In partnership with Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Cork Institute of Technology, KPMG and the Chinese Ireland Journal, Asia Matters held the 5th Asia Matters Business Summit in Cork 23&24 May 2019 to celebrate 40 years of China Ireland diplomatic relations. The Summit featured 4 events across 2 days with keynote speeches from 3 government ministers including Simon Coveney TD, the Deputy Irish Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade.

A Celebratory banquet to commemorate this special bilateral year was held at Cobh Heritage Centre and featured keynote speeches from David Stanton TD,Irish Minister of State for Justice and Mr Song Jingwu, Vice President of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC). The banquet was also attended by China’s new Ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Mr. He Xiangdong, Therese Healy, Consul General of Ireland in Shanghai and delegations from Beijing, Shanghai and Wuxi.

Addressing the banquet, Minister Stanton emphasized the relevance of the banquet being held in Cobh:“a location that is symbolic of Ireland’s history of outward travel. Ireland’s connections across the world are very strong, and the Cobh Heritage Centre does an excellent job of sharing the rich heritage, history, and stories of those who have travelled abroad from here.”

He also pointed out that the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations:“provides us with an opportunity to look back on the warm and close relations Ireland and China share” with those links “strengthened over the last year thanks to the launch of three direct flights in between Dublin and Beijing, Shenzhen and Hong Kong. These very tangible connections are helping make people to people and region to region exchanges much easier and can significantly grow the overall partnership between Ireland and China.”

Concluding, the Minister said he looks forward “to seeing what the next 40 years of diplomatic relations will bring. With your help and cooperation and the work of bodies like Asia matters, we can be confident that it will be spectacular.”

Martin Murray, Executive Director of Asia Matters thanked the “strong local partners in Cork” for their support in making the 5th Asia Matter Business Summit in Cork a true celebration of the strengthening China Ireland relationship in this commemorative year.Chairman and Co-founder of Asia Matters, Alan Dukes then presented the leaders of the three Chinese delegations and H.E. Mr.He Xiangdong with gifts from Asia Matters to mark 40 years of diplomatic relations.

Cobh was recently named as one of the most beautiful small towns in Europe by Conde Nast magazine:

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Martin Murray

Executive Director

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Samantha Hobbs

Director of Corporate Affairs