IDA Ireland is due to open its first office in China in September in an effort to attract investment by Chinese firms here. The office will be based in Shanghai, China's commercial capital.

IDA Ireland will target some of the biggest Chinese firms which are beginning to expand globally. It will also target a new breed of young Chinese firms that are now looking overseas for growth.

The move to open an office follows a trade mission to China led by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern earlier this year.

Just one Chinese company, the telecoms firm Huawei, has so far set up an office in Dublin. The firm was attracted to Dublin after it signed a telecoms equipment deal with the Irish telephone operator Smart Telecom.