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Foreign Focus: Design firm building better future in China

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-05-21 06:40
Keith Griffiths, chairman and global design principal of Aedas. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Editor's Note: In the face of the unexpected challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese government has adopted measures to minimize the outbreak's impact on various economic sectors. In this series, China Daily website interviewed senior executives of well-known multinational companies to gauge their perceptions on China's remarkable resilience and their optimism about the post-epidemic recovery, as well as the long-term business prospects in China as the country remains an attractive market for investment.

1. How has the novel coronavirus affected your business in China?

Our work has not been greatly affected and we have no decline in work. Our China offices were working from home in February using more virtual and internet-based software which allowed us to be flexible and efficient with our time. By April, all our China offices were back to regular operation. All our staff feel confident and safe to be back at work and we have taken measures to ensure that workspaces are clean and our staff remain healthy and are protected. Aedas will continue to deliver our work promptly and with high quality.

2. What are your views on the Chinese government's measures to curb and prevent COVID-19?

We are very pleased with the quick and effective response the Chinese government had on the pandemic. China has controlled the spread of the virus, and people in China are returning to work now. Our four offices in China have resumed normal work and travel within cities.

3. What expectations do you have for your company's business in the future?

Our local and global platform helps us to understand the culture of every city and country we design for and allows each design to be tailored to the local context. Over 50 percent of the construction in the world is in China, and China is setting the high-density, high-rise urban planning standard for the whole world, meaning that the future of the development of city design will be in China. China's high-rise and high-density development is significantly different from that of any other country, with its own unique model. As specialists in this type of design, Aedas will continue to draw upon our expertise and experience and continue to educate and do research to carry out the best types of design that suit the China landscape.

4. What kind of policy support to help your business would you like to see from China?

The current policies for the business environment in China are encouraging. The New Urbanisation Planning Policy 2014-2020 initiated by the Chinese government has promoted a new system of urbanisation. We've witnessed how evolving city regulations can support the realisation of people-friendly urban planning and seen more balance between rural and urban areas. Chinese cities are becoming more compact and efficient through coordinated transportation networks. New urban developments have improved sustainability efforts while also preserving local culture and heritage. We've been growing with the development of China, and we look forward to creating more connected, sustainable and integrated communities in the country.

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