County cements ties with China

14 November 2017

Derbyshire's ties with China have been strengthened further with a formal agreement signed by county council Leader Barry Lewis and Li Guoying, governor of East China's Anhui province.

The agreement to work together to boost tourism, business, culture, sci-tech, education and health care in the county and province was signed during an overseas trip on Thursday 9 November 2017 to the provincial capital Hefei.

Councillor Lewis said:

"This was a fantastic opportunity to meet with Chinese governors and business.

"We're delighted we were able to cement the relationship established in September when delegates from the Huangshan area of Anhui Province visited Derbyshire.

"It's great news that the Government in Anhui Province wants to work with us on projects to benefit citizens in both our countries − particularly in areas such as developing manufacturing, education, culture, and tourism."

Councillor Lewis also joined a delegation showcasing Derbyshire and the Midlands at the China International Industry Fair in Shanghai with representatives from the UK Government, University of Derby, Derby City Council, and local business.

He said:

"Derbyshire has a key role to play in the Midlands Engine and securing international trade post-Brexit so it was great to talk to Midlands Engine Minister Sajid Javid MP and Sir John Peace, chair of the Midlands Engine, about what Derbyshire has to offer and how we can play our part as well as meeting with Chinese businesses."

Following the fair, Councillor Lewis, accompanied by Councillor Tony King, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, and senior economy and regeneration officers, was guest of honour at the Huangshan International Tourism Festival. They travelled to the Yellow Mountains National Park in Huangshan to forge links between the Yellow Mountains and the Peak District National Park.

The tour will be followed by a visit to Derbyshire from the Anhui Tourism Board later this month.

Councillor Lewis added:

"China moved into the top 10 of Britain's most valuable inbound visitor market for the first time last year when visits from Chinese tourists reached a record-breaking 270,000. Currently, spend by these visitors is worth £586 million to the UK economy. We want Derbyshire to tap into the market and encourage more visitors from China to travel to our great county."