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Accurate China Insight: Preparing for Marriage – Ireland to use EU Presidency to lay groundwork for negotiating landmark EU-China Free Trade Agreement?
…..Or at least that’s what reading between the lines would appear to reveal as being the over-riding objective. Today in an address to the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee Richard Bruton TD, Ireland’s Minister of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, stated:
“..It was evident at the last Summit that there is considerable richness and potential in our relationship with China. We would like to prepare the ground for the next summit so that the conditions would be ripe to launch negotiations for a landmark investment agreement with market access..”
The paragraph immediately preceding this statement refers to FTA [Free Trade Agreement] negotiations with Japan and India, while further down in his speech the Minister speaks of FTAs with individual ASEAN members.
While the specific language used in relation to China talks about “…a landmark investment agreement with market access..”, given the overall context in which the speech was made, the implication is clear – an FTA between the EU (European Union), China’s largest trading partner, and China is the ultimate goal. Such an objective marks a hugely significant turning point in the development of the EU’s China engagement strategy: Marriage is on the cards.
The visit to Ireland in February 2012 by paramount leader General Secretary Xi Jinping, which was hastily followed up by Irish Prime Minister, Taoiseach Enda Kenny‘s return trip to Beijing the following month, not only demonstrates that China, the EU’s second largest trading partner, would make for an eager marriage companion, but it also signifies China backing for Ireland’s unilateral embracement of the role of EU–China marriage maker as a key feature of its Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Given Minister Bruton’s speech to European Parliament’s International Trade Committee, the acknowledgement by General Secretary Xi Jinping at his March 2012 reunion with Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Beijing that …
“… The development of China-Ireland relations can serve as a driving force in boosting China-Europe ties..”
[Source / read more: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2012/0326/breaking59.html]
…would appear to be prophetic indeed.
Going forward, Ireland’s eager and unilateral adoption of the role of ‘marriage maker’ would seem to indicate a future political relationship with Beijing deriving far more economic benefit to the country than its trading relationship.
Meanwhile, as mentioned in the Accurate China Insight dated 21 November 2013 http://www.accuratelimited.com/blog.view.php?id=ITvZZdNpXFs= all augurs well for Chinese President-designate Xi Jinping‘s return to Ireland in June 2013.
As noted in the Accurate China Insight dated 20th November :
“…Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of The European Union provides a fantastic opportunity for Ireland to yet again punch above its weight in the eyes of China’s leaders and media……. Moreover, EU-China -related summits in Ireland will provide Europeans with their first real chance to measure the mind-set of China‘s new leadership towards its biggest trading partner…”
[Source / read more: http://www.accuratelimited.com/blog.view.php?id=+8G9kXqGg28=]
Sources: Accurate China Business Services: http://www.accuratelimited.com/blog.view.php?id=dOanRm3VH+U=
Managing Director, Accurate Group – Ireland China Product & Business Development (Export Sourcing Import) Consultancy
Accurate China Insight (1) http://www.accuratelimited.com/blog.php
Accurate China Insight (2) Follow @accuratechina
Tel: Dublin, Ireland +353 1271 1830 / Hangzhou, China +86 152 5719 4468
Letters, Irish Times Newspaper, Monday October 17th, 2011
“Turning to China
Sir, – In light of the growing realisation, as highlighted by Eddie O’Connor (Opinion, October 7th) that over the next decade China is likely to present more business, educational and tourism opportunities for Ireland than any other country, is it not the case that we are seriously deluding ourselves in thinking China will provide such economic deliverance unless our policy makers embrace a radical new approach to engaging China?
Bearing in mind every other country in the western world is courting China’s Yuan currency, can I suggest, for example, each Government department be directed to devise a five-year plan regarding how best to position Ireland as China’s gateway to Europe. A junior minister with a special portfolio covering China would be responsible for monitoring the plan’s implementation.
In the intervening time, while waiting for Chinese companies to make the investment decisions we see as so vital to our future, the Government should also consider practical initiatives aimed at making China market entry easier for our small and medium-sized businesses. For instance, a feasible and cost-effective approach for small and medium-sized businesses, involving a sharing of incubation office, administrative, legal, financial and logistical resources, would be the construction of a Government supported IDA-style “Irish business park” on land leased from one of many enthusiastic municipal or provincial governments in China. Such a valuable enterprise could be carried out under the auspices of a public/private partnership, with special tax breaks offered to encourage Irish businesses to establish their offices. There is a precedent – in the mid-1990s Singapore leased land from the Suzhou Government to build what is now the principal gateway to China for Singapore businesses: The Suzhou Industrial Park.
