China leads the construction world
Vikrant Kelkar | Mumbai | Oct. 30, 2012
A recent poll of top 225 global contractors by Engineering News-Record magazine has five Chinese construction companies in the top ten. This poll merely hints at increasing Chinese influence on the construction world. Their dominance was always imminent as in the past decade Chinese construction has become synonymous with painstaking formulation of big project followed by its successful execution that too on time. The world maybe facing an economic downturn but China seems unaffected by the prevailing conditions as one often hears stories of China bagging many key development projects around the world and also fulfilling its demand (demands of more than a billion) at home. But what exactly is the reason behind this unexpected growth?
The Chinese construction powerhouses are state-controlled and are often given special attention in the state’s developmental policies. Hence the reason for the emergence of these companies is a very conducive construction environment at home. Moreover in the recent times, the government of China has undertaken enormous infrastructure projects to transform the country into a modern image of self-reliance–the 2008 Beijing Olympics was a sincere yet dazzling show of its strength. This sort of large undertaking and its execution will certainly evoke awe and fear in any company but in the case of Chinese companies, it is the other way around. They have flourished with every project so much so that they have been posting growth of double digits in the past decade. But their burgeoning is not only limited to its domestic market, they have also become leading construction players in the global arena.
Today, some of the excellent examples of Chinese strides in global construction field are much sought after — China State Construction & Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) and China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC). China State Construction & Engineering Corporation (CSCEC), deemed by International Construction magazine as the world’s biggest builder, is revamping the Alexander Hamilton Bridge in New York, erecting a huge tower block in Moscow and also creating a colossal tourist resort in the Bahamas. Meanwhile, China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) is building Mecca’s new metro system.
While Chinese companies have dominated the list of global contractors, Indian construction giants have also fared well. L&T was ranked 29 in the 2011 list but in 2012 it has climbed two spots to end up at 27 while Punj Lloyd stood at 109 (as against 127 in 2011). But Shapoorji Pallonji, with regard to the previous year’s ranking, has jumped more than 50 spots to end up at 148. The other include Ircon International ranking 224 in 2012.