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Irish minister vows to cement trade ties with China

Abstract : A senior Irish official said on Thursday that his ambition is to cement and further develop the trade relations with China in the coming years.

DUBLIN, May 27 (Xinhua) — A senior Irish official said on Thursday that his ambition is to cement and further develop the trade relations with China in the coming years.

Martin Heydon, Irish Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, made the remarks while addressing a video conference on China-Ireland business ties.

Heydon said that China was the 4th largest agrifood export market for Ireland in 2020 and Irish food exports to China have averaged almost 900 million euros (about 1.08 billion U.S. dollars) annually for the last five years.

“China is our second most important export market for both dairy and pigmeat sectors,” he said, adding that growing a diversified and established market for Irish agrifood exports remains a priority for his department as well as for him as a minister with responsibility for new market development.

He said that his department and himself attach great importance to maintaining an existing market access, including the access to the Chinese market.

“A lot of my time will be spent on that, ensuring that we don’t take for granted any market we have, but also trying to open doors and new opportunities that exist,” he said.

Heydon also said that he has participated in a number of high-level trade meetings with Chinese trade customers in a virtual format and is very impressed with their enthusiasm and knowledge about Irish food and drink offering.

“Quality and safety are key for consumers in China,” he said. “As a country which exports much of the food we produce, we know our reputation as producer of a safe, sustainable produce is absolutely paramount. And our regulatory (bodies) in food safety systems allow us to provide those assurances.”

Heydon concluded his speech by saying that “My ambition is to cement and further develop that positive trade relation (with China) in the coming years ahead.”

The video conference was organized by AsiaMatters, an Irish think tank focusing on the promotion of business ties between Ireland and Asia. The theme of the conference is China Ireland Business Partnership in the Post Covid World Economy. Dozens of Chinese and Irish officials, business leaders, experts and scholars participated in the two-day event which opened on Thursday in Cork, the second largest city in Ireland. Enditem

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Source: Irish minister vows to cement trade ties with China

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