Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang touched down at Shannon Airport this afternoon, where he was met by Finance Minister Michael Noonan and Shannon Group officials.
Speaking shortly after welcoming him, Mr Noonan said,”It’s a very important visit. The Chinese Prime Minister is on his way to an extensive visit of South America where he is visiting four countries. We’re very pleased that as part of that trip they decided to stop over in Ireland and I’m particularly pleased that the stop over is in Shannon. Premier Li is the second most powerful man in China, President Xi Jinping when he visited Ireland also came to Shannon and he concentrated on this part of the country. There’s no doubt for historic reasons they have a particular interest in the Shannon Region, in Clare and in the west of Ireland.”
There was a significant Garda presence at Shannon as the Chinese Premier arrived and there will also be a major security operation at the airport on Tuesday when Prince Charles arrives.
Shannon Group Chairman Rose Hynes said, “It’s fantastic for Shannon to get this exposure. The connection with the Chinese goes back to 80s, they came to visit us because we were the first Free Zone in the world, and they continue to come here. It’s a very big week for us with a lot of VIPs coming.”