from the Chinese tourist market and what the Chinese visitor wants. For those that complete the programme, Chinese Tourist Welcome certificates are awarded. 123


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Over 150 enterprises graduated in 2018, including some of Ireland’s top tourist attractions, The Guinness Storehouse, Titanic Belfast, The Giant’s Causeway, Cobh Heritage Centre, Glen Keen Farm in Co Mayo and Newbridge Silverware. The Guinness Storehouse, Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction was in fact the first place in Dublin to receive international certification from the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI) making it a “Chinese Tourist Welcome Quality Organisation.” Commenting Paul Carty, Managing Director of the Storehouse said: “The Guinness Storehouse has been active in the Chinese market for almost 8 years. In that time, the market has grown from virtually 0 to almost 50,000 visitors. The Fáilte Ireland ‘China Ready’ programme has given our team a deeper and highly practical understanding of the cultural differences and needs of the Chinese visitor. For us, engaging with China is a long-term commitment and this excellent training programme ensures we can continue to extend a warm and personal welcome to our Chinese visitors.”

TV & Social Media According to a survey from eutravelpartnerships.org, four clusters of factors strongly impact the travel decisions of Chinese consumers. These are films and TV shows; celebrities and digital influencers; social channels and actors in the tourism industry. The power of TV is undeniable and the allure of faraway destinations is enhanced by TV shows featuring these destinations. Northern Ireland for example, has experienced an influx of Chinese travellers looking for the scenery featured in the TV blockbuster Game of Thrones. County Kerry has always had much to offer but with the arrival of ‘The Force’ on the Skellig Islands both Kerry and Donegal have seen surges of interest following the recent Star Wars movies. The global phenomenon of Harry Potter has also influenced outbound Chinese travel over the years and is frequently mentioned in travel posts online. Many Chinese travellers include the famous sites from the films into their European itinerary. Besides the Elephant House in the United Kingdom, travellers can experience destinations such as

Dublin

Platform 9 ¾ and the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. According to online travel discussions, Platform 9 ¾ is a “must go place for Harry Potter fans.” For nature lovers, the Cliffs of Moher are described as “very beautiful scenery! The cave in the seventh Harry Potter film was shot here! If you can take walk around the sea in a good weather and enjoy the view, it will be fantastic!” [Qiongyou] Celebrities play an important role in making travel destinations attractive to the average traveller. With the opinions of celebrities being widely trusted, the use of celebrities as digital influencers has become a popular technique of promoting brands and travel destinations. Chinese celebrities can be followed by tens of millions of fans in their social media channels, so their endorsement can give destinations a boost. In 2017, Chinese director and TV host Gao Xiaosong’s high-profile visit to Ireland for his Xiaoshuo Aierlan series highlighted popular destinations including those connected to the popular United States TV show Game of Thrones.

When the episodes were broadcast in December 2017, the agency held a social media campaign encouraging Chinese viewers to translate Irish poet William Butler Yeats’s epitaph (Cast a cold eye. On life, on death. Horseman, pass by) in order to have the chance to win a trip to Ireland. The campaign had almost 300 million total views and podcast plays. In 2018, Chinese TV star Ren Zhong visited Ireland as part of a new Tourism Ireland in partnership with vivo, one of the biggest mobile phone brands in China and National Geographic (China edition) magazine. Timed to coincide with the launch of a new vivo mobile phone, Ren Zhong and his crew captured footage along the Wild Atlantic Way – using the new phone to create a video all about Ireland. The resulting film, called ‘Be Wild’, went live in early November and reached over 30 million Chinese people on social media and on one of China’s most influential video platforms, Youku. Mr Zhong’s itinerary included visits to Galway, the Cliffs of Moher, Adare Manor, Dingle, the Rock of Cashel and Dublin. 125


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Mr Zhong’s visit was part of the fifth annual “Images in Cities” campaign, run by vivo and National Geographic, which involves bringing photographers and videographers to a different destination each year. A separate group of 16 Chinese journalists and National Geographic photographers visited other locations around the island of Ireland – including Belfast, the Causeway Coastal Route, the Dark Hedges and Killarney. Their captured images and videos were subsequently shared with their 800 million followers on social media. The Chinese phrase ‘Di Tou Zu’ (meaning the bowed head masses) refers to people with their heads bent down towards their mobile phones. Appealing to these masses, 60+ million Chinese people got to read about Ireland when three Chinese influencers and a senior editor at National Geographic Traveller Magazine (China edition) visited Ireland as guests of Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, Tourism NI and Cathay Pacific. The aim of the visit was to highlight the new flight and ease of access from southern China to Ireland to their readers, as well as some of the many great things to see and do here for Chinese holidaymakers. The trio visited the Guinness Storehouse, Newbridge Silverware Visitor Centre and the Museum of Style Icons in Kildare, the National Design & Craft Gallery in Kilkenny, Claddagh Jewellers in Galway, The Cat and the Moon (jewellery and craft store) in Sligo, the Old Bushmills Distillery and Mount Stewart.

Best Destination Ireland has won several travel accolades over the past few years including ‘Best Overseas Self-drive Touring Destination’, at an awards ceremony organised by travel giant Ctrip - the leading online travel agent in China, with more than 250 million customers, and the second-largest travel agency in the world. At the ceremony in Shanghai, Ireland was one of four destinations listed in the category. It was included for its stunning routes and great driving experiences, including the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route. The close of 2018 saw another welcome accolade for Ireland-China

Dingle

relations with Ireland being named the top international business travel destinations, at the 2018 Goldfinger Awards. Established ten years ago, these annual awards recognise the best destinations, hotels and PCOs (professional conference organisers). At the ceremony, Ireland was named one of the most influential international MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) destinations. Online platforms are increasingly used by Chinese travellers to book the trip, or part of it, even directly via smartphones. Research indicates that Chinese people make a large use of social media even when they are travelling, to keep acquaintances updated and to show them the fantastic experience they are living – something that can be a huge benefit to the Irish travel market as lush landscapes and wide-open spaces are shared with potential visitors. Social media awareness combined with partnerships with influential tour operators and lifestyle bloggers has been

hugely successful in showcasing Ireland as an attractive holiday destination. Key to this offering is the mild climate, stunning landscapes, adventure, heritage and cultural tourism as well as something well known to residents of these islands, lots of bracing fresh air! Tourism Ireland’s ambition is to grow Chinese visitor numbers to 175,000 per year by 2025. “We work very much as Team Ireland with our partner agencies, IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Northern Ireland Bureau, providing great support on the ground,” explains CEO Niall Gibbons. How fitting it is that on the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement in 2018 under which Tourism Ireland was established to market the island as a holiday destination - top tourism industry representatives from across the island are working ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with China for the greater benefit of the island’s economies and for tourism growth in the years ahead. 127


