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O’Neill explores potential for collaboration with Chinese equine sector

Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill has met with key players in the Chinese equine industry to discuss equine education and explore possible areas for collaborative working.
Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Minister O’Neill is on a trade mission to China to raise the profile of the local agri-food sector and promote opportunities for increased agri-trade between the north of Ireland and China.

During the meeting in the Irish Embassy in Beijing Minister O’Neill met with key players in the Chinese equine industry including Professor Han , Vice-Chairman of the China Horse Industry Association and director of China Agricultural University’s (CAU) Equine Centre.

Speaking after the meeting, Minister O’Neill said: “Equine education is an area of great importance both in the north of Ireland and in China. There is a growing interest in development of the equine sector in China and I welcome today’s opportunity to meet with Professor Han and other senior academic representatives to find out about their plans for its development.

“During his visit to Ireland earlier this year Professor Han observed the educational opportunities in the equine sector on offer at the College of Agriculture Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) Enniskillen Campus. Equine education has an important role to play in fostering growth of the sector and both Professor Han and I recognise the mutual benefits that could be realised through a skills sharing exchange programme. Today’s meeting has provided an important insight into the training needs of the Chinese equine industry and an important step in working towards building links between CAU and CAFRE’s Enniskillen Campus.

“I am pleased to announce that Chinese students will come to Enniskillen Campus in 2013 and will have the opportunity to learn about the Irish equine industry through hands on experience of working with horses.”

Notes to editors:

  1. Minister O’Neill in on a trade mission to China as part of a delegation led by First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness which also includes Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster.
  2. For media enquiries please contact DARD Press Office 028 9052 4619 or email: pressoffice.group@dardni.gov.uk Out of hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.