Anna Lo MLA said: “I am very pleased that China has decided to open a consulate in Belfast. A lot of work has gone into strengthening links between Northern Ireland and China in recent years.
“This will be a big boost to Northern Ireland as we look to increase the level of trade with China. Having direct links to representatives of the Chinese government will make it easier for our businesses to export to the Far East. Our large agri-food sector could see enormous benefits as they enter the large markets that exist in China.
“Having a consulate in Belfast will make it easier for people to visit China as they currently have to travel to Edinburgh to obtain a visa.
“I also hope that this new consulate will help continue the long history of Chinese students studying in Northern Ireland.”