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Retail Therapy Ireland’s most beautiful lifestyle store, Brown Thomas is home to an unparalleled range of designer brands. Brown Thomas is Ireland’s premier luxury department store and part of a global retail family which includes Selfridges in the UK, Holt Renfrew in Canada and deBijenkorf in Holland. This flagship store, and a landmark on Dublin’s Grafton Street since 1849, houses the world’s most prestigious designer brands from fashions and accessories to beauty and home. Featuring the world’s most prestigious luxury boutiques including Celine, Chanel, Gucci, Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co., Brown Thomas has achieved pre-eminent status, a store that is listed among the best in the world, yet it remains quintessentially Irish and unique. From the doorman’s greeting to the sales consultant’s smile, the bond with the customer is all important. The aim is to ensure that every visitor’s experience at Brown Thomas is a memorable one, and the team will be delighted to welcome you in store. Personal service is key and Brown Thomas will gladly deliver your shopping to your hotel so that you can enjoy

the rest of your day at leisure around the city. If you wish, they can bring a selection of products to you so that you can enjoy shopping in the comfort of your hotel suite. In the case of products over a certain weight, Brown Thomas can organize complimentary shipping to your country of residence. And if you live outside Europe, you will enjoy the benefits of tax free shopping. In essence, wherever your location or whatever your needs, Brown Thomas will deliver in every way possible so that your memories of your visit to Dublin are with you for years to come. • Mandarin speaking staff throughout the store • Tax Free shopping • Alipay, Apple Pay, China Union Pay and WeChat Pay • Personal shopping appointments for Beauty and Fashion (booking advisable) • Hotel Bag drop available • International delivery

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From left to right – Paul Carty, MD Guinness Storehouse, Fiona Herald, Head of Sales & Business Development, Paul Keeley, Fáilte Ireland

A Guinness Style

Welcome Fáilte Ireland and Guinness Storehouse are “China Ready” and welcoming a growing number of visitors from the world’s largest outbound tourism market. The Guinness Storehouse has been active in the Chinese market for almost 8 years and in October 2018 it became the first visitor attraction in Dublin to receive international certification from the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI). One of Dublin’s most iconic attractions is now officially recognised as a “Chinese Tourist Welcome Quality Organisation.”

possible ‘are prepared to capitalise on what has become the biggest outbound tourism source market in the world – 116 million Chinese travelled worldwide in 2016 and spent $160 billion’. Outbound tourism is no longer restricted by the Chinese government and tourism service providers all over the world are starting to focus on the Chinese market.

The Fáilte Ireland China Ready Programme is designed to ensure that as many Irish hospitality businesses as

According to, Fiona Herald, Head of Sales & Business Development at Guinness Storehouse, China now represents its 9th

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largest market and in 2018, over 50,000 visitors from China & Hong Kong passed through the gates. Research on visitor numbers from other Asian regions also shows a substantial growth in business from Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea. China and Hong Kong now accounts for 3% of overall business to Guinness Storehouse and interestingly Herald points out that in 2018 they welcomed more visitors from China than from


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Australia and New Zealand and almost as many as Canada a more established market for Ireland. “There has been significant growth in Chinese visitors to Guinness Storehouse over the last three years,” says Herald. “Back in 2010-2011 Guinness Storehouse had virtually no Chinese visitors and we’ve progressed to over 50,000 visitors in the space of a few years. If you look specifically at the last few years, business from China has actually grown by 52%. “In terms of overall business, Guinness Storehouse is Ireland’s number one tourist attraction, and in 2018 we welcomed 1.73 million people. At present, the key source market from China is B2B, specifically business from travel agents and tour operators. However, as the market grows and develops and the Chinese visitor becomes a more experienced traveller, Herald believes the independent travel segment will grow significantly. “I know from engaging in the market that travel agents play a vital role in arranging travel abroad,” she says. “The main reasons that Chinese consumers prefer to use an agent include convenience, language barriers, visa preparation, knowledge gaps and value.” Analysis reveals that about 77% of Guinness Storehouse’s Chinese business is through the travel trade channel – specifically via Chinese agents based in China but with significant numbers arriving via the UK inbound market. Guinness Storehouse is featured as part of a UK and Ireland itinerary or perhaps part of a larger European itinerary. There are also a significant number of visitors via Chinese Destination Management Companies based in Ireland. Of the 77% of current business generated by the travel trade, over 71% are groups over 15 persons and 6% are groups of 15 or less, according to Herald. “There has been a trend of bigger group sizes over the last few years. Coach series as part of UK and Ireland programs are growing, and many are running at full capacity of up to 50 pax per group. Several years ago, groups were much smaller,” says Herald. “Group visitors also tend to be older. I

Guinness Storehouse promotes its participation in the Tourism Ireland sales mission to China in 2018.

know a significant number of visitors to the Storehouse are under 35, but for the groups sector the age profile is older and more like 40+. The age profile is likely to reduce as the independent travel sector increases and Chinese people become more comfortable with planning a visit here.” The reciprocal visa arrangement agreed with Britain and introduced in October 2014 has also been a key factor in the growing numbers of Chinese Visitors to Ireland. Under the British Irish Visa Scheme, visitors from China can travel freely within the common travel area that is Ireland and UK using either an Irish or UK short-stay visa endorsed with “BIVS.” However, she warns that the Chinese market is not for the faint-hearted. It requires time, effort and determination and she admits to having initially been daunted at the complexity of the challenge. “At the beginning, the size and scale of this market blew me away. China is located 8,000km from Ireland, with a population of 1.35 billion people, 31 provinces, 656 cities, 48,000 dialects and the largest outbound travel market in the world,” she says. This clearly illustrates the difficulties associated with attempting to engage and create brand awareness among the broader Chinese population. A significant breakthrough occurred when

Guinness Storehouse joined the Tourism Ireland programme which offers the Irish tourism industry a low-cost entry option into the market via country club membership including participation in China sales missions. “It was through these sales missions that I was able to meet the key players in the market and I set about building relationships and connections, she says. “This has been instrumental in the progress we have achieved and over the last few years I’ve worked closely with Chinese incoming operators in the UK and with specialist Irish-based Chinese tour operators and Destination Management Companies. While most of our focus has been on B2B proactive sales and education, we have also welcomed media from China.” When she first travelled to China and spoke with tour operators and travel agents, Herald was struck by the lack of awareness of Ireland. However, she recalls their faces lighting up when she showed a photo of the famous pint – demonstrating the global appeal and iconic nature of Guinness as a wordfamous brand. “I find there is a real genuine interest and love for Guinness. Over the years the awareness on Guinness Storehouse has grown, with many agents having

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“The Chinese and Asian culture is different from the Western culture, and we have tried to embrace this at Guinness Storehouse. I have to say I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the market and have built strong and loyal relationships with clients. I would say yes, the culture is different, but something that Chinese visitors have in common with all our visitors is that they are here on holiday and want to enjoy themselves, learn more about Guinness and of course have a pint!”

