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Accurate China Insight: Entering The Dragon’s Den

Huge Opportunities lie waiting for Irish businesses in China, but know your market

From Ireland’s ‘Business and Finance’ magazine’s ‘Enterprise Insight’ supplement, Q2 2008 edition, by Niall O’ Reilly

The world’s second largest economy China, is now the largest market in Asia, and outside the Euro Zone only second to the USA for Ireland’s exports. According to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) exports to mainland China (excluding the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) for the first two months of 2008 totalled €324.6 million, a year-on-year increase of 112%.  Exports to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region over the same period reached €110 million.

 

In the face of the current global economic downturn, a difficult exchange rate and other cost base factors, including the flight of manufacturing processes to low overhead, low material cost countries in Asia and Eastern Europe, as our manufacturers struggle to maintain productivity, the rise in our exports to China is a major achievement and presents convincing evidence that Ireland is at last starting to hit the mark in China business. Given that over the past decade the development of our economic and trade relations with China has been a top priority the Irish Government will maintain that its Asia Strategy, with its particular emphasis on China, is the key reason for  this positive development. What the CSO figures do not reveal, however, is how indigenous Irish businesses are performing compared to multinationals businesses based in Ireland.

 

China’s rise to become Ireland’s eight largest export destination is directly linked to its own export prowess and the craving for technology, infrastructure equipment and knowhow by Chinese enterprises that cannot be satisfied by domestic suppliers. From this perspective it is not surprising that the majority of our exports to China should consist of the information communications technology, machinery and equipment China requires to fuel its heady growth. Buoyed by breakneck 7% to 8% GDP growth in China over the past 10 years, a trend that shows little sign of abating, so long as businesses based in Ireland stay ahead of the technology curve and maintain their competitiveness exports to China will only continue to expand, thus strengthening China’s position as a major export market for Irish produce.

 

Looking ahead, where are the China market opportunities for Irish exporters?

 

Ireland commands a very strong position in the world trade rankings for internationally traded services. Recently published statistics by the World Trade Organisation 2006 show Ireland as the 12th largest services exporter, commanding a 2.6% share of world trade, while services exports now account for 35% of our total export trade. China has only opened up the service market to any great extent over the past four years and there are clearly significant additional market opportunities now for Irish service exports in engineering consultancy, aviation services, information communication technology, education and tourism services. The latter two service sectors are particularly significant given the rise in the spending power of the Chinese consumer.

 

According to the China National Bureau of Statistics, in 2007, China’s retail spending rose 16.8 percent to 8.92 trillion Yuan (US$1.24 trillion), thus adding credence to a widely held view that Chinese demand will this year for the first time become the main driver of world economic growth, with the increase in its domestic spending in current dollar terms contributing more to global growth than US domestic demand. As such, Irish suppliers should be relishing lucrative domestic sales opportunities presented by an increasingly affluent population.

 

Located two hours south of Shanghai is the prosperous city of Hangzhou, Marco Polo’s ‘paradise on earth’, which Forbes ™ Magazine has repeatedly rated as China’s premier business centre. With a registered population of 6.7 million inhabitants and an urban per capita income of RMB21,689, Hangzhou provides the ideal glimpse into the phenomenal growth in the purchasing power of China’s increasingly affluent middle class.  Not only do Bentley, Maserati, Ferrari, and Prada showrooms do a thriving business here, even more remarkable is the thirst to travel abroad whether as tourists, with Paris and London high on the list of preferred destinations, or graduate students from the third ranked university in China, Hangzhou’s Zhejiang University, seeking further education in the best schools in Europe and the USA. 

 

As individual prosperity rises so too are people becoming increasingly concerned about their living conditions. Recognising such anxieties, and looking ahead to population growth of close to 20 per cent over the next five years, in addition to the huge infrastructure building projects already underway, the Hangzhou Municipal People’s Government is actively encouraging projects focused on providing fuel efficiency, cleaner water, better sanitation, and power generation, all of which whether in material or service form present significant opportunities for Irish suppliers. 

