Newly appointed Chinese Ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Dr. Yue Xiaoyong paid an official visit to Shannon Airport on Tuesday.
Ambassador Yue, who was appointed in July, met with a Shannon delegation, led by Chairperson Rose Hynes and included members of the management team.
They discussed a number of matters including the future of the airport, the Shannon Free Zone and the International Aviation Services Centre (IASC) and the potential for development of economic ties between Shannon and China.
Over the years Shannon Airport and the wider region has forged strong links with China. Earlier in 2016 Shannon Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Guandong Airport Authority, based in China’s most populous province, to explore opportunities for close co-operation between the two entities.
The relationship was evident last year when Premier Li Keqiang arrived into Shannon for his visit to the West of Ireland and meetings with Government and in 2012 by the visit of current Chinese President and then Vice-President Xi Jinping.
These ties date back to 1980 when Mr Jiang Zemin, who would later become President of China, led a Chinese Government delegation to Shannon to study the Shannon Free Zone model, which has since been adopted across China with the development of their hugely successful Special Economic Zones. Since then, Shannon has also been visited by Premier Zhu Rongji, Premier Wen Jiabao, Vice Premier Huang Ju and Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan.
Speaking after Ambassador Yue’s visit, Shannon Airport Chairman Rose Hynes said: “We were delighted to welcome Ambassador Yue. We had a very positive meeting during which we discussed the very close ties between the regions as well as the opportunities that exist to deepen these in the years ahead.
She added “The Chinese economy is the second largest in the world and Shannon Group is very keen to do what it can, including with last week’s visit by Ambassador Yue, to ensure that we grow mutually beneficial ties between our region and China.”