“2018 was an exciting year with new direct route with Cathay Pacific from Dublin to Hong Kong service four times per week and first ever direct service from Beijing with Hainan Airlines.” visited on familiarisation or educational trips, and seeing and experiencing first-hand the Home of Guinness. As the agents’ knowledge grows so too do the conversations with agents. Agents are asking probing questions like what special experiential tours can be offered or what’s new since they last visited.” Guinness Storehouse is considered a “must see” attraction for any visitor to Ireland and the Home of Guinness in Dublin has rolled out the red carpet to welcome the growing number of Chinese visitors. Fáilte Ireland’s China Ready Programme was a key element in its strategy and it has helped ensure that exemplary service and an unbeatable visitor experience is provided to a key target market. Nor will language barriers prevent Chinese visitors 132

from fully embracing the experience. “Most visitors from mainland China do not speak English,” explains Herald. “We knew that if we wanted to welcome Chinese visitors to the Home of Guinness and immerse them in a Guinness experience we needed to talk their language and become “Chinese Friendly.” So we do have Chinese speaking staff, Mandarin and Cantonese promotional brochures, sales collateral, website, audio tours, and so on. Guinness Storehouse offers informational brochures in both Simplified and Traditional Chinese. We have also rolled out cultural awareness training with all our staff so they get a better understanding of the cultural differences and etiquette, particularly around food and drink.

Stereotypes which suggest Chinese people don’t like cheese or dairy and prefer eating Chinese food are wide of the mark and Herald has found that the Chinese are adventurous and eager to embrace new experiences. “For instance, our bestselling dish is beef and Guinness stew, and Chinese visitors love this along with lashings of Irish butter on Guinness bread. So tastes are changing. I do think tour guides can be very influential in helping visitors experiment and try something different. The Guinness food items sell well in our retail store particularly Guinness chocolate and Guinness crisps,” she says. “Guinness Storehouse is committed to this market for the long haul and the team are looking forward to celebrating the Chinese New Year. From the 1st to 17th February, Guinness Storehouse will again Go Red to celebrate the Chinese New Year 2019 – Year of the Pig. Guinness Storehouse will have daily mandarin guided tours, Chinese dishes in restaurants and special discounts in retail for Chinese visitors,”she says. For further information log onto: www.guinness-storehouse.com


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The K Club

Luxury Redefined A member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts Legends Collection and Irelands 1st AA Red Star Property, The K Club boasts 134 bedrooms, a grand Irish country retreat, set amid 550-acres of pristine parkland on a mile-long private stretch of the River Liffey. Located only 30 minutes from Dublin Airport and Dublin City Centre, The K Club is an elegantly restored 19th Century Georgian mansion estate set on the former site of Straffan House, which was originally modelled after a French chateau by Hugh Barton in 1832, the grandson of legendary winemaker Thomas Barton. Converted into a luxury hotel and country club in 1991, the opening of The K Club was a landmark moment in the Irish hospitality industry, creating new standards of Irish décor and service that have not been surpassed. Accommodation is, as one would expect from a property of this standard, it is luxurious, extremely comfortable but also very individual. Each bedroom is bespoke with its own individual soft furnishings, artwork and fine furniture. Bathrooms are of generous proportions and are hand painted with deep, fulllength baths, separate showers and of course the obligatory yellow rubber

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duck! Through an extensive renovation project in 2015, The K Club added two new room categories to its selection of accommodations; the stunning Deluxe Woodland & River View Rooms and three Barton Suites. At The K Club, whichever restaurant option you choose, you can be sure that all four elements of fine dining will be present in equal measure - the cuisine, the wine, the service and the overall experience. Named after the legendary thoroughbred stallion, the Byerley Turk restaurant is recognised as one of the finest on the island of Ireland and is widely celebrated for its award-winning cuisine and extensive wine list. Using the very best locally sourced Irish ingredients, the chefs at The K Club have created a fascinating menu that reflects both modern international tastes and traditional Irish cuisine. For breakfast, there is the River Room Restaurant which overlooks The K Club’s stunning landscaped gardens, situated along the banks of the river Liffey as it flows gently towards the capital. Breakfast options include The K Club’s famous full Irish breakfast, gorgeous

Eggs Benedict as well as a variety of continental breakfast options. There is also a full range of gluten-free breakfast pastries, breads and cereals. Afternoon Tea is served in the luxurious Chinese Drawing Room and has become one of the most sought-after traditions among guests at The K Club. Guests can enjoy a three-tiered silver stand of freshly baked scones with jam and cream, delectable pastries and elegant finger sandwiches served with the finest tea and coffee. As County Kildare is so rich in equestrian history, it is only fitting that the cocktail bar is named after Dr Michael Smurfit’s beloved Irish gelding, Vintage Crop, winner of the Melbourne Cup in 1993. The opulent bar and balcony area of the Vintage Crop Cocktail Bar overlooks the beautifully manicured K Club gardens, which are adorned by a host of specimen trees such as great Irish oak, yew and western red cedar. It is a most relaxing environment in which to enjoy an evening drink, including some fine Champagnes and beautiful Barton & Guestier wines. Conference organisers will delight in the choice of facilities at The K Club.


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There are so many options, from meeting rooms for small groups, right up to facilities for 500 people in the Legacy Suite in the Smurfit Conference Centre. Meeting facilities are also available in the hotel itself with options including The Tower Room with its impressive 18-seater, antique boardroom table or The John Jefferson Smurfit Room which features a spectacular chandelier and a stunning original stucco Georgian ceiling. Both of these rooms are located in the original house and both benefit from huge windows allowing natural light to stream in. You and your team could walk in the footsteps of champions and host your meeting or event at the home of the Ryder Cup in Ireland. The Arnold Palmer Room is the largest room in the clubhouse and features a wrap-around balcony with views onto the famous 18th green. Legends Bar and Restaurant just beside the Arnold Palmer Room is perfect for breakout meetings and is a nice place to retreat to at the end of a busy day’s work. Across the river the Smurfit Conference Centre is home to the Legacy Suite, a huge conference room that can hold up to 500 people theatre style or 320 at round tables. Upstairs, delegates can choose from The Deacon Room (which can hold 100 delegates theatre style) or The Smurfit Bar which has an impressive, wide balcony overlooking the Smurfit Golf Course. Other rooms in The Smurfit Conference Centre include a private boardroom at penthouse level and several smaller meeting rooms which are perfect for private meetings when discretion is key. Super-fast dedicated fibre broadband has been installed and is capable of reaching download speeds of up to 150Mb and Wi-Fi is available right across the resort. The K Club also offers onsite technical support to delegates should they need assistance. There is no charge to use the Wi-Fi and parking too is complimentary. For the convenience of conference organisers, the full design and layout of the various rooms and conferencing facilities can be viewed online including a full 3D, interactive view of each room.

