Hong Kong: A global bridge for mainland construction companies

Construction is one of the sectors of the Chinese economy that has benefitted most from four decades of rapid economic reform and growth. Indeed, the number of construction companies in China has mushroomed, reaching 88,074 in 2017. Despite state-owned companies still dominating the sector, many believe they can ill-afford to be complacent. Of the 65 Chinese construction companies on the Engineering News-Record (ENR)’s 2017 Top 250 International Contractors list, nine are privately-owned. In light of this, in order to stay competitive, state-owned
companies should be aiming not just to expand but also to improve. They need to adopt the modern, globalised management and business practices in use abroad and make good use of the financial services available offshore to help develop their projects. In particular, Hong Kong construction industry practices, global connections and financial services can be instrumental in helping China’s state-owned construction companies development.

Shanghai Construction Overseas Engineering (SCOE) is the Hong Kong subsidiary of the Shanghai Construction Group (SCG). It is an approved contractor for public works in Hong Kong and has undertaken several civil engineering, building engineering and interior decoration projects. It also played a crucial role in the construction of the Hong Kong sections of the vehicular and pedestrian bridges crossing the Shenzhen River, part of the soon-to-be-opened Liantang / Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point Project.

Its parent company, the SCG, is a leading state-owned construction company on the mainland. It has been responsible for many of China’s landmark buildings, including the Canton Tower, the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai and the Shanghai Tower. Besides mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, the SCG operates in more than 30 countries and territories in south-east Asia, Africa and the Americas. It has also participated in projects in many countries along the Belt and Road Initiative routes, such as National Highway 6 in Cambodia.

C. H. Poon is an economist of the Greater China Research Team of the HKTDC Research Department. C. H. Poon’s areas of research focus on China trade performance and China’s economic development, which includes Mainland China’s consumer market, trade and investment policies and economic relations between Mainland China and Hong Kong.


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