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Will Chinese money follow Kenny deal?

THE Government is hoping wealthy Chinese investors will spend billions of euro in the Irish economy.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny believes that China could hold a real solution to our economic woes.

The optimism comes after a deal involving the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) and Chinese investment fund CIC International was signed.

CIC is one of the world's richest investment vehicles.

Speaking in Beijing, Mr Kenny said the ties between Ireland and China show that the differences in size are no barrier to a warm and deep relationship.

Mr Kenny said the deal is "very significant".


It allows the NTMA and CIC to co-operate in identifying possible investments in Irish assets.

"Clearly, a country as economically powerful as China expressing an interest in being a partner to investment in Ireland is an important indicator in its own right," the Taoiseach said.

The deal was signed in the Great Hall of the People of Beijing.

Mr Kenny said relations between Ireland and China are stronger than ever.

"The positive development of our bilateral relationship underlines that geographical distance, and difference in size, are no barriers to the development of a warm, friendly and deep relationship," he added.

The NTMA's vast portfolio, which includes property and infrastructure, is likely to be first on the list of possible investment opportunities for CIC.

"China understands that Ireland is now headed in the right direction. China understands that Ireland is serious about its business," Mr Kenny said.

On the third day of their visit to China, Mr Kenny and Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton met Chinese business leaders over breakfast.

NTMA chief executive John Corrigan signed the memorandum of understanding with CIC chairman Lou Jiwei.

He said the organisation had been talking to the fund "for a good while".

Mr Corrigan said it is a major achievement but would not elaborate what projects CIC has in its sights.

He was asked if the fund would invest in the country's State assets but would only say that "everything is a possibility".