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State Visit to the People’s Republic of China – President Michael D. Higgins of Ireland

The State Visit, the highest form of engagement, in diplomatic protocol, that one country can have with another, will be the 3rd overseas State Visit since the President of Ireland took office and is recognition of the warm relationship Ireland enjoys with the People’s Republic of China encompassing all aspects of the exchanges between Ireland and China in culture, education, trade and investment.

The President’s programme in China, which officially commences in Beijing on Sunday 7th December, will include State ceremonies, cultural, educational and business events, such as an Irish Cultural Performance in Beijing‘s Forbidden City Concert Hall, and Enterprise Ireland / IDA Ireland business and Embassy of Ireland Irish community receptions. A state dinner in his honour, hosted by the President Xi Jinping and Madame Ping will be held on Tuesday 19th December. On Thursday, 11th December, the Consul General of Ireland in Shanghai will host a reception for the Irish community, while on Friday 12th the President will visit the third city involved in the State Visit, Hangzhou. In Hangzhou, President Higgins will visit Alibaba, and have a meeting with Mr. Jack Ma its founder and Executive Chairman. Staying overnight in Hangzhou – perhaps at the West Lake State Guest House where Nixon and Mao signed the historic “3 Joint Communiques” in 1972– on Saturday he will visit the Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou, which dates back to 328AD, take a Bronze Dragon Boat trip on Hangzhou’s spectacular West Lake, followed by a visit to a Longjing Tea Plantation before returning to Shanghai by bullet train. President Higgins will return to Ireland on Monday, 15th of December.

The importance of high-level diplomatic visits between the Ireland and China, which are helping to widen and deepen bilateral relations, cannot be overstated, and in our opinion a substantial trade spin-off can be expected to follow this major State Visit. Real potential exists for further enhancing the relationship between Ireland and China in Ireland’s niche industry sectors such as energy and green technologies, food and agriculture, financial services and aviation leasing, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, educational services, and tourism.

During his momentous visit to China President Higgins can be expected to emphasise the importance of trade links, and, more importantly from a Chinese perspective, growing mutual trust, while encouraging even greater economic co-operation between China and Ireland.

State Visit to China President of Ireland Michael D Higgins to meet President of China Xi Jinping

While there is considerable optimism in Ireland’s agri-food sector about Ireland having the potential to resolve problems of food security in China, New Zealand’s and, most recently, Australia’s free trade agreements with China serve to highlight the daunting task Ireland dairy and meat producers face gaining traction in such an intensely competitive market. As Mark Twain observed “To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement”. However, one point President Higgins is very good at is talking up Ireland and he will have separate official meetings at the Great Hall of the People with President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister, Mr Li Keqiang and the Chairman of the National People’s Congress, Mr Zhang Dejiang, the three most powerful people in China.

Why is China so interested in Ireland?

As noted in an earlier Accurate China Insight http://www.accuratelimited.com/blog.view.php?id=2Mic2J2sUyQ=

“both countries enjoy an excellent political, business and cultural relationship, much to the envy of Ireland’s European partners”.

Firstly, China’s political leaders are clearly impressed by Ireland’s ongoing economic renewal brought about by the country’s strict adherence to fulfilling its commitments as an international Monetary Fund (IMF) country programme country, as recognized by the IMF, the European Central Bank (ECB), and the European Commission. From an export dependency perspective, China has a vested interest in the European Union’s rapid return to growth and in this context Ireland is a shining beacon of light.

Secondly, such positive awareness dovetails with the ‘Irish Model’ that has proved so successful in the development of China’s own special economic zones areas. In Chinese political circles, whether we realise it or not, Ireland has made an important contribution to China’s economic development. In 1980, a visit by former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, then Senior Vice Minister of State Imports and Exports Administration, to the ‘Shannon Free Zone’ (the world’s first free trade zone) paved the way for Chinese companies to import goods into a special economic zone, manufacture or reconfigure the goods, and then export them without intervention of the customs authorities. The resulting export-led growth has delivered an economy that has experienced the fastest expansion in GDP per capita of any major economy in human history. In recent times after years of economic expansion China’s economic growth rate has being losing speed, in part due to a decline in demand for its exports from key markets. To stall the slowdown new economic prototypes are being assessed such as the fledgling Shanghai Free-Trade Zone that bears characteristics that can be traced back to the ‘Shannon-Free Zone’. The February 2012 visit to the Shannon Development Zone by President Xi Jinping, then Vice President of China, was no mere happenstance.

