Mr. Governor, Ms. Condon, Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to say a few words to warmly welcome the Jiangsu delegation, led by Governor Liang Baohua, to this beautiful land of Ireland in warm Irish summer. You may have noticed that we haven' had such remarkeble summer in Ireland since 1976. Our thanks go to our Irish hosts for arranging such beautiful wheather for the delegation. I am sure during the happy stay in Ireland, my friends from Jiangsu will not only be working on software projects, but will also have the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Ireland known as the shining emerald of the world.
Likewise, Jiangsu is also reputed for long history and natural beauty. Long before China was unified by the first Chinese emperor, Jiangsu was acturally the site of famous kingdom named Wu, where first trace of silk making was found. Along with some neibouring provinces, Jiangsu is part of the world rekown Yangtze River Delta civilization, one of the two major civilizations of China. Numerous outstanding scientists, writers, artists and educators in China's ancient and modern history were born and lived in Jiangsu. My Irish friends may have heard about the famous ancient Chinese military book called Art of War. It was actually written by General Sun Wu from the Kingdom of Wu about 2500 years ago. Today this book serves as a textbook in the Westpoint Military Academy in the U.S., and the strategies mentioned in the book are not only applied in modern warfare, but also in the management of enterprises and in business talks. Jiangsu is also abundant in landscape scenaries. As the Chinese proverb goes, "Above there is paradise, cities of Suzhou and Hangzhou are paradise under the heaven." The garden city of Suhou in Jiangsu is the very place where one can enjoy both natural beauty and prosperity of the modern society. I am sure when my friends from Ireland visit Jiangsu, you will nodoubtedly feel very much at home thanks to the warmth and hospitality from the people of Jiangsu.
Jiangsu Province is also famous for its economic miracle. Located in the middle of the east coast of China and adjoining Shanghai, Jiangsu is one of the most developed provincial economies in China. In 2005, its local GDP reached 182.7 billion Euro, accounting for 10% of the national GDP. In recent years, Jiangsu has attached even greater importance on developing high and new tech industries. It leads in such areas as IT industry, software, bio-pharmacy and life sciences. The more encouraging message is that Jiangsu has set up a clear and long-standing guideline, putting IT industry, especially software industry, as one of the priorities of its future development.
Since I took my post half a year ago, I have tried hard to learn as much as I can about this Celtic Tiger of Ireland. Traveling from Dublin to Cork, Kerry, Galway and Limerick, I have visited many successful Irish enterprises ranging from Ict to biotechnology. Tyndall National Institute, IONA, Trinity Biotech, Daon, Norkam, Silicon and Software Systems as well as Keyland have all left me with strong impression that Ireland is already on the road of marching from Knowledge Economy to Innovation Economy. It is in those particular aspects that Chinese companies can learn a lot from their Irish counterparts. And vice-verca, my Irish friends can also learn something from your Chinese counterparts as to how they successfully cope with chanllenges on their road of development. In a word, I am sure, you will find Jiangsu people your reliable partners and Jiangsu Province an ideal place to start your new prosperous business, a place that you can not afford to ignore.
Thank you all for your time.