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Seeking Close Co-operation with Local Companies Interview with Head of China Harbour Engineering Company

Name Mr. Tian Huai Xin

Nationality Chinese

Position Managing Director


About China Harbouring Engineering Company

Founded in 1980, China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd. (CHEC) is a world-renowned international contractor and a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC), one of the Global Fortune 500 companies. CHEC has been developing and operating the overseas business on behalf of CCCC. Currently, CHEC has more than 40 overseas branch offices or subsidiaries serving clients in over 70 countries around the world.

CHEC is focused on basic infrastructure construction, such as Marine Engineering, Dredging and Reclamation, Roads and Bridges, Railways, Airports, Complete Plants, etc. CHEC pride itself on providing a full service to its clients and uses its international engineering experience, global business network, talented management team and robust financial backing to offer clients a wide range of service options such as D&B, EPC, PMC, BT and BOT.

In Myanmar, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) has been working since 1995. CHEC had done lots of project such as Myanmar International Terminal Thilawa port (MITT), Bo Aung Kyaw Container Port (Myanmar Port Authority), Crude Oil Wharf and Waterway Project (Myanmar-China Crude Oil Pipeline) and cooperated with local company to complete Nay Pyi Taw International Airport.

MI: When was your first visit to Myanmar and how has your first impression?

My first visit to Myanmar was in 2009. At the time, I was working in Thailand. When I was first visited Myanmar, I did not feel alive amid hustle and bustle of a big city. Less cars on the road, not much foreign tourists in hotels but many places of nature. It is beautiful. Moreover, People are honest and kind-hearted and willing to help others.

MI: How did you end up as the man aging director of China Harbour Engineering Company of Myanmar?

First and foremost, I had worked in China main office. I then worked in Thailand around 15 years before I moved to Myanmar Branch. I took the responsibilities of being the MD of China Harbour Engineering Company Myanmar branch since the year 2009.

MI: What are your roles and responsibilities?

My role is being Managing Director of China Harbour Engineering Company in Myanmar. CHEC has 40 overseas branches and offices with business activities covering more than 70 countries. Myanmar is also one of the branch offices. My responsibilities are to provide our hi-tech service and co-operate with local companies to improve infrastructure of Myanmar.

MI: In which ways working in Myanmar different from working in any other countries?

Myanmar is revitalizing its economy and upgrading and intensifying the construction of infrastructure. Right now, we faced shortage of technical and professional staff. We are starting to provide professional training. I believe we will step up training work in future.

MI: Please explain to our readers about China Harbour Engineering Company’s activities in Myanmar.

In Myanmar, China Harbour Engineering Company started operation in 1995. CHEC’s first project for Myanmar was Myanmar International Terminal Thilawa port (MITT) in 1995. We finished lots of projects such as Dry Dock of Myanmar Ship yard, Bo Aung Kyaw Container Port, Thilawa Navy Ship Yard, Thilawa Oil Port and Kyauktan Breaking Ship yard in Yangon. In Rakhine, Starting from around 2009, we have been working on Myanmar-China Crude Oil Pipeline Project. There was also Tagaung Bulk Cargo Jetty at Mandalay region. In addition, we had already done Naypyitaw International Airport as a JV project with a local company. We also supply internationalized equipment and machineries such as port handling equipments. One of our group companies, Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy industries Co., Ltd (ZPMC) has 75 percent of world market. Myanmar International Terminal Thilawa port (MITT), Bo Aung Kyaw Container Port (Myanmar Port Authority), Hteedan Port, and Kyauktan Precast Plant also used their products.

MI: What are the current projects that your team has been working on?

Currently, our team has been working on Yangon International Airport jointly with a local company. We expect to finish this project before the end of 2016.

MI: How do you deal efficiently with government departments in Myanmar?

Regarding this question, I just want to express my feeling as answer. There are lots of procedures to go through especially for projects. It takes really a long time. I just hope government departments can speed up.

MI: Who are your competitors and what are your competitive strategies?

Our competitor is ourselves. The main thing is how to cooperate with local companies and local people. If we cannot build good relationship with local companies, even though we have good background or high level techniques, you will eventually lose the market. We think of ourselves as local people, adapt and act as local companies to build good long term relationship.

MI: What are your future expansion plans for Myanmar?

In future, we want to build lasting relationship with local companies. We want to give big hand to infrastructure sector of Myanmar. In my opinion, in Myanmar, infrastructures such as electricity, airports, road and bridges, port are not enough and need to upgrade. We want to bring techniques and experience to improve Myanmar’s infrastructure.

MI: From a business standpoint, what do you feel are the biggest challenges facing you and your team in Myanmar in next 1-3 years?

In future, the main work of our company going for close cooperation with local companies to operate something in infrastructure sector such as road and bridges, deep see port because our company’s forte or key area is in infrastructure area. As I already mentioned, we want bring high tech techniques and experiences to Myanmar. We want to upgrade Myanmar infrastructure.

MI: What do you think are the consequences of the sudden influx of foreign companies/ nationals brought into the country?

Starting from last two years (may be around 2011) Myanmar market is starting open up. Some of foreign companies came into Myanmar, more foreign products being sold in market. On the other hand, Myanmar government and local companies also sent people to go abroad. Through the exchange, both sides understand what they need and also can find ways to further enhance cooperation. I believe that if both sides have complementary strengths, it is really good for Myanmar economic development.

MI: If you could change one major government policy, what would it be?

In my opinion, Myanmar resembles China many years ago. To get something approved, we have to go to many separate places, may be ministries, different departments of different locations. Regarding same project, I just want to suggest the government to operate one stop service in one building. To get checked, to get approval. It will easier that way to get the work done and improve the efficiency at the same time. For instance, you finished at one department, you have to go another department in a different location. If you make some mistake in documentation at the former department, you have to go back and it will take such a long time.

MI: What advice would you give to someone who is looking to invest in Myanmar?

For investors, they should not only concern what you can get or how much you can get from Myanmar. You should consider the feeling of local people, think for country’s need and how to contribute toward local people. Mutual respect and understanding things are also important in Myanmar. We come from different countries. We must adapt ourselves to be act, think or work like local people. Living in harmony or integration is also one of the most important things. Another thing to consider is long-term view. As our company motto, Win win situation is the best for long terms relationship. Winlose situation or one side win situation cannot operate long term relationship.

MI: How are you enjoying your days in Myanmar?

Besides working, I spend more time to understand Myanmar in terms of culture, music etc. Of course, I enjoy Myanmar food, some times golf in my spare time. I totally enjoy staying in Myanmar.[/paypal]