GOVERNMENT Minister Jimmy Deenihan said plans by China to open a new cultural centre in Dublin could lead to major investment in the capital.
The Arts Minister has held high-level talks with the Chinese government about launching the new centre next year.
Dublin has been placed on a list of potential locations for the establishment of Chinese cultural centres – which host language and arts classes and other cultural initiatives.
Mr Deenihan (right) is due to meet the Chinese Ambassador to Ireland next week.
"It's by no means a fait accompli but I have discussed the idea at length with my counterparts in China and they have responded very favourably to the idea," he told the Herald.
"They certainly are considering it and I believe it would be a huge boost to the people of Dublin and Ireland," he added.
Mr Deenihan last night also spoke about plans to designate 2014 as a special year to celebrate Chinese and Irish links.
"Developing attractive links with China is something that I am very much in favour of. The establishment of a cultural centre – with a big year of Chinese-related events next year – would be great ways to deepen our relationship. And of course, there is huge potential for spin- offs such as investment and jobs so I'm very keen to pursue it."