Ireland approved phase one building on a US$1.85 billion trading hub where Chinese exporters will be able to display their goods for international buyers, Reuters reported. The site seeks to drive European orders for Chinese goods that will then be delivered directly from China. The Europe China Trading Hub will be built in Westmeath County, west of Dublin, and could include up to 3,000 demonstration halls once completed. Phase one, which encompasses about a quarter of the overall project, could open as soon as 2015. China chose Ireland for the trading hub because of its EU membership, English-speaking workforce and low taxes, according to the project’s Irish developer. One of China’s sovereign wealth funds has also signed an agreement that it will consider investments in Ireland. China has shown growing interest in the Irish economy this year, with soon-to-be President Xi Jinping choosing Ireland as his only European stop during his February overseas tour.
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