Thirdly, Ireland currently enjoys a unique position in Europe between two of China’s traditional rivals, the USA and the UK, which for China represents a “soft power” relationship it is determined to make the most of over the long-term.

Fourthly, in addition that Ireland is the only English speaking country in the Euro zone enjoying tariff and border free trade across the European Union makes for a useful entry point into the European market of 500 millions. However, from this perspective Ireland has yet to notch up any significant Chinese investments, a point that President Higgins will no doubt be highlighting during his meetings with China’s political elites.

During the second week of December Ireland will take centre stage in China like never before.

Source: http://www.accuratelimited.com/blog.view.php?id=uInfgiAwMQU=

Niall O’Reilly

Managing Director, Accurate Group – Ireland China Market Makers

Website: For more ‘Accurate China Insights’ click  http://www.accuratelimited.com/blog.php

Twitter: @AccurateChina – China: The Ireland Angle

China Office : Accurate Group China, Hangzhou – O: +86 571 8709 1253

Ireland Office: Accurate Group, Dublin – O: +353-1 271-1830

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Irish Exporters Association trade mission to ‘paradise’ meets China’s richest man

Irish Times, Asia Briefing, 2nd July, 2013

“And so to the prosperous east of China, to the cities of Suzhou and Hangzhou, where the Irish Exporters Association (IEA) organised a trade mission that included a meeting with mainland China’s richest man: Zong Qinghou.

There is a Chinese proverb: “In heaven there is paradise, on earth Suzhou and Hangzhou.”

As well as being pleasant cities, they are important business locations, and they fit right in with the current thinking on how to exploit the China market best. That involves focusing on second-tier cities that have large populations.

Hangzhou has 9.5 million inhabitants, while Suzhou has 12 million, which is why the IEA’s Asia Trade Forum chose them for its business visit.

“This is all about taking a phased approach to Asia, and getting to know Asia better,” said Hugh Kelly, the chairman of the IEA’s Asia Trade Forum.

“We wanted to get people out here and get them over the hump of making the trip. We wanted to try to get people to experience China and better inform them if it’s the market for them.”

The IEA’s director for China, Niall O’Reilly, is a long-time Hangzhou resident and he orchestrated the coup of arranging a meeting with Mr Zong.

He is estimated to have a personal wealth of 82 billion yuan (€10.23 billion) and is the chairman of the privately held Wahaha group, China’s top homegrown beverage firm, producing bottled water, tea and other drinks, which had pre-tax profits of €1.23 billion last year.

A chain-smoking member of China’s annual parliament, the National People’s Congress, Mr Zong is famously frugal, spending just $20 (€15) a day on himself. He is the third-richest man in Asia and 23rd richest in the world.

His knowledge of Ireland was extremely limited, something the delegates were keen to remedy, but he seemed receptive to the possibilities offered by Ireland – the visit was supposed to be 20 minutes’ long but went on for one and a half hours.

Wahaha has about 60 factories in 29 provinces, and it also makes baby formula and children’s clothes.

The Wahaha group has considerable geographical spread in China and Mr Zong said that he can get a new product into two million shops inside of a week.

“Mr Zong was very interested in what Ireland had to offer,” said Mr Kelly.

Zong Qinghou, Chairman of Hangzhou Wahaha

Zong Qinghou, Chairman of Hangzhou Wahaha

During the visit, Mr Zong invited the IEA to attend a Wahaha event in three weeks’ time, which will be an opportunity to pitch products to the 20 shopping malls owned by Wahaha.

Among the companies taking part on the delegation was Áine Handmade Chocolates. Owner and chocolatier Anne Rudden was impressed by the scale of operations at Wahaha.

“I was here on this trip to see if there were opportunities, so I got more than I thought out of it. Meeting with Mr Zong was the best. And choosing Hangzhou seems to have been a good idea,” said Ms Rudden.

Mr Zong also tried Darling Cocktails’ ready-to-serve cocktail.

Mr Kelly said that while companies were happy to go to the US six times a year, companies found the trip to Asia more daunting and had less of a presence as a result.“Everyone is going home with a great impression. There are a lot of layers here and we’ve achieved more than we expected on this trip. You have to come here to see the scale on which they plan,” said Mr Kelly, the chief executive of Associated Marketing.

Unlike other Government trade missions, the IEA trade delegation had the benefit of not having to meet political obligations.

