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Construction faces Chinese invasion

Chinese contractors will infiltrate the UK market as the government prepares to allow increased investment in UK infrastructure, a leading consultant based in China said this week.

Atkins: Contractors will follow investment

Atkins managing director of China, Samson Sin, told NCE that it was very likely that investments made by the Chinese in the UK would lead to Chinese contractors bidding for resulting work.

Chancellor George Osborne recently brokered a deal with the Chinese government to make it easier for investors to put money into the UK infrastructure market.

The Treasury confirmed that projects of interest to the investors are the Olympic regeneration programme and the Atlantic Array offshore wind farm.

“I think that with Chinese investment, Chinese contractors will follow,” said Sin.

He added that past deals with Chinese contractors also meant using Chinese supplies and materials.

“Ultimately with foreign investment, if they are building a metro for example, they will sell you the metro system with rolling stock that is manufactured in China.”

The Civil Engineering Contractors Association acknowledged the threat, but it said that UK contractors could provide good value for money and warned against damaging the local supply chain.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Invasion? A little emotive, maybe?

    Either way, the UK market needs to be braced for some amazingly low cost competition. The Chinese are very capable of building amazing things, but they are similarly capable of slipping in some dodgy practice to keep prices down. Also can be inclined to bring their own plant, labourers and materials, which does very little for the local market. Government saves money with one hand but sees drop in local investment with the other, which is something to watch out for. A big challenge in parts of Africa at the moment.

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  • Siavash Amir-Ansari

    The comment is rather unsuitable and is "not cricket".
    If our construction companies can take equipment, staff to overseas to carry out a good job , then why the Chinese should be prevented to do the same in reverse.
    I agree with the comment of Civil Engineering Contractors Association.

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