Boost for West Country links to China

Moves have been made to strengthen the South West’s business links with China with the Bristol China Partnership becoming a limited company and appointing a new team of directors.

The Partnership, which began in 1998, is now helping South West businesses forge links with China and is assisting Chinese businesses that want to bring their products and services to the UK.

Dianne Francombe, Chief Executive of the newly-formed company, explained: “We have incorporated to enable us to expand activities to cover the whole of the South West and to bring together a team of business professionals to make the most of links between the region and China.

“The Partnership was originally set up by local business people and Bristol City Council in 1998 to forge links with China. That led to the signing of a sister city agreement with Guangzhou in 2001.

“Since then there have been huge progress in building understanding and many important business and educational links have been made. China is the world’s second largest economy and holds huge potential for the region.

“We have a very active and successful Chinese community in the South West and many Chinese students at the region’s universities and we are building on these links to benefit all.”

Bristol-based co-founder of the Partnership and businessman Wallace Kwong remains as Chairman of the partnership with a team of business people making up the directors. Paul Hardman Partner of Bristol law firm of Gregg Latchams becomes Company Secretary and six prominent business people have joined as directors with responsibilities for six areas of the business.

They are Richard Lowe, Managing Director of HR Training Solutions, who is Director of Business Initiatives;  Tony Prescott, who has retired from his role at Bristol University is Director of Culture and Community Initiatives;  Wang Lei, President of Bristol Chinese Students and Scholars Association, who is Director of China Affairs; Phil Joannou, a building and construction consultant is Director of Education; Eric Dolling, who worked in education in Bristol and China is Finance Director and Martin Powell, Managing Director of Empica public relations agency is Director of PR and Marketing.

Bristol’s Lord Mayor and the Mayor of Guangzhou and Secretary General of Guangzhou hold honorary positions within the organisations.

Bristol China Partnership led a Bristol delegation to China last year and intends a repeat visit later this year opening up opportunities for businesses from throughout the South West.

Further information can be found at

Issued on behalf of Bristol China Partnership by Empica. For further information contact Martin Powell (01275) 394400.

Businessmen in China Friendship Group

Two Bristol businessmen have been specially invited as overseas council members of a group in China that is forging relationships with other countries.

Kam Wong and David Parkinson, of DPS Environmental Technologies of Portishead, Bristol were among 16 delegates to join the Guangzhou People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.

Kam Wong, Managing Director of DPS, was co-founder of the Bristol China Partnership, which forged a sister-city relationship with Guangzhou and is developing links between China and  the South West of England, including recent trade missions.

Around 150 people attended a special ceremony at which the two businessmen were welcomed on to the council.

The ceremony heard directives from Xi JinPing, Vice-chairman of the People’s Republic of China, who said that the association should play a leading role in promoting people-to-people diplomacy as well as a role in public diplomacy and promoting co-operation between local governments in China and the rest of the world.

It was the sixth council and group member meeting of the association. Guangzhou is Southern China’s biggest business hub.

At the same meeting Mr Cao JianLiao, Vice-Mayor of Guangzhou was elected as President of the association. He told of plans to develop the association, which will play an important part in future work to promote friendly co-operation around the world.

Issued on behalf of the Bristol China Partnership by Empica. For further information contact Martin Powell (01275) 394400.

Commercial property experts take-up Oxfam Trailtrekker challenge

Intrepid walkers from Colliers International’s Bristol office will be swapping suits and ties for all-weather gear and walking boots when they take part in a challenging 100km charity trek around the Yorkshire Dales.

Commercial property experts Nick Williams, Mike Bull, Richard Wright and Mark Kelly will line up alongside around 300 other teams for the notoriously challenging Oxfam Trailtrekker – tackling the rugged Yorkshire Dales course in just 30 hours from June 1-2.

The challenging terrain, which takes in rocky peaks and lowland bogs and marshes, includes climbing the equivalent of Ben Nevis and Snowdon during the thirty hour time frame.

Nick Williams from the Broad Quay-based team said: “Around a quarter of the people taking part in the trek don’t manage to finish the course, and just a third of the teams finish with all four members in one piece. It’s recognised as one of the toughest challenges of its kind.”

The Bristol team has been practising for the event with gruelling expeditions to the Brecon Beacons in some of the foulest winter weather conditions imaginable and team members are determined to complete the course together.

Richard said: “We have been training as often as possible in what has been the second coldest March on record.”

Mike added: “Some of our colleagues seem to imagine we are in training for a nobbly knees contest but Trailtrekker is recognised around the world as a seriously impressive challenge. It’s a day and night event which requires great determination and teamwork.”

The team’s fundraising website is

Issued by Empica Ltd on behalf of Colliers International. For further information contact   Martin Powell or Simon Harding on 01275 394 400.

Small sites in Clevedon attracting developers and buyers

CJH Land has brokered a deal on a small site in Lea Grove, Clevedon for five town houses.

The Flax Bourton-based land agents acquired the site for developer Cotswold Homes from ATA Estates following the success of their development at nearby Strode Road.

CJH Land director Matthew Hiles said small scale in-fill sites are always popular in good locations and often help to revitalise and regenerate areas which can be much needed especially in recent times where local economies need a boost.

He said: “Clevedon is one of the most popular places to live in North Somerset. It has always been an attractive seaside town and is also well located  for commuters to both Bristol and Weston-super-Mare. This small scale development will prove very popular in this location.”

The site is the latest in a number of developments either on or close to Clevedon’s seafront.

Matthew Hiles explained: “Having successfully revamped the former Strode Road coach depot we were able to put the owner of the Lea Grove site in touch with Cotswold Homes and close the deal. Strode Road had gone very well for them so we knew they were on the lookout for something else in Clevedon.”

CJH Land Limited  specialises in the sale of residential development land and have been extremely encouraged with their sector of the property market in recent months.

Matthew Hiles said: “The last two years have been very busy as we have been involved in a number of significant land sales across the West. All of the major house builders and developers we work with are seeking new land opportunities as the housing market in this part of the country has been stable for some time now.”

Issued on behalf of CJH Land by Empica. For further information contact Martin Powell (01275) 394400.