Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to assess the business potential for international consultancies in wastewater treatment in China using a New Zealand consultancy as an example. China's water shortage, and the requirement for innovative solutions, provides the potential for New Zealand, and other international, engineering consultancies to do business in wastewater treatment in China. Design/methodology/approach – A detailed case study was undertaken on a New Zealand company with experience of business in China. The company's key strategic factors were identified – its own strengths and weaknesses, as well as the external opportunities and threats that the company faces in China. Findings – Based on the analysis of the case study company, a series of recommendations have been suggested for both the company's further sustainable development, and for other New Zealand and international consultancies that plan to gain access into the Chinese market. The results and discussion suggest that there are some main requirements for companies to successfully compete in the Chinese market such as developing close relationships with clients, local construction companies and design institutes; providing an effective onsite project team; having effective design capability; introducing project management skills and the use of a “one stop shop” approach to business. Practical implications – The paper makes recommendations on how other companies might be able to compete in the Chinese market in the wastewater industry. Specifically, comments are made on developing long‐term relationships, making use of Chinese experience and developing a bi‐lingual capability. Originality/value – There are potential opportunities for New Zealand and international companies to compete in China in the wastewater treatment field. The lessons learned from this research show what possible threats they will face but also highlight the opportunities.
Journal of Technology Management in China – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 1, 2006
Keywords: Water industry; China; Business improvement; New Zealand