Derby has welcomed a 17-strong delegation from China, as part of plans to boost trade, investment and tourism.

As part of the visit, the delegation has today (Friday 20th October) met with businesses across the city for a networking event to find out more about each other and discuss potential investment opportunities.

The visit comes almost one year after Derby signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hefei.

Councillor Ranjit Banwait, Leader of Derby City Council says:

This is the first Chinese business delegation to visit Derby and one of the biggest visits to any city outside of London.  There is an excellent breadth of businesses.  Building even stronger ties with Hefei, demonstrates our commitment to one of our key pledges, linking with overseas markets as a way of guaranteeing the future economic prosperity of the city.

As part of our post-Brexit economic strategy, our ambitious vision for the city involves establishing strong links with Hefei and their visit this week is the next important step to realising economic, cultural and sporting collaboration.  Hefei is a good fit for Derby – has a population of seven million people and is one of the fastest growing cities in China, with economic growth comparable to some countries in the world.

The networking event held today at Derby Arena was a great opportunity for businesses to forge what will hopefully be lasting relationships which will benefit Derby for years to come.”

The itinerary for the remaining days of the visit is as follows:

  • Day three – hosted by Derby County Football Club.
  • Day four – a visit to the Peak District National Park before the delegation’s return journey to London and flight home.

Work to develop strong tourism links is progressing with accredited tour operators – to create an itinerary for Chinese tourists to visit local attractions, and then to market it in Hefei.

The aim is to establish Derby and Derbyshire as a ‘must see destination’, with early visitors from China encouraging others to follow. This will benefit local hotels, restaurants, attractions and shops.

The delegation includes significant entrepreneurs from industries in Hefei, including property development, tourism, medical technology and steel manufacturing.