1000+ delegates are at Velo-city in Taipei.

Industry figures prominent at Velo-city advocacy conference in Taiwan

Bicycle industry executives from around the world have joined more than 1000 delegates from 43 countries at cycle advocacy conference Velo-city Taipei 2016.

“We are here in Taipei to celebrate the future," said Manfred Neun, president of the European Cyclists’ Federation and the World Cycling Alliance. He was flanked, in the picture here, by Giant’s CEO Tony Lo and company founder King Liu.

Neun continued: "By bringing together more than 160 speakers among experts, professionals, mayors and public authorities, Velo-city Taipei is the place where the evolution of cycling takes shape.”

Taipei’s Deputy Mayor Lin highlighted Taipei City Government’s plan to rejuvenate the city and make it more livable by 2050. “From now on, neighbourhoods will develop wherever the bicycles go. The cycling-orientated network will lead city-wide development."

Velo-city this year takes place back-to-back with the trade-only Taipei International Cycle Show.

The advocacy conference covers five different themes: urban transition, moving lifestyles, sustainable economy, sharing societies and design in motion. There are plenary sessions featuring mayors from all over the world, architects such as Francine Houben from the Netherlands, the film producer Hiroki Owada, politicians from the region and the CEO of the Taipei Design Capital 2016.

There will also be sub-plenaries on economics, bike sharing systems and cycle tourism.

The last two days of the conference will be focused on the role of the industry on the development of cycling, with keynote speakers such as Lo, CEO of Giant, and John Burke, CEO of Trek. 

In 2007, Burke gave a speech at the Taipei trade show calling for bike companies to spend more on cycling advocacy. 

He called the bicycle "the perfect product at the perfect time." And bike companies would sell more of them if there were more places for folks to ride them.

"The number one way to grow the business – and to have an impact on society, health, environment and congestion – is to create a bicycle-friendly world," said Burke in 2007.

He revealed that for every $100 of sales, bike companies typically spend $3.90 on marketing, $1.60 on R&D but just 10 cents on advocacy.

"That doesn’t make sense. As an industry we need to look at how we spend money. Why do we spend the amount of money on marketing and product and little on advocacy?"

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