International engineers and contractors may be eyeing China as the world’s largest consumer market, but the Chinese government still wants domestic industry firms to do some market-related globetrotting of their own, particularly in rail construction.
The state-owned China Railway Construction Corp. (CRCC) is now China’s largest and fastest-growing contractor, says Shang Qingxi, deputy chief economist. Since completing China’s first overseas rail project, the Tanzania-Zambia railway, in 1979, CRCC has worked in 60 foreign countries, with international projects now comprising 40% of total revenue. It claims 42 overseas projects now under construction worth $22 billion, with $8.2 billion in overseas contracts signed in 2009. The company’s 2009 earnings report, released on April 26, noted a net operating profit of $966 million, an 81% jump over the previous 12-month period.