Let ten thousand jobs bloom?

Brian Cowen confirmed this morning the government are aggressively pursuing a Chinese investment project that could bring up to 10,000 jobs to the midlands. Very early stage process by the sounds of things, and I’m sure we’ll face stiff competition, but here’s hoping.

From RTE

Taoiseach Brian Cowen has confirmed today that he has held talks with potential investors and promoters behind a multi-million euro international project aimed at attracting major Chinese investment to the midlands.

The project Mr Cowen is trying to bring to Athlone is reported to be a world trade centre type hub for Chinese industry – a project that would be built on a 600-acre site just east of Athlone and with the potential to create up to 10,000 jobs over five years.

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  • Johnny Boy

    Bloody foreigners, comin’ over ‘er, creating jobs.

  • foreign correspondent

    Great news if it happens, but aren’t the midlands a slightly strange choice of location for a ‘world-trade centre tye hub’? I mean, Athlone ain’t exactly Manhattan…

  • Greenflag

    ‘I mean, Athlone ain’t exactly Manhattan…’

    True but the overhead costs -rents etc are probably a lot less 😉 At least now . World trade centre type hub sounds intriguing . And as we all know Ireland is the centre of the universe so is’nt it only right and proper that Athlone being the centre of Ireland should be the logical choice ?. Maybe Cowan will get some favourable terms for Irish food exports to the former middle Kingdom and once and future number one world power .

    But do we really want to be so allied with the world’s number one ‘authoritarian ‘ capitalist economy ?

    Beggars and choosers comes to mind as it always does in ‘hard ‘times . If the USA is flat on it’s back dependent on Chinese financial underpinning of US Treasury bills why would we Irish be any less dependent on the new rising empire of the east?

  • Greenflag

    Right we should be doin it by ourselves alone like they did back in the 1920’s and 1930’s and indeed into the 1950’s and 60’s . We’ll not mention the 1871 through 1922 period when job creation in Ireland was the responsibility of the eh British authorities 😉

    Net emigration from the area now known as as the Irish Republic historically were as follows

    Under British administration

    1871-1881 — 501,724
    1881-1891 – 597,325
    1891-1901 – 396,414
    1901 -1911 – 261, 539
    1911 -1926 – 405,029

    Total 2,162,031

    1926-1936 – 166,751
    1936-1946 – 187,111
    1946-1951 – 119,568
    1951- 1956 – 196,763
    1956-1961 – 212,063
    1961-1966 – 83,855

    Total 966,111

    Grand total 1871-1966 = 3, 128, 142

    For some ‘perspective ‘ There are approx 173 cities in China with populations of over 1 million, of which 10 had over 4 million each , 25 had between 2 and 4 million , and 138, between 1 and 2 million;

    And that’s before the Chinese ‘culchies’ are counted .

  • Greenflag


    If the net emigration figures for the area now known as Northern Ireland ( 6 counties ) were added to the 3.1 million total above the total would have been over 4 million or probably equal to the present total population of the Irish Republic and double the population of the present Northern Ireland .

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Perhaps this is why they built (the currently largely empty) M4?

  • Paddy Matthews

    I’d be wondering who exactly owns the 600 acres outside of Athlone (and spent €50 million acquiring them) which are to be rezoned for industrial and residential use (because if there’s one thing that the midlands need at present, it’s more apartments) at a meeting of Westmeath County Council this week.

    But then I’m an incorrigible cynic when it comes to these things.

  • Paddy Matthews

    Christ, that’s a convoluted sentence…


    I’d be wondering who exactly owns the 600 acres outside of Athlone, having spent €50 million in acquiring them. The land is to be rezoned this week by Westmeath County Council for industrial and residential use; after all, if there’s one thing that the midlands need at present, it’s more empty apartments.

  • Paddy Matthews

    M6; the M4 heads north-west after Kinnegad.

  • Greenflag

    paddy matthews ,

    North west of Kinnegad ?? Ah shure thats goin beyond the beyonds ffs – there’s injuns livin in them parts I’m told and they ate their childer ;(

  • Cynic

    10,000 staff – that’s a lot of takeaways even for Biffo

  • Paddy Matthews

    Ah no, we’re very civilised.

    We always sprinkle our childer with salt before we ate them. Can’t comment on those Mayth bucks, though.

  • Comrade Stalin

    This is very unlikely to happen. The Chinese government is very fond of dangling big purchasing and investment projects in front of Western politicians and businessmen without ever following through on them.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Only gone on M4 and more or less had it to myself once clear of Dublin and surburbia – I presume M6 is even emptier.

  • Greenflag

    Good observation Comrade Stalin . As of now western fiinancial markets are ‘frothing ‘ at the prospect of the Chinese government allowing the yuan to revalue against the dollar by up to 20% over the next couple of years .

    Could it make a difference to the unemployment situation in the USA by making USA exports to China less expensive ? Given that there are many American companies already in China who supply sub assembly parts for American manufacturers and as their costs are already in yuan then that will simply make ‘inputs ‘ for american companies more expensive . At most it’s estimated that if all the East Asian economies revalue at the same time as China then that could add a total of half a million jobs to the American economy over the next three years . That is of course a big if . With almost 20 million unemployed or underemployed in the USA and with the UK now actively moving towards higher unemployment and ever more deflation the only question is when will the ‘barricades’ go up .

  • Manfarang

    Emigration was precisely because Ireland couldn’t do it by itself.It was easier to emigrate before World WarOne than after it.
    Of course lots of people from China emigrated.Millions live in other countries.The largest number live in Indonesia.
    With the cost of an apartment at less than $100 US a month in Kunming I might even emigrate there myself!