Businesses in Northern Ireland need to take more advantage of the huge opportunities which exist by doing business with China, according to lawyers at A&L Goodbody.
They said there was a chance for Northern Ireland to secure a slice of the £150bn worth of annual foreign direct investment which is expected to flow from the region by 2015 and to boost exports to China substantially.
That's because the proposed EU-China trade agreement is expected to bring increased opportunities for Northern Ireland companies in the coming years, according to A&L Goodbody partner, Alastair Keith.
"In recent years, the UK and Ireland have consistently ranked among the top markets in the EU for Chinese investment, and we are confident that more and more Chinese corporations will do business here," he said.
Mr Keith was speaking at a breakfast event held by A&L Goodbody, in partnership with the NI Chamber of Commerce, where delegates were briefed by a contingent of six senior Chinese lawyers, all on a four-month secondment to A&L Goodbody.
NI Chamber of Commerce chief executive, Ann McGregor MBE, said: "Shipping products to China is probably easier because, as Britain is such a big importer of Chinese goods, many containers return there almost empty, so there is lots of spare capacity for manufactured goods being exported from the UK."