A delegation from Ningbo Province in China visited Sligo on 18th December, with their full itinerary including meetings with key local agencies to discuss Sligo’s progress in the areas of tourism, commerce and enterprise.
Chinese Delegation Meet Local Agencies
The seven strong delegation was led by Chairman of Ningbo Municipal District, and were welcomed to County Hall by Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council Councillor Tom MacSharry. The guests received presentations from Head of Local Enterprise Office, John Reilly, John Neary of Fáilte Ireland, and Conor McCarthy President of Sligo Chamber of Commerce.
In his address the Cathaoirleach said ‘Our remote location on Europe's western frontier causes us to place a special value on international links and friendships, and in that context we are privileged to welcome our guests here today. We have a proud record of associations with the republic of China, and in recent years we have welcomed delegations from Gansu Province and Henan Province.
At a recent travel and tourism summit in China, Ireland was named as one of the ‘top ten most promising overseas destinations’ for Chinese travellers.By developing a global network of friendships, we avail of the opportunity to highlight and showcase the many attractions of our wonderful county. My hope is that through this initial engagement we can nurture contacts in the areas of enterprise, education and tourism.
To provide a brief local context, Sligo is the key centre of economic growth in the Northwest, and we are currently overseeing an unprecedented level of investment in our transport infrastructure We have very progressive ambitions for the future, we are excited about our ability to promote Sligo as the optimum place to live in, invest or visit.
While we confident about our capacity to deliver on these objectives, we acknowledge that the key to our success is the quality of our partnership with key local agencies. They share our conviction about Sligo's potential, and we have an excellent working relationship as we work towards agreed goals.’
Sligo IT Innovation Centre
The next location on the delegation’s itinerary was the Innovation Centre at IT Sligo, where they were welcomed by Aidan Haughey, Communication Manager. Dr Chris O’Malley presented an overview of the Innovation & Research carried out at IT Sligo and how the Innovation Centre can help international companies.
Prof Jacqueline McCormack outlined the online learning facilities at IT Sligo. Half of our students now study remotely online from around the world including China.
Paul Conneally, Marketing Lead, LiveTiles, gave presentation on IT Sligo’s joint AIforGood Convention taking place in March. This United Nation’s convention looks at how Artificial Intelligence will improve our future. The delegation also visited the IT’s online engineering room, showcasing how engineering is taught online.
The final ‘stop’ on the itinerary was a visit to the grave of WB Yeats in Drumcliffe, with many of the delegation familiar with the works of our greatest poet.