PPP projects come with risks; more cooperation needed

Chinese companies are faced with some challenges and risks when they seek growth in the global markets, and they may tap into UK firms for experience and expertise to tackle these issues, a British Embassy official said Wednesday.

Although Chinese companies might show competitiveness when it comes to infrastructure construction, they would encounter many risks in technical, political, financial and economic areas when working on Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) projects, Stephen Ellison, Minister-Counselor at the British Embassy, in Beijing told the Global Times on Wednesday. Being able to understand some of these wider risks and more importantly what to do about them is the first step, he said. Ellison said that Chinese firms are expected to cooperate with UK companies that have experience and expertise in a bid to address challenges.

An increasing number of Chinese firms, which are eager to expand along the route of the China-proposed Belt and Road initiative, would like to focus on PPP projects, British experts said.

PPP projects need long-term efforts, and Chinese firms should beef up efforts to strengthen their management skills and further learn how to adapt to laws of markets where they do business, said Dennis Zhang, a partner of KPMG.

“For example, in infrastructure PPP projects in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, the contract duration is 99 years,” Greg Jones, senior associate at Pinsent Masons, told the Global Times. “This will involve various government departments and leadership changes.” Chinese companies need to build soft skills to work with different stakeholders, he said.


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