 

As patterns of consumption change, to reflect those found in wealthier countries, such as higher levels of meat consumption, the opportunities for Irish suppliers in the development of both the food ingredients market, such as diary fats and proteins, standard cereal and grain products and flours, vegetable oils, or standardised high-quality meat products, and markets for the products of large scale cropping and livestock activities, become all the more apparent. In 2005, Kerry Group quick to seize the market opportunity established its state-of-the-art China manufacturing, technical and administrative facilities in Hangzhou.

 

However, remove the rose-tinted glasses and it quickly becomes apparent that in China the size of the opportunity is only matched by the difficulty in weighing up the risk, as the great challenges for any Irish supplier in entering what is still a relatively immature market quickly become apparent.  China’s rapid growth since its 1978 opening to the world has not necessarily meant greater transparency.

 

Making sound business decisions can be very difficult when there is little timely information available, and when the information available is either unreliable, or misleading.  What’s more, a simple misunderstanding of local business practices, which can be very different from what is taken for granted in Ireland, can harm efforts to develop solid business relationships and leverage them into strategic opportunities. As Kerry, CRH and Glen Dimplex have found, there is an inherent need for proximity to the customer base  for supplying many services. However, this forces small and medium exporter into the high cost of establishing a commercial presence in the China.

 

Rather than going it alone, working with either the Irish Exporters Association, Enterprise Ireland, or some of the more experienced homegrown market-entry consultancy practices with experts based on the ground in China, and their ability to access key business and government decision-makers,  will greatly assist Irish businesses in getting the most out of the unprecedented opportunities available in China.”

Niall O’Reilly

Managing Director, Accurate Group – Ireland China Product & Business Development (Export, Source, Import, Partner Due Diligence) Consultants doing business in China for over 20 years

China Office : 1-3 Ying Hui Xing Zhou, Jiang Nan Shui Xiang Lian Sheng Road, Yu Hang District, Hangzhou. China 310023| O: +86 571 8709 1253

Ireland Office: 93 Upper Georges Street, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, Ireland| O: +353-1271-1830

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People’s Daily 人民日报: Scientists discover that “Niall” is the most fertile Irish male

…………So there was I relaxing, minding my own business –actually melting would be a more precise description (a boiling 30 + degrees Celsius here) — drinking a mug of Barry’s tea (one of my little China foibles), Goggling “Genghis Khan”, when I accidentally typed my own name into the search….. and up pops this article from The People’s Daily (人民日报), the principal mouth piece of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, dated January 2006… My namesake Niall of the Nine Hostages, according to the People’s Daily was the Genghis Khan of Ireland….. Ireland’s most fertile man…… so now you know !

Read on…..

“DUBLIN: Scientists in Ireland may have found the country’s most fertile male, with more than 3 million men worldwide among his offspring.

The scientists, from Trinity College Dublin, have discovered that as many as one in 12 Irish men could be descended from Niall of the Nine Hostages, a 5th-century (reigned 379–405) warlord who was head of the most powerful dynasty in ancient Ireland.

His genetic legacy is almost as impressive as Genghis Khan, the ancient emperor who conquered most of Asia in the 13th century and has nearly 16 million descendants, said Dan Bradley, who supervised the research.

“It’s another link between profligacy and power,” Bradley said. “We’re the first generation on the planet where if you are successful you don’t (always) have more children.”

The research was carried out by PhD student Laoise Moore, at the Smurfit Institute of Genetics at Trinity. Moore, testing the Y chromosome which is passed on from fathers to sons, examined DNA samples from 800 males across Ireland.

The results which have been published in the American Journal of Human Genetics showed the highest concentration of related males in northwest Ireland, where one in five males had the same Y chromosome.

Bradley said the results reminded the team of a similar study in central Asia, where scientists claimed they found 8 per cent of men with the same Y chromosome. Subsequent studies found they shared the same chromosome as the dynasty linked to Genghis Khan.

Surnames reveal secrets

“It made us wonder if there could be some sort of Genghis Khan effect in Ireland and the best candidate for it was Niall,” Bradley said.

His team then consulted with genealogical experts who provided them with a contemporary list of people with surnames that are genealogically linked to the last known relative of the “Ui Neill” dynasty, which literally means descendants of Niall.

The results showed the new group had the same chromosome as those in the original sample, proving a link between them and the Niall descendants.