Offering a true country retreat, The K Club provides an extensive selection of activities including kayaking, horse riding, falconry, fishing, clay-pigeon shooting, walking, cycling, wine cellar tours, whiskey tasting and so much more. The K Club is also home to two Championship Arnold Palmer designed Golf Courses - The Ryder Cup Course and The Smurfit Course, which have hosted numerous international tournaments including the 2006 Ryder Cup, 13 European Opens and most recently the 2016 Irish Open. In addition to two 18-hole championship golf courses, The K Club also hosts the luxurious 20,000 square-foot K Spa that is noted as one of the finest spas in Europe. In February 2018, The K Spa at The K Club launched a new spa partnership with the luxurious Natura Bissé skincare brand. Loved by celebrities and endorsed by travel experts, Forbes, as their official skincare brand, the introduction of Natura Bissé to the K Spa ensures a memorable and extraordinary experience for all guests at The K Club. The K Club pairs old-world charm, service and ambiance with modern comforts in a luxurious residential setting. Opulent, classical surroundings reflect elements of Ireland’s history and reveal the best of luxury accommodation.

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Feel the Speed…

Enjoy the Fun Do you want to offer your clients an evening entertainment programme that includes great food and features a truly Irish cultural experience? Then you must add ‘a night at the dogs’ to your itinerary! So, what is greyhound racing and what makes it an Irish occasion suitable for all audiences? The first greyhound racetrack was opened in Ireland on the 18th April 1927. This was in Celtic Park, Belfast, and was followed immediately by Shelbourne Park, Dublin one month later. Shelbourne Park remains the nation’s flagship stadium and is the home to the World famous Irish Greyhound Derby. 136

In 1958, the Irish Government established Bord na gCon (also known by its English name - The Irish Greyhound Board). It is now a semi-state commercial body reporting directly to the Department of Agriculture and the Minister of that Department. After considerable investment over the past 25 years, today’s modern stadium facilities make a night at the dogs a comfortable and enjoyable night out.

Located nationwide, all greyhound stadiums offer a choice of restaurants, private suite dining options, casual group food packages (served in the bar areas) or admission only options. There is a wide choice of stadiums available so if your clients are driving the Wild Atlantic Way, taking a city break in Dublin or touring Ireland’s Ancient East, they are never too far from a night at the dogs.


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In 2018 The Irish Greyhound Board were delighted to participate in the pilot scheme and be one of the first companies in Ireland to be awarded the Fáilte Ireland China Ready Programme.

open, with racing normally beginning between 7.30 and 8pm. Greyhound racing is fast paced and exciting, races run every 15 minutes and a typical race takes just 30 seconds!

As part of its commitment to welcoming Chinese visitors to our venues, they have added QR codes at various sites throughout Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium in Dublin and Curraheen Park Greyhound Stadium in Cork. Chinese speaking visitors to our venues can scan the QR codes for helpful information on the stadium and what happens on the night.

For a VIP touch, adding your clients name to a race will see their group or company name on the race-card and give them a chance to present a trophy to the winning connections of that race on the night. Racing normally finishes at approx. 10.15 - 10.30pm.

Greyhound racing in Ireland consists of 6 dogs chasing after a mechanical hare over distances ranging from 300 yards up to 1035 yards. The most regular distances raced are 525/550 yards. The dogs are allocated trap numbers 1 – 6 with each trap having a colour assigned to it. A mechanical hare is set in motion and just before it passes by the traps the greyhounds are released. The dogs chase the “hare” around an oval track and the first dog past the finish line is declared the winner.

What happens on the night? The evening itself starts from approximately 6.30pm when the doors

leave the comfort of your table. Hospitality Suites: Looking to combine privacy for your group and still enjoy the full excitement and atmosphere of racing? Then the private hospitality suites are the place for you. They offer full bar and side table betting making them ideal for a Corporate or Family event. Across the venue, catering is provided by highly experienced and professional in-house catering teams.

Stadium Facilities

Love Greyhounds? Us too!

Grandstand Bars: The Grandstand Bars located downstairs at each stadium provide an informal night at the dogs offering bar and tote betting facilities. From this ground floor position you can gain access to the terraced area where you can hear the bookies shouting the odds, the sound of the lure, the bang of the traps and the roar of the crowd as they cheer their dog across the winning line.

The Irish Greyhound Board want to spread the message about how wonderful Greyhounds are, and why they make perfect pets. They are partnering with the IRGT and local Greyhound Stadia across Ireland to offer a new Meet & Greet Service.

Grandstand Restaurants: If you would like to experience dinner with a difference, then it’s hard to beat booking a table at the Grandstand Restaurant where the spectacular glass-fronted restaurant allows you to enjoy trackside racing as you appreciate the fine food and wine. The bar staff come to you so there is no need to

IRGT volunteers will bring their beloved pet Greyhounds, allowing you to see them up close and discover their placid nature for yourself. If you want to learn more about getting your own pet Greyhound, our volunteers can share their first-hand experience. Contact Details, IGB Sales Centre: Email: sales@igb.ie Tel: +353 61 448 080 or log onto: http://www.gogreyhoundracing.ie 137


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Historic

Kylemore Abbey No visit to the West of Ireland is complete without a visit to one of Ireland’s most iconic destinations, Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Gardens, a Benedictine Monastery founded in 1920 on the grounds of Kylemore Castle in Connemara, County Galway. Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden is a magical estate nestled in the region of Connemara on the west coast of Ireland. Its romantic Victorian buildings are surrounded by rugged mountains and dense woodland in a valley jewelled with sparkling streams and glistening lakes where salmon and trout rest in the pristine waters. The estate is owned and managed by an order of Benedictine nuns who strive to both develop and preserve this oasis of beauty for today’s visitors and for generations to come. 138

The Abbey itself is an imposing granite building which has become one of Ireland’s most photographed and wellloved views. However it is more than just that, the Abbey and the estate have a unique and intriguing history and it has been home to many people with wonderful stories of their own over the last 150 years. In 1867 when the Castle first rose up from the Connemara countryside, Queen Victoria sat on the throne and Ireland was

still, if not always loyal, a subject to the British crown. Ireland was just beginning to recover from not one but a series of devastating crop failures which led to famine, death and mass emigration. Mitchell Henry, a surgeon, businessman, liberal politician, and philanthropist came to Connemara at this time and fell in love with the area. He believed he could use his wealth to create change and bring stability and prosperity to the people of the area.


