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China set to become Ireland’s 5th largest export market

April 29, 2018

China is set to become Ireland’s 5th largest export market by the year 2030, said a report released here on Wednesday according to the Chinese state news agency Xinhua.

The report, compiled by Enterprise Ireland, a government agency for helping Irish companies to explore overseas markets, said the Irish exports to China are expected to grow annually at about 10% in the years running from 2020 to 2030.

Last year, Ireland exported 8.1 billion U.S. dollars of goods to China, accounting for about 5% of its total goods exports which were valued at around 149 billion U.S. dollars, according to Ireland’s data.

However, with the transformation of the Chinese economy from investment and manufacturing driven growth to a model based on services in recent years, there have arisen immense opportunities for overseas businesses, said the report.

The report called on Irish companies to seize the opportunities offered by China particularly in the fields of education, information and communications technology, healthcare and medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and agriculture where Ireland is well-positioned in the world.

China is an economy with a rapid growing number of middle-class people where chances remain in many sectors, even with its equine market, said the report.

At this point, the 900-plus equestrian clubs in China had bought more than 8,000 horses in 2016, of which nearly half were imported, providing good opportunities for Irish equine products and services, according to the report.

The report was launched at an international conference jointly organized by Enterprise Ireland and Cathay Pacific, a Hong Kong-based airline which recently announced the opening of its first direct flight from Dublin to Hong Kong in early June of this year.

Entitled “Routes to Growth Asia Pacific Conference 2018”, the event is aimed at encouraging Irish companies to explore new markets in the Asia Pacific region, particularly in China so as to set off the possible negative impact of Brexit on the Irish economy which currently depends much on its exports to Britain.

More than 200 Irish companies and over 100 business leaders, prospective buyers and investors from the Asia Pacific region participated in the one-day event.