BUSINESSES in Swindon that want to establish links with firms in China and the Far East are being encouraged to join a networking programme hosted by the Bristol and West of England China Bureau.

The scheme is being launched in response to growing interest from local companies and will be held in partnership with commercial lawyers Clark Holt at their Prospect Place offices.

Chief executive of the bureau Dianne Francombe said: "As part of our policy of reaching out to other cities within our region we are holding our first ever Pow Wow event in Swindon.

"Clark Holt are experienced commercial lawyers specialising in corporate, commercial and real estate - which are key areas of interest for Chinese business people visiting the West.

"Senior partner Jeremy Holt is already a keen supporter of the bureau and has kindly invited members to join him and the team at Clark Holt to learn more about doing business in the Far East."

Headline speaker will be Prof Steven Myint, formerly a global medical director for GlaxoSmithKline and an experienced international businessman in the biopharmaceutical sector.

Ms Francombe said the bureau was a growing network of people with an interest in China and in building connections between the two countries. ". While we have achieved a fairly high profile in Bristol it is important we branch out to towns and cities across the region to speak to any business people who might wish to become involved with our programme.”

She added: Dianne added: "China is a huge and growing market and we are working to strengthen relationships and expand our connections with China especially southern China and Bristol’s Sister city Guangzhou."

The Pow Wow is being held on September 11 between 6pm and 8pm. For more information about the bureau and the event visit or call 0117 9567096.