China continues to hold great opportunities for Northern Ireland

Date published: 15 October 2018

China continues to be a land of opportunity for Northern Ireland in terms of business opportunities, job creation and student exchanges, the Head of the Civil Service has said.


David Sterling has arrived in China where he is leading a delegation to the 4th UK-China Regional Leaders Summit in Dalian, the capital city of Liaoning.

The invitation for Northern Ireland to attend was extended as a direct result of the Regional Leaders Summit held in Belfast in December 2017.

This highly successful Summit saw for the first time over 100 senior Chinese government, business and academic leaders visit Northern Ireland.

The summit organised by The Executive Office led to formal agreements to cooperate on trade, investment, research, education and culture.

David Sterling said: “I am proud to lead the Northern Ireland delegation to China. The Northern Ireland Bureau in China has been working with the Chinese government, the Foreign Office and the Councils on the implementation of a number of outcomes from the Summit last year and to negotiate new partnerships that will open up business opportunities, create jobs, attract more Chinese visitors and student exchanges.

“The Summit in Dalian will look at cooperation in healthcare, small business development in knowledge and green economies and advanced manufacturing. Businesses will have the opportunity to meet potential customers and business partners as well discuss support from Liaoning and Dalian to do business with China.”

The delegation will include Invest NI and six councils including Derry & Strabane the formal partner of the city of Dalian, Newry, Mourne and Down, Fermanagh and Omagh, Belfast, Antrim & Newtownabby Council, Mid and East Antrim, a number of businesses as well as our universities and colleges will also attend.

Director of the Bureau in China, Tim Losty said: “China continues to hold great opportunities for Northern Ireland in economic development, education, policy exchange, and research and youth exchange.

"China’s foreign policy program of ‘One Belt, One Road’, provides the opportunity for opening up areas of potential benefit to Northern Ireland organisations as it seeks to develop and strengthen relationships through economic and cultural partnerships.”

Dalian is a partner city to Derry and Strabane District Council and they have a formal agreement to cooperate on economic, tourism and education projects.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr John Boyle said: “We are very keen to build on the very strong existing relationship that we have with China and to further develop our relationship with Dalian following the signing of the Friendly Co-operative City Agreement between Derry and Dalian last year. We are delighted to be part of his high level delegation and look forward to promoting the Derry City and Strabane Region and looking at new opportunities for trade and investment as well as developing global business and education connections.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. Media enquiries to The Executive Office Press Office on 028 9037 8142. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.
  2. Follow David Sterling on Twitter @HeadNICS

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