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5 May, 2006 - 12:31 By Staff Reporter

MK adding to its Taiwanese cluster

A bid to woo more Taiwan companies to Milton Keynes and bolster two-way trade opportunities between the regions has been launched by key influencers in the Bucks new town.

A bid to woo more Taiwan companies to Milton Keynes and bolster two-way trade opportunities between the regions has been launched by key influencers in the Bucks new town.

Taiwanese companies already form a UK-leading cluster in MK but a new initiative suggests more businesses may be ready to join the thriving corporate community – and that there is fresh business to be won by Milton Keynes firms wishing to trade in Taiwan.

More than 30 Taiwanese business leaders from across the UK met in Milton Keynes for an international business reception with David Percival, head of inward investment at the British trade and culture office, Taiwan.

It provided the opportunity for companies to be updated on the latest trade developments between the two countries, to meet and network with other Taiwanese companies based in the UK.

They also met with representatives from business support agencies represented at a local, regional, national and international level.

Hosted by Invest Milton Keynes, the event was held in partnership with the South East England Development Agency and with co-operation from the Taipei Representative Office UK and Taiwan Trade Centre.

The itinerary included a networking lunch with presentations from David Percival and Grant Seeley, director of investment at Milton Keynes Partnership.

Seeley also hosted a helicopter ride for Jerry Chen, from the Taipei representative office in UK to show Milton Keynes’ unique road infrastructure, Central Milton Keynes business district, and the expanse of the city.

Percival said: “Britain is well established as Europe’s top location for Taiwanese companies to grow their business and Milton Keynes has attracted a good number of those companies.

“But, to ensure continuing success for our investors and ourselves, it is important that across the country we all adapt to the challenges of the global economy and offer investors both the right business environment and best opportunities for technology and research.”

Milton Keynes was chosen as the ideal location for the business reception as 34 per cent of UK based Taiwan companies are located in the South East region and 55 per cent of those are based in Milton Keynes.

Seeley said: “Many Taiwanese businesses located in the city are from the IT and finance sectors. “International companies are attracted to Milton Keynes as resources at Cranfield, Bletchley Park and the Open University mean it is especially alive with emerging technologies and knowledge-based businesses.”

Milton Keynes’ success as an international business destination is gathering momentum following a recent visit from Taiwanese business news TV channel USTV in January, and the Korean TV channel MBC in April.

One of the largest Taiwanese companies with a European office in Milton Keynes is Foxconn, which employs globally around 350,000 staff and has a group turnover of $30 billion. The electronics firm opened its European representative office for a major division in Milton Keynes in 2004.

There are now 18 Taiwanese companies in Milton Keynes – almost double the number seven years ago.

The majority are from the technology, computing and electronics sector with Research & Development, design, services and sales & marketing functions responsible for their European operations.

Most Taiwanese companies operating out of MK are managed by a Taiwan national and there are currently an estimated 290 UK employees working within these companies locally.

Many of the Taiwanese businesses in MK are also growing and recruiting additional staff in line with their global expansion plans.

Another Taiwanese company is set to move to MK for the first time but details are currently under wraps.

 

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