The Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao, visited the University of Limerick, and met with executives of Shannon Development, in Limerick this afternoon as part of his two day State visit to Ireland.

The University of Limerick is the only University he visited as part of his official tour of five EU States.

Mr Jiabao received a presentation from the president of UL, Prof Rodger Downer, about the University's research programmes and its links with industry, a model the Chinese want to encourage as a means of developing economic and social growth.

Mr Jiabao also met some of the 70 Chinese students currently on postgraduate and language programmes at the University.

And he also visited the materials and surface science institute where research is being carried out on the technical requirements of the materials of the future, such as ultra-thin films and coatings and plastics and polymers.

Mr Jiabao also received a presentation from Shannon Development about their experience in helping support industry, and how this might be applied to helping foster enterprise and business in China.

This morning, the Chinese Prime Minister called on President Mary McAleese at Áras an Uachtaráin.

He also visited the headquarters of Iona Technologies in Dublin.

Beforehand, Mr Wen attended a breakfast meeting with Irish companies active in China, organised Enterprise Ireland.