Buy China or Bye Ireland?

The Chinese New Year Holiday that ushered in the Year of the Ox was a forlorn time for me as everyone I knew fled the city of Hangzhou to the homes of parents and grandparents in far away towns and villages. As usual I had left it too late to buy any plane or train tickets to whisk me away to a far flung place of my own. So I was left to the mercies of my new Dell notebook and the Internet.

Really, what a downer!!…. I mean the myriad Irish newspapers and blogging websites I found myself reading…  A lot of Ireland‘s current economic problems seem to stem from our national trait for talking ourselves up, to the point of being infallible, when the economy is
going great, and then talking ourselves, seriously deep deep, down when the economy skids and hits the buffers. So many of the grim reapers write Armageddon-like as if Ireland is descending into financial oblivion.

Irish news media should start printing and broadcasting the following Health Warning:

If you keep reading the newspapers / or listening to the news about our economic meltdown you are either going to become severely depressed or cut your throat, or, alternatively, you can take the bull (or Ox) by the horns and assume a manner of optimism, be more cheerful, and accept that what goes up must come down before going back up again.

Year of the Ox - Grab the bull by the horns

Recessions are a part of life to be followed by progression. 

Anyway, the more I read, the more it became apparent to me that China should be viewed as an essential partner in restoring and maintaining Ireland’s economic stability.

Over the next decade China’s huge economic potential is likely to present more business, educational, and cultural opportunities for Ireland than any other country.

Consider the fact that despite the breakneck development of China over the last 30 years to become the world’s third largest economy, in 2007 its population of 1.3 billion still only enjoyed a per capita GDP that was 1/14th of the European Union average.

History shows us that it would be foolhardy indeed not to recognise that we are still in the very early stages of China’s re-emergence.

If there is one country that can quickly navigate the global slowdown it is China.  Even at an annual growth rate of to 7 to 8% forecast for 2009, which for China is a recession, China is still contributing more to global growth than any other country.  What’s more China’s own development, and the importance of growing prosperity, will require further substantive economic reforms to make sure growth is stable and sustainable.

China is already the 2nd largest outside the EU for Irish exports, and at a time of weakness in all of Ireland’s traditional export markets, developing China market opportunities is even more important as a driver of Ireland’s future growth.

And so my Year of the Ox resolution is to be patient, diligent and inspire confidence in others, such that come year-end Accurate will at last be viewed as a key channel for developing profitable China / Ireland business.

As we say in Ireland: “Feck the begrudgers!”

My new ‘green hat’: The Director For China, Irish Exporters Association

  Niall O Reilly - Director For China - Irish Exporters Association


Mr. Niall O’Reilly                                                             C.C.     H.E. Liu Biwei
Accurate Group Limited                                                             Ambassador of the People’s 
Suite 315                                                                                          Republic of China
Jujingyuan Yongjin Plaza                                                          40 Ailesbury Road
266-268 West Lake Avenue                                                       Dublin 4
China 310002                                                                                  Mrs. Mary Whelan
                                                                                                     Assistant Sec. General
           Dept. of  Foreign Affairs
Mr. Alan Buckley
Director of China
Enterprise Ireland
5th April 2008
Dear Niall,
The Irish Exporters Association (IEA) wish to confirm your appointment as the IEA
Director for China, effective from the 1st of March 2008.
We are confident your wide experience in assisting businesses in China will be of
substantial benefit to Irish companies who wish to enter the market for direct sales
or for joint ventures, working through agents or distributors and sourcing goods and
We look forward to your contributions in enabling the IEA’s Asia Pacific Trade Forum
deliver on its 3 year strategy 2008-2010 for China.
Yours Sincerely,
John Whelan
Chief Executive Officer, Irish Exporters Association