Irish food and drink exports to China to grow tenfold

Exports of food and drink from Ireland to China are set to increase tenfold over the next decade, according to Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney.

He made this comment at the commencement of an agri food trade delegation visit to China, which is currently underway and being led by the Minister.

“Food and drink exports to China will amount to around €500 million this year,” he said.

“That’s double the value recorded in 2012. However I see no reason why the value of food and drink exports from Ireland to China cannot reach €5 billion by 2025. The projected growth in the market is undeniable. And the Irish Government is totally committed to playing its part in helping Irish food companies secure a larger footprint, when it comes to doing business in China.”

The Minister went on to point out that Irish dairy and pork processing businesses are already active within the Chinese market.

“And we need to build on this for the future. But there is also tremendous potential for our beef and sheepmeat processing companies to do real business in China. And, to this end, I will be concentrating a lot of my effort over the next seven days in helping to open up the Chinese market for redmeat imports from Ireland.”

Minister Coveney also highlighted the opportunity for Irish agri service and machinery providers to do real business in China. And, in this context, he highlighted the memoranda of understanding which will be signed by both Keenan and SAMCO with Chinese partners over the coming days.

“The challenge that lies ahead is one of converting the tremendous potential that China represents for Irish agri food companies into real and profitable business. For that to happen the operations involved will have to develop an on-the-ground presence in China and develop the cultural ties which Chinese businesses demand from their trading partners. And that’s all about demonstrating the highest standards of business ethics at all times,” he said.