Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / Business / Macro

Security the top priority for businesses

By Zheng Xin | China Daily | Updated: 2019-01-18 10:22
Share - WeChat
A Chinese technician checks train carriages produced by CRRC Corp Ltd for the renovation of Argentina's Roca Line on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. [Photo/Xinhua]

Before I arrived in Bogota of Colombia, all I had heard about the country - which is a 35-hour journey from China - was its coffee beans and narcotics.

A new friend from the United Kingdom I met on the flight told me that, despite the high levels of crime, most visits to Colombia are trouble-free.

However, the security situation changes very quickly in many areas of the country, she said, suggesting I should pay close attention to warnings issued by the Colombian authorities.

The more remote the region is, the greater the potential threat becomes, and terrorists attacks are not unlikely, she told me.

It didn't help much when seeing the real Bogota in person instead of on the screen - the famous TV series Narcos - with many armed police standing on each street corner.

The tension intensified when I heard several explosive sounds at night on the way to the hotel.

False alarm. It was just a firecracker to celebrate a parade.

But, I couldn't help thinking of the attack in Pakistan in August 2018, during which six people, including three Chinese nationals, were injured when a bus carrying Chinese engineers was attacked in the area.

While the whole world strongly condemns these violent attacks and urges those responsible for the attacks to be brought to justice, it is also important that Chinese businesses operating overseas need to be more aware of the risks related to terrorism, and improve security for its citizens and businesses to better protect themselves from a range of threats.

This is especially urgent given Chinese enterprises' growing presence and influence on the global stage.

Gladly, as far as I know, Chinese companies operating overseas are trying to balance their security measures as they increase their overseas investment. State-owned enterprises abroad, with better resources and assets, have relatively more comprehensive security measures.

A historic peace accord ended the 50-year armed conflict between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia in 2016, and more than 10,000 returned to civilian life.

But implementing the accord and ensuring its provisions reach all corners of the country remain a challenge.

According to a senior officer responsible for Chinese oil major Sinopec's business in Colombia, security incidents have happened before, including attacks on vehicles, robberies and smuggling.

To better ensure the security of staff overseas, the company has set up a series of security requirements. It has also hired professional commercial security firms to protect its overseas interests effectively and to tackle any threats.

In addition, all business activities will be immediately terminated in case of danger and threats. Its staff have also received security training before being sent overseas. Business will not be conducted in countries and regions with security concerns, Sinopec said.

Some 30,000 Chinese firms have overseas operations, and the country's outward direct investment stood at $158.29 billion in 2017, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Despite improved security in Colombia, one of the world's most diverse countries in terms of ethnicities and geography, crime rates are still high and expats face unique risks.

Under these circumstances, stepping up security measures should never be treated lightly, as China's influence grows on the Latin American continent, in my opinion.

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349