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Taoiseach, Enda Kenny at the opening of Morgan McKinley's offices in Shanghai's Pudong high growth economic zone. Courtesy of Morgan McKinley
China

Enda tells Chinese investors that Ireland "is growing again"

Someone must have missed last week’s CSO news…

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has told an audience of investors in Shanghai that economic growth has returned to Ireland – days after the country slid officially back into recession.

Speaking at a networking breakfast in Shanghai during his four-day visit to China, Kenny told an audience at an Enterprise Ireland business networking event that Ireland’s economy had returned to positive growth.

“Ireland’s economy is fundamentally sound; our public finances have been stabilised, our exports are at record levels, and foreign direct investment is booming. The business world knows that Ireland is recovering well,” the Taoiseach said.

“China, I believe, also knows this.”

The Taoiseach added that Ireland was one of the world’s most open economies and that its capacity to adapt and innovate meant it was able to win sold business in China, which he described as “the economic giant of the 21st century”.

His comments come four days after figures produced by the Central Statistics Office showed that Ireland’s economic output grew by 0.7 per cent last year – though this was below the rate of inflation, meaning a decline in real terms.

Economic output in the fourth quarter of 2011 was down by 0.2 per cent, however, marking the second successive quarter in which the economy shrank – officially meaning Ireland had returned to recession.

The Taoiseach’s remarks included a lengthy discussion on how Ireland and China shared many similarities, including the creation of a business culture centred on innovation, and a long history of tradition.

“In recent decades, both Ireland and China have moved rapidly toward a knowledge-based economy founded on innovation and technology. We both have innovative business and commercial development policies that are driven by cutting-edge information technology,”

“Yet, we have each managed to successfully balance the importance of tradition and the challenges of modernisation.”

Kenny concluded his remarks by insisting Ireland was “open for business, and this is an excellent time to invest in – and benefit from – Ireland’s recovery.”

Read: Nǐ hǎo! Taoiseach to start visit to China today >

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