Derby has hosted a 27-strong delegation from China as part of plans to boost trade, investment and tourism, one of the largest business delegations to ever visit a UK city outside London.
The visit from the party of business leaders from Hefei in Anhui province came almost a year after Derby City Council signed a memorandum of understanding with its counterpart in the country.
The travelling party toured the city before attending a series of 1-2-1 meetings with local businesses. This was followed with visits to the city centre and Peak District before watching Derby County’s Championship fixture at home to Sheffield Wednesday at Pride Park Stadium at the weekend. Four coaches from the Hefei FA also visited the Rams’ Training Centre.
Cllr Ranjit Banwait, leader of Derby City Council, said: "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.
"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."