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Premier visits Irish cow farm in Shannon

Updated: May 18,2015 3:51 PM

Premier Li Keqiang has met his counterpart, Enda Kenny in the town of Shannon in County Clare in Ireland. Ireland is a stopover for Premier Li before his four-country tour of Latin American. The 13-day trip will take him to Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Chile. Premier Li will return to China via the Spanish capital, Madrid.

A quick stopover on the Emerald Isle, Premier Li Keqiang and his wife were greeted at Shannon Airport.

Both countries are keen to explore ways of developing their relationship. It’s not so long ago since Irish President Michael D. Higgins was on an official state visit to China, so this is seen as another significant step in forging even stronger ties.

With time not on Premier Li’s side, he and Ireland’s Taoiseach Enda Kenny got to work straight away, agreeing to expand cooperation in trade, clean energy and education.

Premier Li called for closer cooperation in agriculture, biomedicine and information technology, as well as in culture and tourism. He also proposed to further facilitate two-way travel for business people, students and tourists. They agreed a visa-waiver deal for holders of diplomatic and service passports.

Kenny, for his part, echoed Premier Li’s sentiments, saying his government is willing to work with China to enhance cooperation in areas such as trade and agriculture, and expand personnel exchanges.

After their talks, the leaders witnessed the signing of cooperation deals in travel and agriculture.

With agriculture being a sector of mutual interest, Kenny took Premier Li — and his wife Prof. Cheng Hong — to a typical Irish family-run cow farm in County Mayo, where they got a special serving of homemade Irish bread, cheese and milk ...

Premier Li said China welcomes high-quality and competitive Irish products into its market. He asked in detail about the various operations at the 107-hectare farm such as cow-raising, agro-product processing, and quality management and monitoring ...

The Premier pointed out that with living standards steadily on the rise in China, demand and expectations for food are growing in terms of variety, quality and safety.

Noting that China has become Ireland’s fastest-growing agro-product export market, he said the two countries have a bright future in agricultural and husbandry cooperation.

He suggested the two sides further explore the exciting potential of their relations to bring real benefit to the two peoples.