Why exporters must crack the Chinese market
This weekend's visit to Ireland by Chinese Vice-President and leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping represents a unique opportunity to increase our trade with the world's most populous country. Mr Xi's Irish visit, which follows his trip to the United States this week, means that this country can begin to recover from its previous relative neglect of the huge Chinese market.
For a country that prides itself on the openness of its economy and the success of its exports, we have something of a blind spot when it comes to China.
Our exports to China in the first 11 months of last year were worth €2.25bn -- a mere 3pc of our total exports. With the Chinese economy set to overtake that of the United States as the world's largest by the middle of the next decade, such inattention is no longer an option for an export-oriented country such as Ireland.