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Republic of Ireland's China deal sparks hope for thousands of jobs

By Michael Brennan

Published 20/02/2012

Chinese vice president Xi Jinping signs the visitors book watched by Taoiseach Enda Kenny at Dublin Castle
Chinese vice president Xi Jinping signs the visitors book watched by Taoiseach Enda Kenny at Dublin Castle
Chinese vice president Xi Jinping with Minister of Agriculture, Food and Marine Simon Coveney during a visit to the Lynch Farm

The Irish government last night signed major new trade agreements with China with the aim of generating thousands of jobs for the Irish economy.

The second-most powerful politician in the world's booming economy made a whirlwind tour of the country amid hopes of forging new links that will boost exports, tourism and create jobs.

In all, four trade agreements were signed -- designed to increase food sales, link up Irish and Chinese businesses and education centres, as well as eradicating red tape in both countries.

The visit of China's Vice President Xi Jinping is seen as one of the most important the country has hosted and has the potential to have far wider economic benefits than the high-profile tours of Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth.

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