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China Centre

Policy briefs

Building the ‘Belt and Road’ in Europe?

28 Apr 2020 - 14:21
Source: Pelješac bridge construction site in Croatia / Wikimedia Commons
Chinese construction companies and transport infrastructure in the European Union

Chinese construction companies have won public tenders in several European countries and have effectively entered the EU’s construction market. Projects in Poland, Hungary, and Croatia present the first such cases and provide an insight into Chinese companies’ mode of entrance in the European market and the possible economic and political consequences for the EU, European governments, and European contractors.

Rapid economic expansion has allowed China to develop the largest construction market in the world, providing Chinese construction contractors with a springboard to become competitive participants in the international market. Accordingly, Chinese contractors have become influential players, achieving an average annual growth rate in international contracts of 12.3 percent in the last decade. Engineering News-Record’s annual top 225 global contractors index for 2019 lists 57 Chinese contractors, which equates to 25 percent of top construction companies worldwide. Moreover, seven of the top ten contractors in terms of revenue are Chinese.

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