CEIBS welcomes Mr. Micheál Martin TD, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs for Ireland, to Shanghai campus
November 9, 2023. Shanghai - Mr. Micheál Martin TD, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs for Ireland, visited the CEIBS Shanghai campus today to give a speech, take part in a Q&A, and meet a group of the school’s MBA and Global EMBA students, accompanied by a delegation of 14 that included Ambassador of Ireland to China Ann Derwin and Consul General of Ireland in Shanghai Wendy Dorman-Smith. CEIBS Chairman Professor Ding Kuiling, CEIBS President Professor Wang Hong, CEIBS Vice President and Dean Professor Frank Bournois, CEIBS Vice President and Co-Dean Professor Zhang Weijiong, CEIBS Secretary Ma Lei and CEIBS Associate Dean (Europe) Professor Katherine Xin also attended to welcome and hold a private meeting with Mr. Martin and the delegation.
The visit functioned as an exciting opportunity to build connection and understanding between China’s business community and senior figures from Ireland, a European success story that hosts the headquarters of many multinational corporations.
After being greeted at the school’s main gate, the delegation was escorted to a private meeting with CEIBS leadership, before moving on to one of the school's auditoriums for a set of eagerly anticipated speeches from Mr. Martin and CEIBS leadership figures.
Mr. Martin’s informative speech covered Ireland’s 50-year journey of EU membership along with the country’s relationship with China. He noted that he was particularly happy to be revisiting Shanghai, since his hometown of Cork has been twinned with the city since 2005. On collaboration between the EU and China, Mr. Martin emphasised that “The EU has a broad and deep relationship with China. There is much of value to build on.”
Reflecting on his travels in China this week, the Tánaiste went on to add that “During my time in Beijing and Shanghai, I have seen the depth of the economic relationship between the EU and China, and the potential for growth.”
Mr. Martin’s speech followed a welcome address from CEIBS Chairman and President of Shanghai Jiaotong University Professor Ding Kuiling, who drew on his background as a chemist in comparing international relations to a chemical reaction. "The essence of chemical reactions can be summarised into two points: connection and function,” he said. “The same is true for international cooperation and exchanges. There should be both connection and function."
After his speech, the Tánaiste participated in a lively Q&A hosted by CEIBS Vice-President and Dean Professor Frank Bournois, fielding questions from media and CEIBS students on the ways in which Ireland encourages entrepreneurship, the China-EU relationship, and more.
When asked how EU membership had shaped Ireland and its relationship with China, Mr. Martin noted that the country had successfully reaped the benefits of EU funding by “investing heavily in education”. He added that “Ireland invested heavily in human capital after joining the European Union; technical education at a vocational level. That investment in human capital was very important in the development of foreign direct investment in Ireland.”
Finally, expressing CEIBS’ gratitude to Mr. Martin and the delegation, CEIBS President Professor Wang Hong said “CEIBS will use Mr. Martin's visit as an opportunity to continue to promote friendly exchanges between China, Ireland and Europe, further build a platform for cultural and economic exchanges, and contribute to the development and prosperity of the global economy.”
Before their departure from the campus, current CEIBS MBA and GEMBA students had the chance to mingle with the delegation and talk directly to Mr. Martin, offering them a unique and exciting opportunity to interact with a senior world leader.
In the context of a rapidly changing global landscape, the insights of experienced figures like Mr. Martin are more vital than ever. This visit proved to be a valuable international exchange and learning opportunity for CEIBS students, professors, and staff, demonstrating the unique position that CEIBS holds as a significant and influential bridge between China, Europe and the world. The whole CEIBS community would like to offer its sincerest thanks to the Shanghai Municipal Foreign Affairs Office and the Consulate General of Ireland in Shanghai for making this special event possible.