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Of course, he was also interested in creating a beautiful home for his beloved wife Margaret and their large family of nine children. It was Margaret who laid the first brick using a beautifully engraved ceremonial trowel, and it is her family crest, that of the Vaughan family, that hangs in the hands of an angel above the castle door. Kylemore became, as Henry liked to refer to it, an estate with “all the innovations of the modern age.” The 70-room castle boasted Italian décor, a magnificent ballroom, billiard room, library, study, drawing room, morning room, a dining room draped in black and gold silks, and an elaborate Turkish bath house. The estate also had its own darkroom, post, and telegraph office, two model farms, abattoir, sawmill, ice house, and a fire brigade of scarlet-clad volunteer firemen. A mile away from the castle, the 8-acre Walled Garden and its 21 heated glasshouses were tended by up to 40 gardeners. The Henry family enjoyed a pampered lifestyle of hunting, fishing, and expensive hobbies such as yachting and photography punctuated by picnics, parties, and balls. Archive photographs show the sons posing with fishing gillies and gamekeepers, dressed in their Scottish tweeds and looking the part of the countrified young Gentlemen. For the five Henry daughters, Kylemore provided a break from the formality of London life, and they too enjoyed the outdoor pursuits of the ‘Irish Highlands’. The well-paid work provided at Kylemore was a godsend for local people who lived incredibly hard and precarious lives. The Henry tenure brought a period of security and improvement to the area. Despite the improvements, the gap between rich and poor remained vast, and life in the castle was a world away from the life of the tenants in their modest homes. Great wealth, however, gave no immunity from the precariousness of life and the Henrys suffered more than their fair share of tragedy. The deaths of Henry’s beloved Margaret and Geraldine his daughter whom he referred to as the ‘flower of his flock’ were terrible blows. Margaret’s death at the age of 45 occurred when she contracted dysentery

on a family holiday to Egypt, and Geraldine died prematurely in a horrific accident just a few miles from Kylemore. Although Henry remained at Kylemore it seems that the spark had left him and the added stress of financial losses and a failing political career led to the sale of the castle in 1902. The castle was sold to the Duke and Duchess of Manchester who arrived to take up residence 1903. The Duke was a flamboyant and enigmatic although ultimately, unreliable character. His beautiful young heiress wife spent many lonely months in Kylemore as ‘Monty’ toured America, the paid guest of millionaires. The Castle was virtually torn apart in the couple’s rush to redecorate. Locals say that stained glass windows and marble pillars were ripped out and dumped in the lake as the Manchesters were too proud to send them for salvage. The stunning ballroom was turned into a kitchen, and dark Jacobean oak interiors replaced the marble and glass favoured by the Henry’s. Money was always a problem for the Duke, which was not helped by his love of poker and blackjack. It is reputed that he finally lost the castle

Today people from all over the world come to Kylemore to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and to immerse themselves in the history of the estate. 139


Westgrove Hotel, Spa and Leisure Club

To book your next stay or meeting with us please call reservation on 045-989 900 or e-mail reservations: reservations@westgrovehotel.com www.westgrovehotel.com


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in a late night card game, this is an unlikely story but one that fits with our image of the flighty Duke, who left the Castle under a cloud of debt in 1913.

Abbey was home to up to 100 girls running up and down the stairs, playing the piano, performing plays, and whispering and giggling in their dorms at night.

Next to come to Kylemore, turning it from a Castle into an Abbey, were the Benedictine nuns. For them, Kylemore was a place of refuge, a home surrounded by protective mountains in place of the walls of their former Abbey in Ypres, Belgium which had fallen to shelling in the opening months of World War One. Arriving at Kylemore in 1920, the reassuring thickness of its walls, and the knowledge that it was to be their permanent home must surely have started to heal the traumas of the war. The nuns immediately set about establishing a school for girls and in 1922, they were joined by their first intake of schoolgirls. The girls brought youth, laughter, and light both into the lives of the nuns and the building itself. Pupils came to Kylemore from all over the world from as far afield as America, India, and China. The serenity of the nuns and the lively scampering schoolgirls could not have been more different, but the unusual relationship seemed to work very well for those involved. Most days of the year, the

In 2010, the last students left Kylemore Abbey and once again, quietness descended in the classrooms, dormitories, and stairwells. Downstairs, however, it was a different story. Ever since the nuns began to welcome paying guests back in the 1950s, there has been a steady stream of visitors to Kylemore. Today people from all over the world come to Kylemore to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and to immerse themselves in the history of the estate. A visit to Kylemore today for most people begins with photographing the classic Kylemore image of the Abbey reflected on the lake, and many people marvel that it looks even more beautiful in real life than in the pictures they have seen. After exploring the restored rooms of the Abbey, visitors then usually stroll along the lakeshore path to the magnificent neo-Gothic Church built in the 1870s in memory of Margaret Henry. The Gothic Church has been described as a ‘cathedral in miniature’ and it is a uniquely elegant

If you are planning a visit from China, log onto the website where you can access a full Chinese translation and download a Chinese visitor brochure. Chinese visitor brochures are available on site and later in the year, a Chinese audio guide will be introduced. 141


Free Membership

€10

Free Bet First Visit

The Fitzwilliam Casino & Card Club

Clifton Hall | Lower Fitzwilliam St | Dublin 2 | Ireland Tel: 01-6114677 | Visit: www.fitzwilliamcardclub.com

The Stephen’s Green Hibernian Club “Your home in the City since 1840”

Dublin’s Premier Private Member’s Club The Stephen’s Green Hibernian Club is a unique venue, dating back to the 18th Century. The historical building captures the essence of Old Dublin, and is renowned for corporate meetings, lunches and events. Meeting facilities & Private Lunch or Dinner 9 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2 Tel: + 353 1 673 0207 Please contact: helen@sghc.ie www.sghc.ie

Stephens Green Hibernian HPA.indd 1

24/01/2019 20:00


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and romantic building. Further down the avenue set against the mountainside is the Mausoleum, a simple brick building where the remains of Margaret and Mitchell Henry lie side by side. On the opposite side of the estate is the Victorian Walled Garden which is for many people the highlight of their visit to Kylemore. The manicured flower beds, restored vinery, garden buildings, and extensive herb and vegetable gardens are an oasis of ordered splendour nestled in the heart of the Kylemore woods. Head Gardener, Anja Gohlke and her team work with passion to maintain and develop this wonderful garden to Heritage standards which mean that only seeds and plants from the Victorian era are used. The garden looks across onto the glistening face of Diamond Hill which sits in the grounds of Connemara National Park. No visit to Kylemore would be complete without sampling some of the home baking and cooking for which it is rightly renowned. Traditional breads, cakes, fruit pies and scones accompanied by good coffee will revive the most weary traveller and prepare them for further exploring along the avenues and extensive tree-lined walks of the Kylemore estate. Little surprises await such as a delightful children’s fairy village, resident rare breed pigs and even a Giant’s Wishing Stone! Throughout the summer months,

fishing boats can be seen on the lakes and anglers try their luck on the banks of the Dawros river which runs through the estate. Kylemore Abbey also has a tradition of producing and selling its own artisan products such as award-winning handmade chocolates, baking mixes and a range of rustic pottery all of which can be shipped anywhere in the world. The Craft and Design shop also needs to be explored, as it is one of the best you will encounter on your Irish adventure.

