Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern arrived in Beijing at the start of a week-long visit, bringing with him – according to Irish media – the largest business delegation ever to accompany a traveling Irish leader. Ahern's visit is expected to focus on a range of trade deals worth tens of million of dollars. Accompanying him on the visit are three Irish government ministers responsible for agriculture, education and communications, as well as representatives of 200 Irish companies looking to invest in or trade with China. During the visit, the prime minister will visit Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong and have talks with President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao. Writing in the Irish Independent newspaper before his departure, Ahern said the visit would target opportunities in software and telecommunications, education and environmental and engineering services.
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