The deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, Junior Minister, Alastair Ross and Infrastructure Minister, Chris Hazzard today met with representatives from the China Investment Corporation (CIC) in Belfast, as the Corporation begins a two day visit starting in Belfast.
The CIC delegation, which includes Chairman Ding Xuedong and Executive Vice President Zhang Qing, will meet with Invest NI and view the proposed site for the Belfast Transport Hub, one of the Executive's flagship projects. They will also spend time at some of the north's most popular tourist sites including the Giant’s Causeway and the Titanic Signature Project.
The deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness said: “I am delighted to welcome the China Investment Corporation delegation to Stormont this morning.
“The Executive is determined to build a mutually beneficial long term relationship with China and this visit is another step along the way. It is hugely encouraging that such a senior delegation has made the journey to the north of Ireland to discuss investment and infrastructure opportunities. This is an endorsement of the efforts Executive Ministers have made by visiting China and growing our relationship with them.
“Our relationship with China has been developing over many years through regular trade missions, strong university links and meetings with Madame Liu Yandong. We want to build on those strong connections and in December the First Minister and I will open our Bureau in Beijing and look forward to taking the relationship to the next level.”
Junior Minister, Alastair Ross said: “The visit to Belfast today of the delegation from the China Investment Corporation is hugely significant for ongoing Northern Ireland and China relations. It represents the culmination of much hard work by the Executive Bureau in China and offers us a very real opportunity to present to key decision makers and influencers in the Chinese government the potential and long-term benefit in Northern Ireland infrastructure investment.
“We may be a small in terms of the global economy, but the Executive is determined to punch above its weight. I very much welcome this visit today and look forward to it being part of an ongoing and developing relationship.”
Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard said: “Just four weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet China Investment Corporation President Guangshao in Beijing, where we discussed a range of investment and infrastructure opportunities in the north. I am delighted that just a few weeks later, Chairman Xuedong and Executive Vice President Qing have taken up my offer to come to the north to see the potential opportunities firsthand.
"China has been innovative in its approach to developing a sustainable public transport network to support economic development and I look forward to further strengthening the Executive's relationship with China and learning from each other."
Notes to editors:
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