Beijing Construction Engineering Group: Mutual Benefit Seeks Partners
BCEG will make full use of its advantages and continues to contribute to the development of countries along the Belt and Road by strengthening cooperation.
As one of the first group of construction enterprises that went global, Beijing Construction Engineering Group (BCEG) has been participating in China's foreign-aid projects since 1957. Over the past 60 years, BCEG has aided about 10 Asian, African and Latin American countries including Sri Lanka, Albania, Morocco, Mauritius, and Iraq in the construction of massive projects that promote development of local economies and culture, such as residential buildings, office buildings, schools, stadiums, museums, reservoirs and factories. China has deepened its Belt and Road Initiative in recent years and BCEG has established contacts with new partners, maintaining in- depth cooperation during its course of going global. So far, the group has established branches in 27 countries and regions worldwide. By virtue of its highquality construction and excellent project management ability, BCEG injects new vigour into countries along the Belt and Road and on the extension according to their development demands.
Witnessing Achievements in China-uk Cooperation
The Belt and Road Initiative is now becoming more widely known across Manchester and the UK. It has become a term that refers to China's cooperation with other countries which aims to facilitate local development. In addition to the international influence of this initiative, the Airport City Manchester, a current project under construction, links the Belt and Road Initiative to UK'S Northern Powerhouse Initiative.
In October 2013, former chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne visited China. He announced that BCEG would invest12 million pounds to co-found a joint venture with MAG, Carillion and GMPF to jointly develop the Airport City in Manchester.
The project is located next to Manchester Airport, with a total planning area of approximately 500,000 square metres. Comprised of Airport City South and Airport City North, it covers a wide range of industries and infrastructure facilities such as warehousing, logistics, office business, hotel service, retail, commercial services, medical treatment, legal services, financial services, science and technology, media and telecommunications. It also boasts advanced manufacturing plants, retail-related facilities and leisure facilities that cover 35,300 square metres. The total development cost of the project reached 650 million pounds.
Airport City Manchester has created multiple record-breaking success during China-uk cooperation. It is the largest UK development project since the London 2012 Olympics, the first project to be implemented since China and the UK signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on enhancing infrastructure cooperation in 2011, and also the first time for Chinese enterprises to invest in the UK'S infrastructure projects.
According to Xing Yan, BCEG International's regional director for USA and UK, BCEG has paid attention to Airport City Manchester since 2012 after learning about the UK'S proposal to advance transformation of Manchester and other old industrial cities in the North of England. Due to the fact that Manchester welcomes overseas investors and by virtue of BCEG'S rich experience in super-large project construction and outstanding ability for integrating international resources, the group finally won the UK'S trust after several rounds of tendering and negotiation.
In October 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping, accompanied by then UK'S Prime Minister David Cameron, paid a visit to the Airport City project. He watched the planning photo show and the model of “China Cluster” and witnessed the launching of “China Cluster” project. Xi spoke highly of the Airport City Manchester project and hoped that BCEG and its UK partners would make efforts to build Airport City into a demonstration project of China-uk cooperation.
By far, BCEG'S UK subsidiary has completed the ALPHA project and infrastructure upgrading project in Airport City South. Gary Neville, an investor in Airport City, told sources that he was impressed by BCEG'S work ethic toward such a large project. Even in the preliminary stage, BCEG managed to work efficiently and maintained a transparent process, ensuring that the project construction was carried out orderly.
Boosting Regional Economic Development
Since the second half of the 20th century, the economic and social development status of northern UK has lagged behind that of Greater London. Thus the British government put forward the Northern Powerhouse initiative, aiming to construct the north of England into the second economic centre rivalling London. This proposal involved 11 cities and regions in northern England, including Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Newcastle, and mainly comprises measures such as administrative decentralisation, administrative system reform, vigorous infrastructure construction development, scientific research development, and optimising industrialisation.
Although the UK was neither a country along the ancient Silk Road nor the Belt and Road, it holds that there are parallels between the Belt and Road Initiative and the UK'S Northern Powerhouse, and calls on other countries not situated along these routes to actively participate in the process. Xing Yan shared his opinions that the UK partners were open and friendly to the initiative. For locals, BCEG not only brings investment, establishes localised enterprises, provides jobs, but also brings sustained economic benefits and new life to the city.
Airport City Manchester, undertaken by BCEG, is a key project of the Northern Powerhouse Initiative. Located in central
Manchester in northern England, Manchester Airport is an aviation hub for the region's cities. Though it has launched multiple international routes, the surrounding areas remained undeveloped. Construction of the Airport City will facilitate development of industries in business tourism, finance, science and technology, and logistics, promoting development of the northern UK.
As to how to ensure the high-profile project proceeds smoothly when facing the UK'S laws and regulations, construction standards and business environment, Xing Yan indicated that BCEG has a wealth of experience in undertaking overseas projects. Most importantly, BCEG staff is open to learning when faced with new projects in a new environment, as construction demands vary from country to country.