Mr Kelly said the choice of Hangzhou and Suzhou as the main venues for the trip was part of a plan to match Irish companies with their counterparts in smaller cities.

“Many Irish companies are small and medium-sized companies and are very small in China. If you pair off with someone too big you will fade,” said Mr Kelly.

The delegation also visited the Hangzhou Economic Development Authority and was received by the local government.

Source / Copyright: Clifford Coonan / Irish Times http://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/world/asia-briefing-irish-trade-mission-to-paradise-meets-richest-man-1.1449280 . Accurate Group China Business Blog  http://www.accuratelimited.com/blog.view.php?id=VDJvvLcn5vQ=

Niall O’Reilly

Managing Director, Accurate Group – Ireland China Product & Business Development (ExportImport, Partner Due Diligence) Consultancy

Website: http://www.accuratelimited.com

Twitter: @AccurateChina

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

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Accurate China Insight: How much does a China sourcing consultancy typically charge in fees or commission for supplier identification, negotiating, inspecting, and product shipment?

It’s unlikely you will receive a public declaration of charges by a ‘consultancy‘, which is akin to asking how many drops of water are in a bucket. Charges (whether hourly, fixed fee, or on a commission basis) can vary that much.

If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional consultant to advise you on doing business in China wait until you hire an amateur to do the job

“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional China business consultant to advise you wait until you hire an amateur to do the job”

Here in China many dubious consulting companies claim to offer the services you require, so the first box you need to tick is making sure the sourcing consultancy you eventually work with can reduce your overall costs, reduce your time to market, and improve the quality of your product, thus making the charges worth it. Actually, the sourcing consulting company should be able to save you and your company money overall, even with their charges.

In general, experienced and reliable sourcing consultants, who are not ‘fly by night,’ should make the overall supplier identification, negotiation, inspection and shipping (product import) processes faster, cheaper, and result in better quality control.

Simply put, when it comes to separating fact from fiction says Niall O’Reilly, a China business consultant with over 24 years ‘on the ground’ China business experience:

“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional China business consultant to advise you wait until you hire an amateur to do the job!”

Accurate Group an Ireland and China-based business advisory and sourcing consultancy dedicated to building new opportunities for foreign businesses in China

“要知道怎样前面的路怎么走,最好问从前面返回的人” “To know the road ahead, ask those coming back” (Chinese Proverb)

So you may now be asking yourself “how do I distinguish average sourcing consultants from the professional?”

The average sourcing consultancy will only contact factories and manage communication between you and the factory…and little else.

The best professional sourcing consultancy will employ its considerable experience to evaluate the strategy of your company and engage in a strategic sourcing process that ensures your particular company needs are met. They will not only manage communication with factories in China, but they will anticipate potential risks, and either resolve the problems or develop contingency plans for such issues before they occur. If unforeseen problems do occur, and here in China they will occur, the sourcing consultancy is there to solve the problem and improve procedures so it is controlled in the future.

The Chinese Proverb “一分钱一分货” (pronounced “yi fen qian, yi fen huo”), which translates literally as “one cent gives you one cent’s worth of goods”, succinctly sums up the answer: “you get what you pay for”!

Source: Accurate China Blog – http://www.accuratelimited.com/blog.view.php?id=aFcU1cUL1jw=

Accurate China Business Advisory and Sourcing Consultancy: 24 years "on the ground in China"

Accurate Group is an Ireland and China-based business advisory and sourcing consultancy dedicated to building new opportunities for foreign companies in China

So here is a public declaration of Accurate Group’s consulting fees: We have a basic charge for the opening consultation and initial advice. Thereafter, for a formal engagement our fees are structured according to our clients  specific requirements.  The fee arrangements can be hourly, contingency, flat-fee, or commission-based.

Niall O’Reilly

Managing Director, Accurate GroupIreland China Product & Business Development (Export Sourcing Import) Consultancy

Tel: +353 1271 1830 / +86 152 5719 4468

http://www.accuratelimited.com

This Accurate China Insight originally appeared in the Hangzhou Business Network (HBN) forum: 

http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Hangzhou-Business-Network-HBN-803177/about?trk=anet_ug_grppro

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September 26th 2012 – Irish Exporters Association / Asia Trade Forum China Business Briefing: “Capitalising on China’s growth – An Accurate Guide to business and investment in China”

In his capacity as Director for China, Irish Exporters Association and Asia Trade Forum, Accurate Group Managing Director Niall O’Reilly will host a roundtable discussion at the IEA’s Dublin HQ titled “Capitalising on China’s growth: An Accurate Guide to business and investment in China”.

