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East Midlands Chamber News

Ambassador impressed by University of Derby welcome

Ambassadorial dinnerUniversity of Derby students who hosted a dinner for a Taiwanese trade delegation also helped to put more business on the table for UK companies.

The Taiwanese Ambassador was so impressed with the standard of hospitality at the event at the University’s Buxton Campus that he hopes to increase links with British universities for young people in his country, who have traditionally favoured American institutions.

“We were very impressed with the students,” said Dr Liu Chih-Kung, Head of Mission of the Taipei Representative Office in the UK, who had been invited by High Peak MP Andrew Bingham to meet representatives of the area’s local manufacturers and businesses about potential trade links during the two-day trip.

“They are great at service, the food was great – everything was great. The hospitality provision is one which Taiwan is very interested in.

“The UK is one of the most important countries in the world for our students to pursue tertiary education. We are keen to establish a partnership with their counterparts in Taiwan, and I’m thinking maybe we can consider helping the University of Derby to establish a partnership with some universities in Taiwan and could do some sort of exchange programme.

“Usually we send students to America, but I think it's good for us to learn in a British system for hotel management and hospitality.”

Mr Bingham, who attended the former High Peak College – which is now part of the University of Derby - invited Dr Chih-Kung after meeting him during talks on trade: “I explained to him that despite our rural image, we have a lot of high quality manufacturing companies across the High Peak, as well as a fantastic offer for visitors.”

And after a tour of the area including Speedwell Cavern and the National Health and Safety Laboratory in Harpur Hill, the Ambassador agreed.

“We are so impressed with Buxton,” he said. “The beauty of Buxton is not just its scenery, but its people. The people are so nice and friendly.”

But trade is just one of the spin-offs for Buxton as the delegation want to improve other fringe benefits: “Buxton is such a cultural town,” said Dr Chih-Kung. “Every year we send performance groups to the Edinburgh Fringe, but we could consider inviting them to come to Buxton as well.”