The future success of Ireland’s China engagement policy lies in embracing bold initiatives that stand out from the crowd. – Yours, etc,
Accurate – China Business Services,
West Lake Avenue,
China – Under The Hood: When there is no will they have ‘Ah Way’ – The fowl art of domesticating a wild chicken in 81 days
“The critic educates the public. The artist educates the critic”
(Oscar Wilde (Irish Poet, Novelist, Dramatist and Critic, 1854-1900))
They declare that chickens, after thousands of years of domestication, now finally enjoy roosting in branches.
I live in a filthy cage so small I cannot stretch my wings. They wish I were dead: A dead battery chicken. “Useless alive”, They say, and.. I don’t know, soon perhaps I will be dead. Blood pressure and diabetes have an impact on chickens too.
I am a battery chicken. They say “a mentally conflicted chicken”. I say “a battery chicken with a conscience”.
Even my discourse is more articulate than theirs can ever be….
“…. Despite twenty-two years of harsh domestication, we battery chickens are in actual fact still the wild fowl of our ancestry, with the same passions for openness, free will, candor, and lack of restrictions suited to the tropical surroundings they originated in. June is International Respect for Wild Fowl Month. Let the earth know how beautiful and essential we battery chickens truly can be..”
“…. Release the battery chickens from their cages”
“…. Stop debeaking chickens”
“…. Yes chickens are no longer starving, but they still suffer”
Thought Reform: The Coercive Art of Passive Persuasion
They don’t like my intense mode of individualism, which, unimaginatively, They perceive as seeking to incite the masses of outwardly blissful chickens. “The illusion of a unique temperament is unbecoming of a chicken”, They ridicule, “too outspoken”.
That’s why They grabbed me and my little brothers: Thrown into trash bags: Welcome to the machine.
They want to strike off my beak with a hot iron.
They scowl they are resolute in their determination to extract my compliance. Oh, we battery chickens know all too well the wide variety of intimidating methods They employ orchestrating self-indicting and self-reproaching confessions of wrong-doing:
Sleep deprivation and semi starvation. I am forced to stand night and day for very long periods in conditions of bitter cold on a freezing floor that eventually deadens my feet. The cage walls continually bruise the elbows of my wings, forming swelling that never seems to mend. In this trash bag, the air is so full of the choking stench of decay my lungs hurt and my eyes are on fire.
Reducing my mental and physical ability to resist, They want me spent, broken, no fuel to carry on, reduced back to simple ‘battery chicken level’, a nervous gibbering wreck.
Now wholly reliant on my interrogator, my declaration of guilt is merely a feeling of liberation over the endless onslaught. Next comes their very consistent and very public:
“Because of this chicken’s good attitude in confessing his crimes….”.
Even so, my mind remains observant and my body is aware of a natural desire so strong: The freedom to socialise, even in a farmyard, with my like-minded flock, practicing my critical spirit, expressing my nature, looking at the stars.
I am not a spent chicken. I want to be richly feathered.
Say I am wonderful.
Don’t let me be misunderstood.
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.”
Managing Director, Accurate Group – Ireland China Product & Business Development (Export, Source, Import, Partner Due Diligence) Consultants doing business in China for over 20 yearsFollow @accuratechina
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
“If you can start the day without caffeine,
If you can get going without pep pills,
If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment
If you can ignore a friend’s limited education and never correct him,
If you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without alcohol,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs…………..
…………….. Then You Are Probably The Family Dog“
If someone makes a huge difference in your life it certainly doesn’t hurt anyone to show your appreciation for their hard work, especially if you have never met that person face-to-face: Credit where credit is due.
It’s the middle of the rugby union Six Nations 2008 Championships back home, my favourite time of the sporting year, with Ireland once again battling it out for glory against France, Italy, Wales, England and Scotland, and I know back home in Ireland everyone is glued to their televisions in anticipation of triumph. Great craic to be had by all especially when, with two rouds to go, any one of four teams can still claim the Six Nations title.
And here I am in China… no rugby, let alone Six Nations rugby is broadcast on State-run CCTV television, and the games on the Star Sports/ESPN satellite channels –if you can find a bar that uses the Philippines as opposed to Hong Kong signal to broadcast the rugby matches – are on so friggin late!
Well all is not lost… cue Gerry Thornley, the Rugby correspondent for the Irish Times, who in my humble opinion is the divine being of sports journalism. The way his words illustrate the protagonists, the villains, and set the scenes before, during and after each match is mind-boggling… he really is a master craftsman when it comes to writing and I’d be truly fecked if I couldn’t read his prose in the build up to each game.
So credit where credit is due….
From: Gerry Thornley [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, 27 February, 2008 10:16 PM
Subject: Re: ireland .com:All Black blue blood steeped in red
Sat, Feb 16, 2008 at 11:45 PM
As a diehard Irish rugby fan living in China, where the State television monopoly makes it almost impossible to view any of the games Live, the manner of your writing talent only adds to my sense of frustration. Keep it up… I consider you the very best sports writer around.All the best