Australia and New Zealand. “China feels honor-
bound to continue projects.”
And that investment could have even greater
impact if domestic spending in China continues to
slow, says Mr. Halim. “We could even see Chinese
investment extend further downstream in the sup-
ply chain, to establish manufacturing facilities in the
emerging markets for spare parts,” he says.
China is focusing its foreign investments in countries
that have shown they can meet Chinese performance
expectations—and deliver the desired project results.
“The Chinese seek, above all, stability of the
political situation,” Dr. Chan says. “After that, tech-
nocratic capacity is important, but the Chinese are
prepared to help develop that.”
In Indonesia, for example, Chinese investment
totaled US$31.6 billion over the last 10 years. Two
Chinese companies are investing US$17 billion
in hydropower plants on the island of Borneo.
And in October 2015, China Railway International
announced a high-speed rail project to connect the
Indonesian capital of Jakarta with the city of Band-
ung that will cost up to US$5.5 billion.
The rail project brings together Chinese and Indonesian companies, which means project managers
must collaborate closely with all parties to make sure
the same set of standards are followed, says Mr. Halim.
“There are differences in the quality of manufacturing
and project execution depending on which foreign or
local companies [are] being used,” he says.
He recommends project managers rely on rigorous
quality assurance and control inspections and testing
throughout manufacturing and construction. This
will help ensure parts and designs comply with the
project’s technical standards, regardless of where they
originate. He also suggests sending project engineers
to manufacturing sites to help oversee the production
of critical equipment before it leaves the factory.
These are lessons with big implications in Indonesia, which is seeking Chinese investment to help
boost its own slowing economy. To ensure the
funds keep flowing, Indonesia’s project teams must
demonstrate they can deliver.
“If China were to curtail its foreign investments, I
—Stephen Chan, PhD, School
of Oriental and African Studies
at the University of London,
China Railway International plans
a project to connect Jakarta and