RTÉ reports that this Europe China Trading Hub will be built on a 140 hectare site in Athlone. According to An Taisce, it will “14 times the size of the Liffey Valley and Blanchardstown retail centres put together.”
It has been dubbed the ‘Shanghai on the Shannon’ will be used as a trading hub for international commerce between China, Europe and the rest of the world. Chinese manufacturers will be able to display their products to European and international buyers in order to generate business. This will mean that customers could trade with Chinese businesses without having to travel to China.
It will be the largest European source of Chinese branded goods and will also offer visitors banking facilities, taxation advice, translation services, legal services and travel arrangements.
The overall master plan for the entire 337-acre site will provide for up to 3,000 companies to display their wares in the nine exhibition halls and other facilities
Phase one will include two exhibition halls, one hall for visiting exhibitions, nine smaller exhibition halls, an administrative building and a reception.
When completed, it will feature nine exhibition halls, nine smaller independent exhibition buildings, a temporary exhibitions space, offices, administrative services, hotels, shops, restaurants, pubs, a school and a train station. The hall will also showcase Irish products to international visitors.