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Atkins eyes strong growth from GBA

By ZHONG NAN | China Daily | Updated: 2021-07-23 09:15
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The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. [Photo/Xinhua]

UK consultancy plans additional involvement in the area's infrastructure, industrial projects

Atkins Co, a British design, engineering and project-management consultancy, plans to participate in more infrastructure and industrial projects in China's Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area during the country's 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25), said its global head.

Philip Hoare, president of Atkins, said the group's growth in China will follow the country's urbanization and industrial stimulus measures to remain competitive, and its project designs in the GBA will be the company's new sample cases during the five-year plan period.

Supported by 20,000 employees in 25 countries and regions globally, the company runs a number of offices in China's GBA,Yangtze River Delta region, Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area and Chengdu, Sichuan province. Hoare said they will remain the company's priority markets in the country in the coming years.

With many British business leaders stressing that an "icebreaking" spirit is needed for business communities in the United Kingdom to strengthen further cooperation between China and the UK, Hoare said there is no doubt that good relations between countries promote business relationships. In this regard, companies from both sides benefit from healthy and stable ties between their governments.

At the beginning of the 1950s, when Western countries imposed embargoes on trade with China, visionary British businessmen led by Jack Perry overcame many obstacles to make an ice-breaking trip to China. They not only "broke the ice" to trade with China, but also left people today with a rich heritage of China-UK friendship and exchanges.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has generated a huge impact on the global economy and has led to a deeper understanding of the importance of sustainable development, Hoare said that green innovation will be further stimulated as more companies invest more in sustainable operating technologies, facilities and services.

Since China and the UK already have a solid foundation in the field of global green cooperation, he said the two sides should further develop their advantages and characteristics, improve the green financial system, boost cooperation between financial institutions and investment projects, and jointly promote sustainable development of the global economy in the future.

Thanks to their complementary goods trade structure, trade volume between China and the UK soared 46.6 percent on a yearly basis to $52.53 billion in the first half of this year, said the General Administration of Customs.

With China setting a target to combat climate change by speeding up reductions in emissions to reach carbon neutrality by 2060, the British executive said that the company will deploy more resources to promote its low-carbon methodology in areas including architectural design, environmental protection, transportation and urban planning across China, especially in the markets related to the growth in the GBA.

Peter Kung, vice-chairman of KPMG China, said the country's Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, introduced in 2019, has already injected new impetus into technology companies in the region, generating more business opportunities for emerging industries and innovative firms.

The GBA has a complete supply chain in all respects. It is also supported by three international airports, three major global ports, two of the world's fastest-growing stock exchanges and an international financial center. There are plenty of top professionals to help entrepreneurs turn innovative ideas into successful business ventures, Kung said.

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