Next to come to Kylemore, turning it from a Castle into

The Benedictine nuns who own and manage Kylemore invite all visitors to join them in their Church for mid-day prayer or Latin Vespers in the evening. Regardless of your faith or persuasion, you are welcome to come and sit in the peaceful environs of the church, to light a candle for a loved one or just be still in your own company for a little while.

an Abbey, were the

If you are planning a visit from China, log onto the website where you can access a full Chinese translation and download a Chinese visitor brochure. Chinese visitor brochures are available on site and later in the year, a Chinese audio guide will be introduced. To visit Ireland without making time to visit beautiful Kylemore Abbey would be a shame indeed and once you visit you are sure to be entranced for life!

protective mountains

For further information visit: www.kylemoreabbey.com

Benedictine nuns. For them, Kylemore was a place of refuge, a home surrounded by in place of the walls of their former Abbey in Ypres Belgium which had fallen to shelling in the opening months of World War One. 143


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Welcome to

Westgrove A proud graduate of The Fáilte Ireland ‘China Ready’ training programme, the four star Westgrove Hotel, Spa and Leisure Club is a contemporary and stylish hotel, located in the village of Clane, County Kildare.

Originally opened in May 2007, the hotel, which is Irish family owned has built an enviable reputation amongst the Kildare business community and the Dublin corporate sector as well as the national 144

and international Meetings, Incentive, Conference and Exhibition industry. Just 40 minutes from Dublin City Centre the hotel is ideally located for company

AGMs, Board Meetings, Away Days and Conferences. It’s easily accessible from the M4 and M7 motorways which ensures that delegates can reach the hotel with ease. Being on Dublin’s doorstep also


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makes the hotel a great base for business travellers visiting the city. Accommodation comprises of 96 superbly appointed guest bedrooms, all recently refurbished to the highest standard with a host of excellent in-room facilities. This is made up of 49 deluxe rooms, 27 recently added executive rooms, which include bean to cup coffee machines, luxury toiletries, bathrobe and slippers with complimentary mineral waters. The 15 executive apartments are spacious homes-from-home and there are also five individually appointed suites, offering the most discerning traveller an array of choice. The Westgrove Conference Centre, which has undergone a transformation in early 2019, offers a number of modern and flexible meeting, conference and exhibition spaces set over 2 floors. The 2 largest suites, The O’Connell and The Alexandra were both recently upgraded and cater for 450 and 400 delegates respectively in theatre style. With its own separate entrance, complimentary audiovisual equipment, natural daylight, complimentary Wi-Fi and parking facilities for up to 400, The Westgrove Hotel Conference Centre meeting rooms are the perfect choice for a productive day. Surrounded by the lush Kildare countryside The Westgrove Hotel restaurants and bars are able to take advantage of the quality produce grown in the locality. The Assaggio Restaurant offers a zesty Italian inspired menu in a warm and relaxed atmosphere. The menu caters for a variety of tastes from the traditional family favourites to the more adventurous offerings and each dish has been designed by Executive Head Chef John Carolan and his kitchen team. For a great night out and something a little more casual, The Oak Bar is a comfortable space with warmth and character. It specialises in local and international craft beers, delicious cocktails and great bar food. Live music on Saturday night adds to the already buzzing atmosphere while two large screens show all the major sporting events of the day.

The Westgrove Leisure Club is an awardwinning venue providing swimming and fitness expertise through studio classes and personalised gym programmes. Holder of the prestigious ILAM White Flag, this award highlights the exceptional standards and commitment in the areas of hygiene, water quality, staff training and development and access to the club. The exceptional quality and service that is synonymous with the Westgrove Hotel carries through to the state of the art leisure club, rated as one of Co. Kildare’s premier leisure venues. The latest technology in fitness training with in-built touch screen TV’s on each piece of equipment as well as a bright and airy environment ensure that every workout is a really pleasant experience. Offering a 20 metre swimming pool, kids pool and steam room, there is something to suit all levels. In the Spa Haven, the hotel’s luxurious spa facility, the aim is to create an atmosphere in which to escape from the pressures of daily life even just for a short while. The treatments combined with Pevonia Botanica products are world-renowned and use the most powerful ingredients from the safest source… nature. Spa Haven’s fully qualified and highly trained therapists will design a programme to suit each individual’s needs. The ultimate sanctuary, Spa Haven offers a serenely beautiful and peaceful space to rejuvenate the body, mind and spirit.

For The Westgrove Hotel, engaging with China is a long-term commitment. 145


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Golf Club is home to two championship courses and offers breath-taking views, impeccably maintained fairways, a convenient location and an exceptional golfing experience. The renowned club was proud host venue for 2005, 2006 and 2013 Irish Opens as well as the 2018 World Amateur Team Championships. The K Club is an internationally acclaimed golf venue just 10 minutes from The Westgrove Hotel. Home of the 2006 Ryder Cup, 2016 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, and 13 European Opens, its 2 courses regularly feature in the list of the world’s top parkland golf courses. However, no-one should feel the need to be restricted to the international resorts, with 20 top class courses within 20 minutes of the hotel there is a course to suit all handicaps and fitness levels. If shopping is more your style, Kildare is home to Ireland’s premier shopping village. For a great day out, nestled within landscaped grounds and presented in an authentic village environment, Kildare Village is the perfect luxury shopping destination. It would be difficult to resist temptation with 100 brands such as Louise Kennedy, Armani, Brooks Brothers, Anya Hindmarch, Mulberry and Hugo Boss offering up to 60% off all year around.

County Kildare has so much to offer the first time visitor. The county is world famous for staging the most exciting horse racing events in Ireland. The Curragh Racecourse is Ireland’s most important thoroughbred racecourse for flat racing. It is considered to be one of the best racetracks in the world and is a centre for showcasing, racing and training of some of the best thoroughbreds globally. Every year it is home to Ireland’s five Classics – the Irish 1,000 Guineas, the Irish 2,000 Guineas, the Irish Oaks, the Irish Derby and the Irish St Leger. The racecourse, which has hosted racing since the 1700’s, is located 25 minutes from The Westgrove Hotel. Punchestown Racecourse is historically the home of National Hunt Racing in Ireland and hosts a total of 18 race meetings annually. The Annual 146

Punchestown Festival takes place in late April or early May each year and is one of the highlights of the Irish sporting and social calendar. Naas racecourse caters for all ages and requirements with off track entertainment including themed race days, summer BBQ Evenings, live music and family fun days with children’s entertainment. The Westgrove Hotel also offers exclusive Race and Stay; packages - perfect for a visit to the thoroughbred county. The Westgrove Hotel, Spa and Leisure Club is surrounded by a host of world class golf clubs and is the ideal base for the discerning golfer to take on the challenge of some of Kildare’s most famous courses. Just 15 minutes from The Westgrove Hotel, Carton House