You’ve read and heard all about China’s abundant market opportunities, yet the perceived enormity of the task involved is holding you back. What is the impact of rising labour costs in China? Can’t speak the language, don’t understand the culture? How best to take advantage of the burgeoning consumer market there? What are the advantages of setting up an office in China? Want a quick solution? Are you up to speed with the latest regulations and certifications? Do you have the right contacts in local government?

This special Irish Exporters Association / Asia Trade Forum briefing / discussion for senior managers representing information and communication technology (ICT) companies in Ireland either engaged in China business are close to taking that giant  leap of faith into China is a “must-attend” event you certainly do not want to miss!

Given Niall’s 24 years China business experience (see bio below), at this Irish Exporters Association / Asia Trade Forum roundtable briefing you will hear of insightful answers and approaches to China business you probably haven’t heard before.  The IEA / ATF and Niall  are also delighted to highlight the attendance of long-time friend Mr. Chaoqun “Clive” Zhu (see bio below), Investment Promotion Manager at the Suzhou Industrial Park Science & Technology Development Company (SIPSTD), who is visiting Dublin and will be speaking at what promises to be an interactive and insightful meeting.

For further information click on http://www.accuratelimited.com/blog.view.php?id=QFU0QrsoXZ8=

 Would you like to attend?

If you wish to attend please RSVP to Niall O’Reilly (Mobile 0877984071) niall@accuratelimited.com / or Ashley Beston  AshleyBeston@irishexporters.ie by 2:00pm tomorrow Tuesday 25th. Tea and coffee served.

Please note that since the IEA boardroom can only accommodate about 15 attendees, attendance is RSVP Only with requests to attend being accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Location / Time

September 26th 9.00 am – 11.30 am

Meeting Room

Irish Exporters Association

28 Merrion Square, Dublin 2

Google Map:

http://maps.google.ie/maps?q=Irish+Exporters+Association,+Dublin&hl=en&ll=53.341841,-6.247101&spn=0.028851,0.084543&sll=53.3834,-8.21775&sspn=7.381528,21.643066&oq=irish+export&hq=Irish+Exporters+Association,&hnear=Dublin,+County+Dublin&t=m&z=14&iwloc=A

About Niall O’Reilly

Niall O’Reilly, Director for China, Irish Exporters Association / Asia Trade Forum, has 24 years China business experience with executive management involvement in six Asia-region start-ups for global organisations including Dell, Gateway, Marrakech and AEP Networks. Niall is a recognised commentator on Chinese business and governmental affairs and is known for initiating and organizing high-profile international events including the visits by Fortune 500™ CEOs to Asia plus the visits by mayors of leading Chinese cities to Ireland.

Niall is also Managing Director of Accurate Group Limited www.accuratelimited.com, a strategic Ireland-China business services advisory and consulting practice (with offices in Hangzhou, China and Dun Laoghaire, Ireland) dedicated to building new opportunities for Irish businesses in China. In 2009 he founded the Ireland China Business Network (ICBN), which now has over 1,200 active members. Niall has a B.A. degree in economics and politics from University College Dublin.

About Clive Zhu, SIPSTD

A recognised expert in China FDI, Mr. Chaoqun “Clive” Zhu, Investment Promotion Manager, will be accompanied by his colleagues Mr. Di Ma, Assistant General Manager, and Ms. Yun Xu, Senior Investment Promotion Executive at the Suzhou Industrial Park Science & Technology Development Company (SIPSTD).

Founded in April 2000, SIPSTD is the state-owned enterprise fully responsible for the development, construction and management of Suzhou’s International Science Park (SISPARK) http://www.sispark.com.cn/english/index.aspx, which is widely considered China’s most successful and innovative industrial park model.

About the Irish Exporters Association (IEA)

One of Ireland’s leading private sector organisations, the Irish Exporters Association is the “Voice of Export Industry” in Ireland, representing the whole spectrum of companies with the export industry.

http://www.irishexporters.ie

About the Asia Trade Forum (ATF)

The Asia Trade Forum was established in Dublin, Ireland to promote new strategies for Irish exporters to build trade with Asian markets. The Asia Trade Forum is part of the Irish Exporters Association.

http://www.asiatradeforum.org

Niall O’Reilly

Director for China, Irish Exporters Association

Managing Director, Accurate Group – China Product & Business Development (Export Source Import) Consultancy

Tel: +353 1271 1830 / +86 152 5719 4468

http://www.accuratelimited.com

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Accurate China Insight: Should the Ireland propose a free trade agreement with China?

