Beijing accounts for just 1% of FDI in Europe so Ireland will have to wait…

Nice observation from Simon Carswell in his Bottom Line column today in the Irish Times, regarding the recent high level visit of the putative leader of the Peoples Republic of China.

…these visits really only suggest the potential that exists. China accounts for just 3 per cent of exports and most of that is dairy products, notably infant milk formula.

UCD economist Colm McCarthy pointed out that Ireland exported the same amount of merchandise to China last year as it did to Northern Ireland and noted facetiously that there were very few Government trade missions to Dungannon and Coalisland.


The problem is that China doesn’t figure as a foreign direct investor in Europe, never mind Ireland. Beijing accounts for just 1 per cent of foreign direct investment into Europe.

The US is responsible for 72 per cent of Ireland’s foreign direct investment followed by Europe with 20 per cent, so any investment from China is starting from a very low base.

So, don’t be holding yer breath… Interestingly Barry O’Leary, polymath head of IDA Ireland, notes that China was “more likely to invest in Ireland through acquisition rather than setting up new “greenfield” businesses.”

That may be ‘code’ for acquiring smart Irish businesses and, erm, their ‘Intellectual Property’…

, ,

  • aquifer

    China is loaded with hard currency, Ireland is not.

    They know English better than the other Euro-langues

    And they only get taxed if they make a profit, and then not by too much. No bribes to pay worth speaking of.

    There are already plenty of Chinese speakers here already to give them the low-down.

    No reason for the Chinese not to make the republic a base for any European operation.

    Its not as if we do not have the spare houses!

  • lamhdearg2

    “No reason for the Chinese not to make the republic a base for any European operation”

    why would the chinese (or anyone ) pay an irishman/woman 20euro an hour, to do a job a man/woman somewhere else would do for a fraction,
    then incur more expense shipping the goods to market.
    The chinese will not build mass employment factories in ireland, they will buy the interesting bits* and ship them, brains and all to a place not on the edge of europe.

    “Bits” any profit from these sales the sellers make will not greatly benefit joe public.

    The chinese have not forgotten the boxer wars. its payback time. i wish i was bright enough to learn the lingo.

  • aquifer

    Trucks and roll on roll off ferries make logistics less of a problem, and it can be quicker for executives to fly ex Dublin and hire a car than drive within Europe.

    The Chinese can do their low cost manufacturing at home, they would come here to add value in sales and marketing, which is their weak point.

    We may not need mass employment factories when so many other jobs spill out of investment, and spending spreads our tax base.

    If the Chinese remember the boxer wars they will come to Carlow, not Warminster.