A visit to The Newbridge Silver Showroom and Museum of Style Icons is highly recommended. The Westgrove Hotel, Spa and Leisure Club is a proud graduate of The Fáilte Ireland ‘China Ready’ training programme. This training has given the team a deeper and highly practical understanding of the cultural differences and needs of the Chinese visitor. For The Westgrove Hotel, engaging with China is a long-term commitment and this excellent training programme ensures they will continue to extend a warm and personal welcome to their Chinese visitors. For further information contact Westgrove Hotel & Conference Centre, Abbeylands, Clane, Naas, Co Kildare, W91 YWEO. Tel: 045 989904 Email: info@westgrovehotel.com or log onto: www.westgrovehotel.com


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T H E P OW E R S C O U RT D I S T I L L E RY & VISITOR CENTRE Built around an 18th century Mill House on Powerscourt Estate, our distillery, visitor centre and maturation warehouse cater to a wide range of visitor requirements. Six carefully appointed tasting rooms, a range of tour offerings, gift shop and cafe/bar will be open from March 2019. To plan your trip or to book tour tickets please visit www.powerscourtdistillery.com

THE POWERSCOURT DISTILLERY & VISITOR CENTRE POWERSCOURT ESTATE, ENNISKERRY, Co. WICKLOW, IRELAND. W W W. P O W E R S C O U R T D I S T I L L E R Y. C O M

Fercullen Premium Blend Irish Whiskey. “Fercullen” is the old Irish name given to the mountainous region of Powerscourt Estate and its use dates back to the 1300s and beyond.

THE POWERSCOURT DISTILLERY The Powerscourt Distillery started producing new spirit in June 2018 in the Old Mill House on Powerscourt Estate, County Wicklow. Dating back to 1730s, this building has now been faithfully restored and extended to accommodate both production and visitor centre facilities. An adjacent warehouse for filling and storing casks helps to ensure a fully immersive distillery visitor experience. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Sugarloaf Mountain and enjoying a long

heritage of local craftsmanship, Powerscourt has become one of Ireland’s most treasured and frequently visited estates. Located within a 30-minute drive from Dublin city centre, nourished by pure Wicklow spring water, and enjoying a mild coastline climate, Powerscourt sets the perfect stage for distilling Irish whiskey. In November 2018 the distillery launched three new expressions of Irish whiskey under its Fercullen brand; Fercullen 14-Year-Old Single Malt Whiskey, Fercullen 10-Year-Old Single Grain Whiskey and

These 3 new whiskeys have been released by award-winning Master Distiller Noel Sweeney, whose experience and global recognition sit comfortably in a place renowned for attention to detail, craft and vision. Having carefully selected the aged stock used for their release, Noel also helped to design the plant at Powerscourt where he now holds responsibility for all liquid production. Six carefully-appointed tasting rooms, a distillery gift shop, café/bar and adjoining maturation facilities will be open for tours & tastings from March 2019. Further information regarding updates, tours and booking information can be found on the distillery website. For further details contact Powerscourt Distillery, Powerscourt Estate, Enniskerry, County Wicklow, Ireland. Tel: +353 1 506 5656 Email: info@powerscourtdistillery.com or log onto: www.powerscourtdistillery.com

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Southern Star Set adjacent to the ruins of an 800-year-old castle and within a 220-acre estate complete with 17th-century manor, Castlemartyr Resort is the last word in luxury and the stuff of dreams. Castlemartyr Resort is delighted to have been accredited as a China Ready business in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland’s China Ready Programme, the first hotel in Cork to receive the accreditation. The resort was officially accredited after in-depth training by resort management, front-facing staff, sales & marketing and culinary teams. “The China Ready Programme has been an engaging and useful experience and we are delighted to receive our accreditation from Fáilte Ireland,” explains General Manager Brendan Comerford. “Developing our staffs’ knowledge of Chinese tourism expectations and needs, as well as learning how each of these can be met with a very special welcome has been invaluable, as has being given the knowledge, insights and skills necessary

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for our sales and marketing team to enter the Chinese market. With strong connections already to China with our owners, we are delighted to be the first hotel in Cork to receive the accreditation and we look forward to welcoming more visitors this year and in the years to come.” The team at Castlemartyr Resort had the opportunity to put their training to the test in December, when they welcomed a group of prominent business and tourism leaders from China, including Secretary General of the China Association of Travel Services, Sun Guizhen. While staying at the Resort the group enjoyed visits to the local Jameson Whiskey Distillery and Blarney Castle, as well as sampling a combination of local and traditional Chinese dishes in the Resort’s Bell Tower fine dining restaurant.

Located in County Cork, on Ireland’s southern coast, Castlemartyr Resort offers luxury 5 Star hotel accommodation situated on 220 acres of mature landscape with meandering streams, parklands and a tranquil lake that is abundant with wildlife and gardens. The magnificent Manor House from the 18th Century, painstakingly restored to its original grandeur, now forms the centrepiece of Castlemartyr Resort, where it lies beside the ruins of an 800-year-old castle originally built by The Knights Templar under Richard Earl de Clare, known as Strongbow. Voted Ireland’s ‘Leading Hotel Suite’ in 2017, the Presidential Suite at Castlemartyr Resort has stunning views of the 12th century castle and ornate gardens to the rear of the hotel. The suite boasts a spacious bedroom with a


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large marble bathroom that is superbly appointed with a separate walk-in shower, full bath and its own sauna. The Presidential Suite is ideal for entertaining with a separate sitting room, an anteroom generous enough to host a cocktail reception and a dining room, all serviced by a dedicated elevator so that meals may be delivered directly from the kitchen below. Previous occupants of The Presidential Suite include former US President, Bill Clinton and musician Bruce Springsteen. Castlemartyr Resort’s grounds include 103 luxury bedrooms, 47 luxury selfcatering lodges, a 10-treatment room Spa, fitness studio and a gymnasium. Guest rooms and suites offer free, high speed Wi-Fi, luxurious furniture and stunning views of the 5-star hotel & grounds. Open meadows, manicured lawns and formal gardens are a perfectly natural setting for the award-winning Castlemartyr Resort Spa. The very essence of luxury and health, the spa offers indulgent treatments from the internationally renowned brands ESPA and Germaine de Capuccini. Relaxing couple’s therapy suites and treatment rooms are available, with an expert spa team ready to melt your worries away. Surrounded by glass and with stunning views over the mature grounds of the estate, the health club also offers a 20m pool and spa pool. Here guests can enjoy a brisk swim or the simple pleasure of relaxing on a day bed taking in the glorious views of the estate. For the more energetic, enjoy a workout in the state of the art 200 square meter gym, equipped with the very latest Technogym fitness equipment, with personal trainers available on site to assist. Set on the old manor grounds, The Castlemartyr Golf Course is an 18-hole, 6,728 yd., Par 72, inland links style course. It is the creation of renowned golf course designer Ron Kirby, whose credentials were honed on such Irish masterpieces as Dromoland Castle, the Old Head and Mount Juliet, as well as Gleneagles in Scotland. In Castlemartyr Mr. Kirby has developed an inland links style course that creates a visually pleasing yet testing experience. Designed to be challenging and pleasurable for