Given Ireland’s financial predicament the need for hard cash in order to create jobs makes for an enticing prospect of going it alone and negotiating a Free Trade Agreement between Ireland and China.

However, cutting a separate deal with China for more business deals over the short-term would be viewed as playing into a China strategy aimed at splitting EU unity by buying off so called ‘peripheral members’ and pitting them against larger members, which in the long run is likely to run against the interests we share with fellow EU members.

China denies it has such a strategy arguing, with considerable merit, that no matter what it does with its money vis-à-vis EU-related investments there will always be detractors. Moreover, as you can see in the insightful “Scramble For Europe” article http://www.ecfr.eu/page/-/ECFR37_Scramble_For_Europe_AW_v4.pdf (from the European Council of Foreign Relations), the EU already appears fractured over the approach individual members have taken with respect to their dealings with China, for whom addressing their current financial woes is the matter at hand: tomorrow and the long term cohesion of the EU can wait.

Accurate China Insight: Should Ireland propose a free trade agreement with China?

Should Ireland propose a free trade agreement with China?

Niall O’Reilly

Accurate Ireland – China Products & Services Sourcing | Business Development Consultancy

Tel: +353 1271 1830 / +86 15257194468

http://www.accuratelimited.com/blog.php

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Accurate China Insight: If your business is product sourcing: How competitive is the ‘Made in China’ brand?

Despite the Chinese Government’s past success at restraining inflation, accelerating food, fuel, raw material and labour costs have resulted in a widely held belief that average inflation rates of 4 to 5 percent are here to stay in China, at least over the over the next decade.

Which raises the question: With rises in wage and manufacturing costs set to be the norm is China still competitive as a product source for Ireland’s importers? Accurate China Insight: If your business is product sourcing: How competitive is the 'Made in China' brand?

Ireland’s importers are right to exercise caution when sourcing from China.  However, China still has much working in its favour:

  1. China is politically stable, and such stability is good for business
  2. Low cost countries surrounding China are also weathering an inflation contagion, with inflation rates in Vietnam, India and Pakistan increasing at a much faster rate.

June 2011 Inflation Rates:

Vietnam 20.8%

Pakistan 13.3%

India 8.7%

China 6.4%

Indonesia 5.5%

Malaysia 4.6%

Philippines 4.6%

Thailand 4.1%

(Sources: Respective country central banks) 

3.  Production costs in China are still low, despite rising costs.

4. Skills levels are generally high. While China’s factories could be said to be still at an early stage in their execution of innovative manufacturing techniques, their production processes are still well ahead of similar production operations in surrounding low cost countries.

5.  The striking effects of the ‘Clustering’ in China’s three economic powerhouses [Pearl River Delta (from Hong Kong to Guangzhou), Yangtze River Delta (Hangzhou, Suzhou, Nanjing and Shanghai) and the area around Beijing and Tianjin] which have resulted in the construction of excellent infrastructure, a concentrated material supply chain, and an experienced and skilled labour force.  There is no evidence of such a clustering blend being prevalent in other surrounding low-cost countries.

6.  Productivity and industry familiarity.  While the costs of labour and logistics, as well as labour availability, are driving up factory output costs along China’s coastal rim, cities in central and China, such as Wuhan, Chengdu, Chongqing, Zhengzhou and Hefei, and their surrounding provinces, are much more cost competitive with respect to the manufacture of products in which the value-added and process complexity is low.  Meanwhile, the coastal manufacturing hubs, with their knowledge of particular manufacturing industry sectors, are becoming more focused on complex, skill intensive factory production.  In surrounding low cost countries such instances of high productivity levels and industry knowledge are limited.

The biggest issue for Ireland’s importers relates to fluctuating oil prices and their impact on the cost of shipping products sourced from China to Ireland, which is a worldwide occurrence.

Source:

Niall O’Reilly

Director for China, Irish Exporters Association

Accurate Ireland – China Business Advisers – Products & Services Sourcing | Business Development Consultancy

Tel: +353 1271 1830 / +86 15257194468

http://www.accuratelimited.com

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