“We have had a great partnership with ICSATA”  – H.E. Eoin O’Leary, The Irish Ambassador to China

Greeting Message from H.E. Eoin O’Leary, The Irish Ambassador to China for ICSATA 2019 Annual Conference


Irish businesses eye “good opportunities” from China’s int’l services trade fair

DUBLIN, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) — Irish exhibitors attending the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) opened Friday in Beijing praised the event for bringing opportunities for their businesses, describing it as a platform that demonstrates China’s determination to promote globalization.

Patrick Leonard, CEO of Smartline, a Dublin-based startup engaged in automation of design services, told Xinhua that the CIFTIS platform shows China is willing to make globalization more open and inclusive.

Smartline is one of the Irish exhibitors which attended the CIFTIS online. The CEO said China has many large projects underway and the Chinese market is very big with a large manufacturing base, which provides a good business opportunity for companies like Smartline.

He added that the platform is very well organized and presented, which allows easy material uploading and results come out fast. The company’s information is framed with categories that give potential customers a consistent experience, which facilitates quick comparison and decision making.

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 CIFTIS is held both offline and online. While a number of Irish companies have sent personnel to the event, others have chosen to attend the five-day event online.

Finbarr Cleary, vice chairman of Ireland China Science and Technology Association (ICSATA), told Xinhua that ICSATA is a virtual exhibitor of the CIFTIS and the cloud stand set up by his organization had already received over 300 page views as of Friday, ranking No. 12 in the overall e-stands section.

As a non-profit organization registered in Ireland, ICSATA has been engaged in promoting collaboration between Ireland and China, particularly in areas of technology, trade, culture and education, Cleary said, adding that he believes the CIFTIS platform will enhance business exchanges between the two countries.

Cork County Council is also a virtual exhibitor of the event. Sharon Corcoran, director of Economic Development & Tourism with Cork County Council, said in a video speech at the opening of its cloud stand that the main purpose of the council to attend this year’s CIFTIS is to promote tourism of the county.

“We decided to exhibit at this particular conference because we are very aware that there is a growing market in China and many Chinese people are travelling outside China, particularly into Europe,” she said.

“We would be delighted to welcome Chinese visitors and we know that they wouldn’t be disappointed by what they find when they come to Ireland,” she added.

Chinese visitors are of growing significance for the Irish tourism industry. Last year, an estimated 100,000 Chinese people visited Ireland, according to Tourism Ireland. It expects the number of Chinese visitors to Ireland to double to 200,000 in 2025. 

Helping to make China the number one market for Irish exporters

The largest ever trade mission from Ireland to China is being aided by organisations set up to promote links between the two countries

Irish Times: 31.10.2018 – View Website

Wen Chen is a chairman of ICSATA which, he says, is a “non-profit organisation endorsed and supported by the Irish and Chinese Governments, primarily to build an international platform for scientific and technological co-operation and exchanges so as to promote the overall collaboration between the two countries in the area of technology, collaboration between the two countries in the area of technology, external trade, educational and cultural links and talent exchange.

“We also  assist both the Chinese and Irish governments to promote the bilateral relationship at all levels – local and national,” he says. “We also work to promote international relations at all levels – local and national.”

The organisation’s first task was to assist in the visit to Ireland by a delegation from China’s southern province of Guangdong in June 2017. During the four-day visit, which was led by Hu Chunhua, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and secretary of the Guangdong Provincial CPC Committee, a business roundtable meeting was held in which more than 120 Guangdong and Irish entrepreneurs participated.

“Our top priority in 2018 is to promote CIIE,” Chen says. “This is the first event of its kind ever and the largest ever expo of any kind for China. Some 2,800 companies from around the world will exhibit at this event and we expect 150,000 purchasers from China and elsewhere to visit during the six days. Ireland will be represented in a number of critical sectors including food, technology, education, e-commerce, baby products and intelligent equipment.”

The significance of the event is confirmed by the scale of the Irish participation. “This is the largest trade mission ever from Ireland to China with 27 Irish companies and organisations attending. Ireland was one of the first European countries to confirm its participation.”

This happened in May during a food industry trade delegation to China and Hong Kong led by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed. During the visit, Ireland was formally invited by the Chinese government to have a presence at CIIE and a memorandum of understanding (MOU) confirming acceptance was signed by Bord Bia chief executive Tara McCarthy.

Commenting after the MOU was signed, Creed said: “It is a great honour for Ireland to be invited by the Chinese authorities to participate in this November’s event in Shanghai. An event such as this, which is being promoted by the Chinese government, offers the ideal opportunity for Irish food exporters to do business and enhance relationships.”

“It is not just a commercial event,” Chen adds. “It is also very important politically. President Xi Jinping will open it himself. It offers an excellent opportunity for Irish SMEs to meet buyers and get into the Chinese market. ICSTA will be working hard to ensure that Irish companies have a successful and smooth experience at the Expo. We will help arrange meetings for Irish companies to discuss business opportunities with Chinese buyers.”

2018.05_ Signing 2018 CIIE Exhibition Agreement Between Tara McCarthy, CEO of Bord Bia and Sun Chenghai, Deputy Director of CIIE Bureau Under the Witnesses from Michael Creed, the Irish Agriculture Minister; Eoin O’Leary, the Irish Ambassador to China, and Shao Qiliang, Secretary in General, Shanghai Agricultural Committee

2018.11_ Wen Chen was with Andrew Doyle, the Irish Agricultural State Minister;  Tara McCarthy, CEO of Bord Bia; Xue He, Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy to Ireland, and other visitors at CIIE Bord Bia Stand 


ICSATA Membership

ICSATA support enterprises for their international training, exhibition, academic exchange, technology transfer, business visit & match-making events, and also assist their market entry, investment, trade and other business activities between Ireland and China.