independent

Monday 14 October 2019

County Council sees red

Wexford County Council’s offices lit up in red on February 5
Wexford County Council’s offices lit up in red on February 5

Maria Pepper

The Wexford County Council headquarters building in Carricklawn was lit up in bright red to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

The transformation took place last Tuesday as the Council headquarters joined a list of iconic buildings throughout Ireland to mark the Year of the Pig on February 5.

For the third year in a row, some of Ireland's best-known buildings were illuminated in vivid red as Ireland celebrated with the Chinese, including the National Convention Centre, the Guinness Storehouse and the Mansion House in Dublin while Cork City Hall, City North Hotel in Meath, Kildare Village and Powerscourt Estate also participated.

Wexford County Council has recently been developing a strong business relationship with China. A number of Chinese business delegations visited the County Hall last year to learn about the county and doing business here. Chinese Ambassador to Ireland His Excellency Dr Yue Xiaoyong has visited the county several times.

That relationship led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding last April between Wexford County Council and the Ambassador's home province of Hubei, People's Republic of China, committing both regions to working collectively with a view to creating mutual cultural, economic and smart city opportunities.

Wexford County Council chairman Cllr. Keith Doyle said China is an important emerging market and one that the local authority is keen to explore in terms of developing technologies, expanding tourism potential and bringing job opportunities to Wexford.'The Chinese travel market is one of the biggest in the world with almost 70,000 Chinese tourists visiting Ireland in 2018. he said.

'Chinese tourists to Ireland spend approximately €100 million a year, and while their current travel patterns list places such as Giant's Causeway, the Guinness Storehouse and the Cliffs of Moher as their most-visited landmarks, it is our ambition in Wexford County Council to add some of Wexford's best loved visitor experiences to that list in the coming years.'

'We also see great job opportunities for Wexford in the context of the many Chinese companies seeking a European base for their business operations and we're keen to further develop our relationship with Chinese business interests so that these opportunities can be explored further', added the chairman.

Deputy Chief Executive Tony Larkin said the 'lighting up' initiative is very important from a marketing point of view..

'Pictures of iconic Irish buildings turned red for the Chinese New Year is an important gesture - similar to how buildings around the world turn green for St Patrick's Day,' he said.

'The start of Chinese New Year is like our St Patrick's Day - it's great PR to have what is arguably Wexford's most prominent building - Wexford County Council Headquarters - the seat of local government in Wexford, turn red to celebrate Chinese New Year.'

'It's a good PR story for us, and plays really well on social media in China, showing we're keen to learn and keen to connect while aware and respectful of Chinese tradition and culture,' he said

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