As a developed country, the UK has made many contracting rules for international projects and boasts professional project construction management systems. In this regard, during construction, BCEG gives play to its ingenuity and draws on Manchester's management model. For example, the project requires the general contractor to participate in the process at an early stage and needs to solicit the owners' opinions during the design process. Otherwise, if the project follows a conventional path of implementing construction according to design drawings, it will have to change the design plan temporarily when encountering any problems at a later stage, prolonging the construction period.
In recent years, when undertaking overseas projects, Chinese construction enterprises have attached increasing importance to localisation management, which not only caters to local business demands, but also facilitates further internationalisation of these enterprises. The Airport City Manchester project is no exception, as over 90 percent of employees on the management team and most department managers are British. In addition to completing the project with efficiency, BCEG has deepened friendly relations between the Chinese and British and established a good corporate image by fulfilling its social responsibility. In distant areas in the northern UK, some schools do not have school buses, making it inconvenient for students to get to school. To solve this problem, BCEG donated two school buses to the schools, bringing the company closer to local residents.
BCEG is highly spoken of by its UK partners for its outstanding work in the construction of Airport City Manchester. Later on, it undertook another two projects in the UK: St Michael's and Middlewood Locks. St Michael's, located at the centre of Manchester City, comprises two towers and podium buildings and covers a building area of about 67,500 square metres, consisting of high- end apartments, five-star hotels, office buildings and a synagogue. Upon its completion, it will be a new commercial complex and the new landmark of central Manchester. Middlewood Locks is currently UK'S largest new multi-functional residential and commercial neighbourhood located in Salford, Greater Manchester. Apartment buildings, hotels and supporting facilities related to landscaping, food and fitness are the main projects developed by Greater Manchester and have gained attention and support from Salford's government.
With several projects going on in Manchester, BCEG is like a “business card of China,” introducing a development idea upheld by the Belt and Road Initiative to local people and writing new chapters of Chinese enterprises' cooperation with developed countries based on the initiative.
Maintaining Asian and African Partnerships
In recent years, BCEG has invested in construction in developed markets in the UK, the US, Canada and Australia, and met many new partners. As for Asian and African countries along the Belt and Road, BCEG also maintains close cooperation with them
for mutual development, improving the life of local people, and promoting local economic development.
BCEG'S international business began in the 1950s when China started its foreign economic aid projects. The projects that the group undertook were all located in developing and less developed countries in Asia and Africa. With the regional development brought by globalisation, many of the countries in these regions have shown unprecedented economic growth momentum. These countries' construction demand for infrastructure has increased. For this reason, BCEG always delivers high construction quality with a cooperation philosophy of harmony and inclusiveness.
Take Mongolia for example. BCEG is a Chinese-funded company that has run for the longest time in Mongolia and completed its largest construction projects there. It has constructed projects such as the Peace Bridge and the State Department Store since the 1950s. In the 21st century, BCEG has successively undertaken about 10 projects like Mongolia's landmark Shangri-la Office Building, the Superior Apartment Project of Mongolian Mawang Building and China-Mongolia Integrated Centre for Peace.
In 2014, the renovation project of Beijing Street in Mongolia's capital Ulan Bator commenced. The street is 897 metres in length. BCEG was in charge of road construction, traffic safety, as well as lighting and landscaping projects. The project was completed in October in the same year, two months earlier than planned. The renovated road makes it more convenient for locals to get around and also improves the image of Ulan Bator. At the launching ceremony, the mayor of Ulan Bator spoke highly of the project. He said that it is not only a modern road in line with international standards, but also a symbolic friendship between China and Mongolia. During the construction period, he had received many letters from residents expressing their support for this project.
In Mauritius, construction projects completed by BCEG have also promoted local development and deepened mutual friendship. Over the 20 years since BCEG began to undertake projects in Mauritius in 1993, it has built more than 3,000 houses for locals and constructed large-scale infrastructure built sewer networks and motorways, making life more convenient for people living there.
Projects like Pamplemousses Botanical Garden at Port Louis and the 11.5 kilometres expressway have become landmarks of Mauritius. In addition, the teaching building of Mauritius University, Floréal Middle School and Broadcast Television Building projects have played a positive role in the development of local education and culture. The Imperial Gardens under construction is BCEG'S first real estate project in Mauritius, with a total building area of nearly 100,000 square metres, comprising residential buildings, shops, underground parking lots and relevant supporting facilities. After completion, it will become the largest community in Mauritius.
Among the 22 projects invested and constructed by BCEG in countries along the Belt and Road, most of them will become a local landmark after completion, such as the Landmark Waterfront in Bangkok rising 303 metres above the ground, The Haven Lakeside Residences in Malaysia, Abidjan Olympic Stadium in Ivory Coast, the largest foreign-aid project currently constructed by the Chinese government, and Brazzaville Business Centre, the tallest building in Congo. All these projects are symbols of friendship and indicate BCEG'S determination to further cooperate with these Asian and African countries. In the future, under the Belt and Road Initiative, BCEG will give full play to its advantages and strengthen cooperation with countries along the Belt and Road and other countries to contribute to their development.
Brazzaville Business Centre in Republic of the Congo
BCEG'S project team offers Chinese training for foreign employees.
Tanzania National Stadium