Chinese construction companies are sweeping the Middle East market. According to Middle East Economic Digest (MEED), a market data provider, Chinese builders won three contracts in Egypt, worth US$10 billion in total, and another one worth US$3.3 billion in Algeria in January 2016 alone. In the meantime, Korean builders obtained 11 orders in the Middle East between January and February but the average contract amount is less than 10 billion won.
Chinese construction companies are showing an excellent performance in Iran as well. China did not take part in the recent economic sanctions on the country unlike Korea and Chinese builders are making good use of their huge capital strength, price competitiveness and the Chinese government’s policy to back up their business there.
The three contracts in Egypt are especially noteworthy in that Chinese President Xi Jinping himself visited Egypt to sign them last month. During his stay in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran, the Chinese President presented a new investment plan worth 86 trillion won. The Middle Eastern countries, which are suffering from financial difficulties with oil prices plummeting, are asking for China’s cooperation one after another, implying that Chinese builders’ presence in the Middle East construction market will continue to increase for the time being.