China-Ireland Relations: Chinese Back Four Irish Companies With $50 Million Funding

Ireland's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade
Four companies backed by Enterprise Ireland entered agreements with Chinese partners which include JD.com, one of China’s tech giants.
(Photo: REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne)

Chinese partners poured in more than $50 million investments in four Irish companies back by Ireland's economic development agency which helps locally-owned businesses venture out in international markets.

New deals were signed between Chinese companies and Irish Breeze, Reagecon Diagnostics, Solvotrin Therapeutics, and Novaerus and announced during the inaugural China International Import Exhibition being held this week in Beijing.

Irish Breeze, a startup providing dermatologically friendly skincare wipes Water Wipes signed a deal with China's JD.com. Under the agreement, Water Wipes is looking forward to achieving a sales target of $28 million within five years. Irish Breeze, as Water Wipes' parent company, aims to be one of JD.com's more than 20,000 strategic e-commerce partners.

Reagecon Diagnostics Ltd., a chemical and physical standards producer, formalized a distribution agreement with Beijing Thorigin. Under the deal, Reagecon Diagnostics will oversee distribution of products worth a total of $11 million.  Aside from the Chinese market, Reagecon will also have access to markets in the Asia Pacific, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, and South Korea.

Solvotrin Therapeutics, a maker of healthcare and medicinal products, signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical for more than $17 million per year over the next three years. Under the deal, Solvotrin's Active Iron will be exclusively marketed in China.

Novaerus, a company which specializes on air disinfection products which eradicate airborne viruses, bacteria, molds, and odors, has closed a deal with Hangzhou Door Import&Export. The deal amounted to $780,000 over a three-year period.

Ireland's Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD led the six-day trade mission of Enterprise Ireland in China. She was accompanied by the agency's CEO, Julie Sinnamon.

Fostering a strong trade relationship is of fundamental importance for Ireland amid the looming Brexit.

China is number six among Ireland's major trade partners in imports and eighth exports according to figures compiled by Eurostat.

In a May interview with Shanghai Daily, Simon Coveney, deputy prime minister and minister for foreign affairs and trade of Ireland said total trade between China and his country increased by 16 percent between 2015 and 2016 to $15.34 billion. Figures for 2017 have yet to be compiled but it is expected that trade increased to $17 billion, Coveney said. This would mean that overall trade between the two countries has more than doubled between 2013 and 2017, the deputy prime minister underscored.

Partnerships between Ireland and China expand across different sectors, including agriculture, education, financial services, science and technology, and culture and tourism.

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