Seven members of a Chinese delegation of political and business leaders from the Yingtan municipality in China, visited the Hatch Lab in Gorey on Monday April, 8. The area in China, which is North of Shanghai, has a much larger population than Ireland and is known for its companies in the technology sector.
The visitors were invited to the Hatch Lab M11 Business Campus by Wexford County Council, alongside Cllr Malcolm Byrne, to look at possible long term collaborations with European companies and local authorities.
The delegation were keen to look at where business can happen, and Cllr Byrne said that the delegation were very impressed by what they saw in Wexford, as well as the model of the Hatch Lab, particularly in terms of how it works in collaboration with local government and business.
'We wanted to make them aware of the opportunities in County Wexford. As China is a huge and expanding market that is opening up, it presents enormous opportunities for Irish companies to collaborate,' said Cllr Byrne afterwards.
John O'Connor, Chief Executive Officer of the Hatch Lab said that Wexford cannot just look towards American investment, but also needs to look further east and he added that a partnership like this takes time,
'It's not going to happen over night but it's a very good start and something that we want to try and encourage,' he said.
He explained that the areas particularly of Gorey, Enniscorthy and Wexford Town are looking to set up a form of twinning opportunity with the delegation, which will work both ways, as representatives of Wexford County Council will go to Yingtan to visit the facilities also. O'Connor sees this as relationship building, with a goal of having a Chinese company set up its base in Wexford, but also getting investors interested in the start-up businesses already ongoing at the Hatch Lab. The delegation later visited the County Hall in Wexford.