should think new sponsors might step up,” says Mr.
Halim, “but they would be slower than China and
need a consortium-type cooperation.”
China also has invested heavily in the Middle East,
funding major energy and real estate endeavors in
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq.
Because this region relies heavily on immigrant
labor—more than 30 percent of the Saudi population is made up of immigrants—China often leverages cheap local labor for these initiatives.
That means the funding, management and labor
might come from three very different cultures. A
Western project manager might very well have a
mostly Indian workforce on a Chinese-funded project on the Arabian Peninsula.
Managing that diversity
requires a clear communication strategy, says Tom
Neill Tanoos, a contract project controller and
project account manager, Alcoa, Mission Viejo,
California, USA. Mr. Tanoos, who has worked on
Chinese-funded projects in Taiwan, Russia and
across South America, used professional translators
when necessary to ensure that the entire project
team was on the same page. This helped team mem-
bers across cultures clearly understand their roles
and what was expected of them. He also stressed
that the policies and procedures established in
the project charter applied to everyone equally,
regardless of their nationality.
Higher up the project ladder,
A Chinese supervisor, left, and local workers labor on an
eight-lane highway in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Chinese companies increased
their direct investments in
other countries by
in the first five months of 2015.