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04 Apr 2014

First Chinese Gathering of 2013 arrives in Ireland

A delegation of Chinese investors and entrepreneurs is in Ireland this week, taking part in the very first official Gathering of 2013 from China.

The group – whose visit was assisted by Tourism Ireland – consists of four senior managers from the Shaoxing Hi Tech Zone, as well as eight entrepreneurs from Shaoxing City. Shaoxing is one of China’s economic ‘hotspots’ right now. The Shao Xing Hi Tech Zone recently purchased the Irish Pavilion, built for the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai – and they now plan to invest about €100 million (CNY 800 million), to convert the pavilion into a multi-functional building, cultural hub and permanent landmark in Shaoxing.

Before they embark on this major project, the group from Shaoxing decided to undertake a fact-finding visit to Ireland this week, to get to know our country better. Because Cork is twinned with Shanghai, that was the first stop on their itinerary, where they had a meeting with representatives of the city council. They also spent time in Dublin, where they enjoyed some sightseeing, taking in some of our major attractions including Trinity College and the Book of Kells and the Guinness Storehouse.

Susan Li, Tourism Ireland’s manager in China, said: “Although the major focus of Tourism Ireland’s promotional activity to highlight The Gathering this year is in countries with a strong Diaspora connection – like Britain, the US, Canada and Australia – Tourism Ireland is also working hard in emerging tourism markets, like China, to raise awareness of Ireland. We have a busy programme of promotions under way throughout 2013, placing the spotlight on the many great festivals and events taking place right around Ireland as part of The Gathering. Our message for Chinese holidaymakers is that there has never been a better time to visit.”