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Malaysian construction companies have bountiful opportunities in China [13-06-2011]  
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Bountiful opportunities await Malaysian-based construction companies in China following a boom in the country’s construction sector and the rapid development going on there.

Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) construction services and building materials division director Ong Yew Chee said many infrastructure projects would be built in China in the years to come.

He said the projects included construction of bridges, roads, highways, property development projects as well as public projects such as hospitals, schools and universities.

Ong said opportunities were also good for environmental services providers involved in waste water treatment, garbage disposal, landfills and providing clean drinking waters for households and factories.

“China is not a straight-forward market and companies planning to go there must do their research and homework to better understand the way to do business there,’’ he told a press conference that was held recently in conjunction with a promotional conference for companies in the southern region for the upcoming Eight China-Asean Expo 2011 to be held in Nanning, Guangxi, from Oct 21 to 26.

Ong said it was not that easy for foreign companies to enter into the Chinese market as it was in the process of building up mutual trust, adding that this would require time.

However, he said this should not stop local companies from venturing to China as the country was not to be ignored.

If Malaysian companies did not make inroads into China, others would, he added.

He said those planning to venture into China should not only focus on the major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, but also the second and the third-tier cities which offered equal business opportunities.

Among the second-tier and the third-tier Chinese cities that Malaysian companies should look into include Chongqing, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Tianjin, Wenzhou and Zhengzhou.

“China is not only for the big corporations which have deep pockets but also for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs),’’ he said.

He said one of the ways for local SMEs to venture into China was to team up with their Chinese counterparts to access the market there as these Chinese companies had better knowledge of the country.

Ong said Matrade would also encourage more Malaysian companies, especially the government-linked companies (GLCs), to set up joint-venture companies with China’s GLCs to bid for infrastructure projects in other countries.

As for other emerging markets, Ong said Malaysian construction players would be looking at Qatar for construction-related projects as the kingdom would be hosting the World Cup in 2022.

He said many new stadiums would need to be built.

As the game’s venues, besides infrastructure projects such as roads and highways, while existing stadiums needed to be upgraded. “The Middle East is an important region for our construction companies as it accounts for about 41% of the global construction activities,’’ said Ong.

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