Junior Minister Alastair Ross has celebrated the Chinese Year of the Rooster with members of the Chinese community at a gala dinner in Belfast.
The annual event is organised by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Chinese Welfare Association.
Speaking at the event, Junior Minister Alastair Ross said: “It is a pleasure to join with members of the Chinese community in Northern Ireland to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
“The relationship between Northern Ireland and China continues to grow. The Northern Ireland Bureau in Beijing, funded by the Executive, has just completed its second, hugely successful operational year. Last year the Executive Ministers for Agriculture and Infrastructure visited various regions in China where they successfully promoted Northern Ireland agricultural produce, and infrastructure and investment objectives.
“We have also welcomed an increasing number of influential visits to Northern Ireland by Senior Chinese officials and Government delegations. These visits have built on the relationship we already had with China which can be productive for both countries.
“Over a very short period of our history, the Chinese community has become an integral part of our society and much valued influence on everyday life in Northern Ireland.
“A major factor in this is down to the invaluable work of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, the Chinese Welfare Association and Madam Wang, the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China.
“These relations continue to develop and have opened up hugely lucrative opportunities for local businesses, our universities and the local Arts sector.
“I want to assure our valued local Chinese community of our commitment to grow this important relationship.”
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