China Visit

Oral Answers to Questions — The Executive Office – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:30 pm on 29th November 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Gordon Dunne Gordon Dunne DUP 2:30 pm, 29th November 2016

T5. Mr Dunne asked the First Minister and deputy First Minister for an update on their planned visit to China. (AQT 560/16-21)

Photo of Arlene Foster Arlene Foster DUP

The deputy First Minister and I will leave for China very early on Sunday. We have a full programme from Monday morning, when we will meet the Northern Ireland Bureau in China; indeed, we will open our bureau there.

That will be a very important staging post for us out in the Far East. We are hoping to meet Madam Liu Yandong, who was here in Northern Ireland some years ago when she met the then First Minister and deputy First Minister and, indeed, all the Executive and took in some of our tourism opportunities.

We are going to meet Bombardier, which has a facility out in China — in Shenyang — and we will meet other very important dignitaries in Shenyang and look at various investment opportunities for here in Northern Ireland. We will return to Northern Ireland on Friday of next week.

Photo of Gordon Dunne Gordon Dunne DUP

I thank the Minister for her answer. Following our successful year of food and drink and given the quality of products available, what opportunities exist for further exports of our quality products into new markets like China?

Photo of Arlene Foster Arlene Foster DUP

We will look for opportunities not least for our agri-sector and, in particular, our pork sector out in China. We will no doubt eat some of the fare from China — the things we do for Ulster — and we will bring them the message that Northern Ireland is very much open for business and wants to do business with China. The agri-food sector will be very much a strong part of what we will talk about when we go to China.