“The frequency (of the Y chromosome) was significantly higher in that genealogical group than any other group we tested,” said Bradley, whose surname is also linked to the medieval warlord. Other modern surnames tracing their ancestry to Niall include Gallagher, Boyle, O’Donnell and O’Doherty.

For added proof, the scientists used special techniques to age the Y chromosome, according to how many mutations had occurred in the genetic material over time. The number of mutations was found to be in accordance with chromosomes that would date back to the last known living relative of Niall.

Niall reportedly had 12 sons, many of whom became powerful Irish kings themselves. But because he lived in the 5th century, there have been doubts the king who is said to have brought the country’s patron saint, Patrick, to Ireland even existed.

“Before I would have said that characters like Niall were almost mythological, like King Arthur, but this actually puts flesh on the bones,” Bradley said.

When international databases were checked, the chromosome also turned up in roughly 2 per cent of all male New Yorkers.”

Source: China Daily http://english.people.com.cn/200601/24/eng20060124_237825.html

“都柏林大学圣三一学院的科学家发现12个爱尔兰人中就有一个是“九个人质的尼尔”的子孙。尼尔是五世纪时的一名军阀,是古代爱尔兰最强大的王朝的首领。据监督这一研究的丹?布拉德利说,他的基因遗传  几乎与中国元太祖成吉思汗一样强大,一样给人留下深刻印象。成吉思汗留下了近1600万个子孙后代。布拉德利表示:“这是另一个放荡与权力联系在一起的例子。我们是在这个星球上取得成功又没有生育更多的孩子的第一代人。”

  这项研究是由圣三一学院的斯莫非特遗传学院的博士生拉奥伊斯?摩尔进行的,摩尔检测了爱尔兰各地800个男子的DNA样本,检测Y染色体,这种染色体只能由父亲传给儿子。摩尔的研究成果发表在美国的《人类遗传》杂志上,研究结果显示,有联系的男子最集中的地区是在爱尔兰西北部地区,那里每5个男子就有一个有着共同的染色体。

  布拉德利说,这一研究使人想起了在中亚的一个类似研究小组的成果,科学家在中亚地区发现8%的男子有着同样的Y染色体,后来的研究发现,他们都与成吉思汗有着一样的染色体,从而证明他们都是这个蒙古王的子孙后代。布拉德利说:“这让我们想到在爱尔兰是不是有着成吉思汗一样的影响,而最佳的人选当属尼尔。”

  爱尔兰的这个研究小组于是向遗传专家咨询,这些专家给他们提供了同代人的姓氏名单,这些姓氏都与“UiNeill”王朝有关,从理论上说,名单上的人都是尼尔留下的子孙后代。

  研究结果显示,新的群体与遗传专家提供的名单上的人有着相同的染色体,从而证明现在的人与他们有关,也是尼尔的后代。布拉德利的姓也与中世纪的尼尔有联系,他说:“在这个宗谱中,Y染色体的联系频率比其他任何我们研究的宗谱的联系要高得多。”除了布拉德利这个姓外,其他与尼尔有联系的爱尔兰现代人的姓包括加拉格尔、波义耳、奥丹尼尔和奥多赫蒂。

  为了找到更多的证据,科学家利用特别的技术测量Y染色体的时代,记录基因材料在这段时间里发生了多少突变。结果发现,突变的数量与已知的尼尔最近一位子孙的突变数量是一样的,他们的染色体相同。

  据称,尼尔有12个儿子,这些儿子中大部分又成为爱尔兰强大的国王。但由于他生活在5世纪,所以是否有国王存在还有疑问,据说当时的爱尔兰王把这个国家的守护神帕特里克带到了爱尔兰。布拉德利说:“以前我会说这些人与尼尔有关几乎是个神话,就像亚瑟王一样,但这的确是有科学根据的。

Niall Nine Hostages Ireland Genghis Khan Mongolia

King Niall of the Nine Hostages, Ireland’s greatest lover with 3 million descendants, the Irish Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan Mongolia Niall of the Nine Hostages Ireland

Genghis Khan, the world’s greatest lover with 16 million descendants, Mongolia’s King Niall of the Nine Hostages

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