China's megaprojects in Africa adaptive to local rules: report

(Xinhua) 15:22, March 24, 2021

BEIJING, March 24 (Xinhua) -- A research on two Chinese railway megaprojects in East Africa -- the Nairobi-Mombasa line and Ethiopia's Addis Ababa-Djibouti project -- suggests the fears that China is upending development guidelines might be misplaced, a Washington Post analysis published earlier this month has said.

These two African railway megaprojects tell much about China's development model, indicating that local rules matter more than Chinese government guidelines, the analysis suggested.

Interviews with Chinese project managers in Kenya, for instance, revealed that respect for local laws was essential to reducing operational risks and avoiding environmental and labor disputes and punitive measures, the report said.

"We see ourselves as a force for good, a transformative agent among the people in the areas we operate," the analysis quoted a manager of external relations and cooperation for China Road and Bridge Corporation, the state-owned enterprises in charge of constructing Kenya's rail project as saying.

In both Kenya and Ethiopia, the impact of China's national directives appears to be limited, the report found, suggesting the possibility of Chinese enterprises self-adapting to host countries' conditions and guidance on procurement, environmental, land and labor regulations, even if these regulations were less stringent than Chinese rules.

For now, Chinese companies operating around the world tend to adapt to local business practices, rather than follow Beijing's corporate social responsibility (CSR) guidelines -- and that may mean they adapt to the regulatory gaps within host countries, the study added.

(Web editor: Wen Ying, Liang Jun)


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