players of any calibre, Castlemartyr Golf Club provides first class service across all aspects of the golf spectrum, from the course, to the clubhouse and pro shop. The hotel offers four dining options: The Bell Tower Restaurant serving modern Irish cuisine; Italian restaurant Franchini’s offers an extensive exciting menu along with a warm, ambient atmosphere for all to enjoy; the relaxed yet elegant Knights Bar, and the informal setting of the Golf Clubhouse offering a lighter dining option. Each of the dining experiences is provided by one of Cork’s finest and most welcoming teams committed to quality and customer satisfaction. Under the careful guidance of Head Chef, Kevin Burke, they offer a contemporary take on the best of local seasonal produce, where provenance is all-important. The innovative style of cooking provides a modern theme that will offer diners an experience worth travelling for. As an accredited China Ready hospitality business, Castlemartyr Resort will also benefit from international recognition of the Chinese Tourist Welcome (CTW) Training Programme which is recommended by the ETC (European Travel Commission), endorsed by PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) and has been awarded the GREAT China Welcome Charter Mark of VisitBritain. Castlemartyr Resort will also receive the Chinese Tourist Welcome Quality Label which identifies that they provide specialised services for Chinese tourists to the island of Ireland.

A Choice Location Castlemartyr Resort is just two and a half hours from Dublin airport, and within 30 minutes of Cork airport with Cork city on its doorstep. The city has a proud and fascinating history drawing interest from around the world. Recent visitors include Queen Elizabeth the 2nd, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles. The East Cork region is full of internationally renowned visitor attractions from the world-famous Blarney Castle to Spike Island, winner of Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction 2017 at the World Travel Awards. Just over an hour away is the Waterford Crystal Tour & Museum, where visitors can watch the world-famous craftsmen forge stunning works. Closer to the Resort, sip on a piece of history at the Jameson Distillery. The Jameson Experience Tour is a fully guided tour around the original Midleton Distillery which brings the stories of Jameson’s rich heritage to life. The tour finishes with your chance to do a guided comparative tasting of three famous whiskeys, one being Jameson. Also close to the Resort lie a number of beautiful beaches and coastal areas, ideal for swimming and exploring, as well as the famous Ballymaloe House & Gardens, perfect for an indulgent lunch. For more information on Castlemartyr Resort, or to speak to their team, visit www.castlemartyrresort.ie or call +353 21 421 9000.

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The Story of

Irish Whiskey The Fastest Growing Spirit in the World. Independent from the drinks industry, the Irish Whiskey Museum tells the stories and history of ‘Uisce beatha’ (the Irish phrase for whiskey, literally meaning ‘water of life’). Take a journey back through time and discover the story of Irish whiskey, from its origins in the 1400s all the way up to present day, with all the highs and lows in between.

Why the Irish Whiskey Museum? The Irish Whiskey Museum is located right in the heart of Dublin City next to the world-famous Trinity College and on the most popular shopping destination in the city, Grafton Street. The Irish Whiskey Museum opened its doors in 2014 with the sole aim of telling the great untold stories of all Irish whiskey, during a surge in popularity of the spirit and a clear revival of a product so greatly entwined with Ireland’s folklore and history. The Irish Whiskey Museum has continued to grow in popularity and now offers a range of experiences, including but not limited to: • The Classic Tour: A 1-hour experience inclusive of a fully guided tour, plus 3 perfectly crafted Irish whiskey tastings. Soft drink included for children and non-drinking adults. • The Premium Tour: The Classic Tour with an additional fourth beautifully aged Irish whiskey and a unique souvenir whiskey glass to remember this unique experience.

• The Whiskey and Brunch Experience: An experience exploring the history of whiskey and food throughout the eras in Ireland. This includes a 1 hour tour and tasting of 3 Irish whiskeys followed by a traditional Irish brunch in McDonnells, our in-house bar. • Whiskey Blending Experience: An extended guided tour with the opportunity to sample 4 Irish whiskeys, followed by the blending of your very own miniature whiskey to take home! • Whiskey Cocktail tour: Available from March These ultra-modern, guided tour consists of a journey through four different rooms, three of which are themed to represent different periods in Irish history. Learn all about how Irish monks first produced this famous spirit and how it grew in popularity until it reached its peak during the ‘golden era’ of Irish whiskey, when the big whiskey players like John Jameson and George Roe played a vital role in the development of the whiskey industry in Ireland. Journey on to discover some of the tougher times for Irish whiskey, going from nearly 200 distilleries in

the 1800s to only having four by the 1950s/60s and finally, join us back in 2019, the new Golden Age for Irish whiskey! The final room of the tour, the Tasting Room, is where visitors get to taste and compare three or four very different Irish whiskeys under the excellent guidance of a tasting expert. Finish your visit by shopping in the exclusive retail space, stocking over 100 brands of Irish whiskey. Need advice? Whiskey experts in the store can help you choose the perfect Whiskey gift (or even a bottle for yourself!) After that, why not sit back and take in some of the best views of Dublin in the in-house bar, while enjoying a traditional Irish coffee, a pint of Guinness or sampling the delicious whiskey cocktail menu. What really makes the Irish Whiskey Museum so unique is that it is independent of all Irish distilleries, meaning that it can offer visitors the 151


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opportunity to taste and experience a variety of traditional, bestselling Irish whiskeys, as well as up-and-coming brands on the Irish market. This gives you the opportunity to sample the very best that Ireland has to offer – and to help you choose an Irish whiskey that suits your own individual tastes!

A Growing Tourist Attraction There are many fascinating stories associated with Irish whiskey and whiskey production - and its history is a turbulent one. In 1900, Dublin was widely acknowledged as the whiskey capital of the world, with demand constantly growing. However, due to a number of circumstances that affected whiskey production (including World War 1 and American prohibition), by 1966 only five Irish whiskey brands had survived. Despite the tough times, whiskey became popular once again and now, in 2019, Irish whiskey distilleries are now among the fastest-growing attractions in Irish tourism.

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Only six years ago, there were just four distilleries in operation and five visitor centres on the island of Ireland. This year, there are now an amazing twenty working distilleries and thirteen whiskey distillery visitor centres open, with another eight about to open in the immediate future. Irish whiskey is more popular than ever and a trip to Ireland wouldn’t be complete without sampling the country’s most famous alcoholic spirit. While Ireland has not forgotten its core tradition of making the world’s finest whiskey using the best of ingredients, the growing number of Irish distilleries are not afraid to experiment with new techniques and new styles of whiskey to perfect new flavours to suit the many international customers – there really is something for everyone! So, From Kilbeggan to Bushmills, from Middleton to Cooley, from Tullamore Dew to Dingle and from Jameson to Teeling, it can all be found at the Irish Whiskey Museum.

Learn all about how Irish monks first produced this famous spirit in the 12th century, to the golden era of Irish whiskey when the big whiskey players like John Jameson and George Roe played a vital role in the development of the whiskey industry in Ireland


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