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Taipei, United Kingdom sign MOU over 2017 Universiade

Taipei and the United Kingdom signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in London on Thursday to develop deeper relations between the UK and Taipei as the Taiwanese city prepares itself to host the 2017 Universiade for elite university athletes.

The agreement, signed at the Global Sports Projects Summit at the British Business Embassy, is expected to help British companies capitalize on business opportunities associated with future global sporting events including the 2017 Universiade, for which contracts are expected to total 750 million pounds, according to a statement released by the British Trade & Cultural Office (BTCO) in Taipei yesterday.

The MOU was signed by Taipei City Mayor Hau Lung-bin, who is currently visiting London for the summit and UK Trade & Investment Chief Executive Nick Baird, the BTCO said.

Speaking at the singing ceremony, Hau said this marks the first time that the Taipei City Government has signed an MOU with the British government.

He hopes that the agreement will not only enable Taipei City to benefit from the United Kingdom's experience of staging international sports events, including the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games, but also boost bilateral ties and mutual trades between Taiwan and Great Britain.

“Following the unparalleled success of the London 2012 Games, UK Trade & Investment is helping British firms identify, win and deliver contracts for major sporting events all around the world,” Baird said during the ceremony.

“The 2017 Universiade represents a major opportunity for UK firms to export their expertise. This collaboration with Taipei City will help the UK maximize the economic legacy of the 2012 Games, and support Taipei as it delivers a world class competition,” he added.

Taipei won the bid to host the 2017 Summer Universiade last December.

Launched in the Italian city of Turin in 1959, the Universiade is a biennial sports event for 12,000-plus university athletes from more than 160 countries.

At the 2011 Summer Universiade in Shenzhen, China, Taiwan won 32 medals — seven gold, nine silver, and 16 bronze.

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