PARTNERSHIP SET IN STONE

Kuwait 2019 | REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION | VIP INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Yang Chunsen, Vice President/Chief Representative, China State Construction Engineering Corporation Middle East (CSCME) Kuwait, on competition, R&D, and knowledge transfer.

In light of your collaboration with the government, what areas can be improved to make the country more attractive for FDI?

China State Construction Engineering (CSCEC) has been operating in Kuwait since 1980, establishing a permanent presence in 2008. Due to our rapid growth over the past few years and our leading position as the largest contractor in the world, we naturally decided to expand the relationship between China and the State of Kuwait by developing and executing major infrastructure plans that will support new revenue streams and trading opportunities for Kuwait. We therefore expect Kuwaitis to benefit from this and the economy to pursue its undergoing diversification. We are absolutely confident that Kuwait's public sector will remain a thoroughly robust business partner of CSCME, and moving forward, we must ensure that the bilateral cooperation is mutually beneficial and in line with both parties' goodwill and intent. We also look forward to the establishment of solid financial procedures that guarantee prompt payment while maintaining the ease of funds transfers in and out of the country. The government must continue to improve itself in terms of decision making. To achieve that, it needs to review its rules and regulations and remove the major obstacles to doing smooth business in the country.

What key factors give your company a competitive edge during tender procedures?

We are appreciative of the transparency with which Kuwait calls for public tenders. All the companies involved have access to rapid and transparent information regarding where they stand in terms of pricing and design. This also allows for a fair and well-regulated competition. While we are highly confident that we can always offer the most competitive bid, we may not always offer the lowest price; however, we can guarantee an unparalleled expertise and strength in depth. Our clients can be assured that we will deliver on time and on budget. We are a technology-driven company, and we utilize our R&D to continuously develop new methods and construction systems. We have, for example, a high-rise construction system, called Tower Builder, that we hope to roll-out in Kuwait in the near future. We have also developed technologies that allow all utilities to be accommodated with a single tunnel culvert. This minimizes the utility footprint within the building area and largely limits intrusive and disruptive maintenance works. We hope to showcase this technology as a part of the larger infrastructure development projects in the country.

As CSCME is about to become a local company, what main opportunities will the company obtain?

We expect to get registered as a local company under the KDIPA in the near future. This will allow us to hire, develop, and mentor more Kuwaiti talent but at the same time allow us to enhance the qualifications of our own cadres. Our company's policies will benefit our local staff by providing training, technology, and knowledge transfer. The latter is one of the driving principles and purposes of the agreements reached between our mutual leaderships and we are happy and excited by the opportunity that we have in this regard. As a local company, we will strengthen our position as a long-term partner and by doing so, we will be able to increase our participation in the future development of Kuwait and its people.