Pushing Ahead with Overseas Complete Plant Projects in the Breeze of Reform and Opening up

Release time:2019-01-31 Article source:亚太聚焦 Reading times: A+AA-
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the motherland's reform and opening up, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the head office. The “double forty” is indeed a happy occasion. I was born at the beginning of the reform and opening up. My father worked in the field of foreign trade. Following my father to work in the company during the winter and summer vacation gave me fond memories of my childhood. The clicking sound of the typewriter in the corridor was the most special melody I heard when I was a child. At that time, the state-owned foreign trade company was one of the windows of the reform and opening up and also represented the epitome of that era. A man working in a foreign trade company under the big environment was admired by other people. Brothers and sisters in my father's unit were always vigorous. They called my father “master” and me “little Zhang.” They have the unified title of “export sales clerk.” From then on, I have looked forward to becoming “them” in the future. From then on, I have also known “earning foreign exchange through export.” This phrase accompanying the reform and opening up also gave birth to our “foreign exchange reserves” today. Influenced by my father and the environment, my middle school and university belong to foreign trade-related ones. After graduation, I entered the import and export company and started my foreign trade career. I sat beside a typewriter, playing my special melody. At that time, most foreign trade companies were under the contract system, which meant that everything had to be done by ourselves. I followed my master through all the import and export links. Foreign trade work was very meticulous, and the profits were very thin. Also, my master was rigorous. It was during those years of training in foreign trade companies that I cultivated my character of being tough, persistent and unwilling to give up easily in the future.
In 2008, I was lucky enough to be recruited to our company and started my overseas EPC projects, becoming a member dedicated to the “going global” strategy. At that time, the company's name was China National Machinery & Equipment Import & Export Corporation. I stood under the main building and looked up at the big characters. I thought, if you can make foreign trade and you could work in an import and export company with “China” and “Corporation” in its name, it was even the ultimate goal for a foreign trade worker. I secretly felt happy in my heart. After entering the company, I found that my division has been specialized in “complete plant export” and “overseas contracting engineering” in which I had never set foot before. They were different from the “single machine” at which I had been skilled before. Although I still like to call myself a salesman until now, this industry can no longer be simply measured by the “professional quality.” It is a comprehensive discipline that truly tests the overall quality of employees. I have tried hard to adapt to this new industry and used all my previous business to discover what they have in common. Soon I found out that their essence is to export products and supply related technologies and services, but what they export now is a colossus product.
In the following days, I started from the very foundation of a project and moved between various professional groups of projects until I was stationed in Equatorial Guinea, Venezuela, and Serbia that I now serve. Under the leadership of the project, my comrades and I conduct a variety of tasks on the site, starting from erecting light poles, digging cable trenches, and installing box-type transformers to later building power plants. Year after year and day after day, we have done high-intensity physical labor. Everyone exchanged hard work for the advancement of a project. Each process was full of hardships. Countless sleepless days and nights and countless painstaking planning have tested energy and physical strength of every member and sharpened our will. The entire process ranging from our leadership in Equatorial Guinea to Venezuelan owners participating in process control and to Serbian owners and FIDIC penetrates management. Different markets have continuously changed my understanding of project execution and management. Overseas EPC project is an art of management, a discipline composed of a variety of professional management, and an international battle fought by many contractors and personnel at home and abroad under our leadership and deployment. Whether it can succeed or not depends on too many factors. Each factor will bring a butterfly effect, which will directly or indirectly lead to the trend of a project. The study and control of these factors will all test the experience and ability of managers and practitioners who will put a lot of efforts and energy into it. Every time I finish a project, I will have a new understanding of the industry. My management ability has been further refined. After ten years of efforts, I have changed completely and become accustomed to thinking and working with “AS THE EPC CONTRACTOR.” I should thank my division for giving us the opportunity to practice and demonstrate ourselves. I should also thank the division’s project execution model, which enables us to practice management and technology in the entire process chain of projects. In recent years, with the decline of global oil prices, project models have become diversified, the economic structure has become complicated, and the project model has been separated from the framework of resources. The gap between China and developed countries in the technological process, management level, and core competitiveness has gradually emerged in our competition with developed countries. There is still a long way to go before China's made-in-China, and Chinese standards are internationally accepted. However, it is these gaps and deficiencies that have created room for improvement and brought about sustainable development and unlimited possibilities. To encourage us to catch up and study at night, the company has fully demonstrated its commitment and sense of responsibility under the “Belt and Road” Initiative. Through many years of practising the “going global” strategy, we have the ability to understand the international market and tap into the market. In this case, the company has put forward the regional and localized management strategy, which is an upgraded strategy and the development direction tailored to the nature of our business. We have made use of our strengths to implement the “Belt and Road” Initiative. It will give full play to our unique advantages, enable us to think about and explore the localized management of Western capital entering the Chinese market at the beginning of the reform and opening up, and turn it into our model to take the lead in the practice in various markets. It can be said that creativity brings infinite possibilities and opportunities.
After 40 years of the reform and opening up, I have grown up under its care, witnessed the changes brought about by the reform and opening up to the country, society and myself. I enjoyed the benefits produced by the reform and opening up. Once foreign exchange reserves earned are now playing a greater role and becoming the cornerstone of deepening the reform and stepping up onto the most critical step. General Secretary Xi Jinping and the CPC Central Committee have made significant comments on the role and contribution of state-owned enterprises and redefined their positions, namely, “the most reliable force of the Party and the country,” “the important force of major strategies of going global and building the ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative,” and “the important force of deepening the reform in all aspects.” My pride and sense of mission arise naturally because I am a member of the force. Although EPC contractors are not producers of products or inventors of core technologies in the equipment manufacturing industry, they have promoted products or technologies in the international market. They have acted as salesmen for China’s engineering construction and mechanical equipment manufacturing. They have also boosted the quality of China's manufacturing. It is necessary to create more space for China's manufacturing and Chinese standards on the international stage in a down-to-earth manner to win wider acceptance and recognition in the international market. This is also the responsibility of EPC contractors in the new era. In the new era, we need to fulfil a new mission. The grand blueprint of the “Belt and Road” Initiative has been launched. The company has provided us with a broad stage and become our strongest backing. Let us go all out and continue to make new contributions to the reform.
As time flies, the then “little Zhang” has become “master Zhang,” an elderly man. Once upon a time, I felt more than once that busy figures in the corridor of the division coincided with the scene of my father's unit when I was a child. The brothers and sisters who smiled at salesmen and me who worked for “earning foreign exchange through export” gave their duty to me. I will continue to be dedicated to overseas complete plant projects with enthusiasm to contribute my strength to deepening reform of the motherland.





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