TAICHUNG, Taiwan (BRAIN) — Taichung’s gregarious Mayor Jason Hu officially welcomed the industry to the city at a formal dinner Wednesday evening at the swanky new Millennium Vee Hotel.
Hu entered the ballroom to a standing ovation and greeted the prominent industry crowd with a short speech to express his gratitude for their support of the city. Hu, the longest-serving mayor in Taiwan with 11 years at the helm of the industrial city of 2.6 million, referenced recent suggestions that he move to Taipei to become the island’s next president or prime minister.
“I love my city and I’m determined to stay because I worry a lot. If I go to Taipei, who will be here to pay for your beer?” he joked.
Hu continued: “I really enjoy your visit. A major achievement for this city in the past few years is the incredible support from the industry to our activity, the international Taichung Bike Week. In four years' time, it has grown 400 percent from 67 companies to now 220, or 230. That’s a great growth. I hope you keep coming back.”
Mayor Hu handed the microphone to Taiwan leaders Michael Tseng, president of Merida, and KMC’s Robert Wu, who spoke briefly before the start of a 10-course meal. The annual dinner was attended by several hundred people in town for the Taichung Bike Week spec event including executives from SRAM, FSA, Giant, Merida, Pacific Cycle and Velo. Hotel staff scrambled to set up extra tables due to larger than expected turnout at the dinner, which was announced just two days earlier. Diners enjoyed wine, beer and plentiful seafood dishes as live music from a three-piece band filled the background.
Bike Week runs through Friday.