MMI: An alternative to the coal-fired power stations which dominate energy supplies in the country is energy from renewable sources. Are there opportunities here, too, for the construction business?
Abele: In 2011, China authorized fixed feed-in tariffs for solar energy. With this support from the government, the domestic market should now develop faster, driven above all by large-scale projects. There is very strong competition from Chinese companies and pressure on prices is enormous. Possible openings could lie in offshore wind projects, particularly for suppliers of special technology and plant. Here the domestic market is not in a position to supply the demand.
MMI: What is the specific situation in the segment of construction vehicles and machinery?
Abele: There are indeed still opportunities here, even though competition from Chinese firms is growing constantly. Around one fifth of all construction machines worldwide are now produced in China. Any international company wanting to serve the Chinese market has to have a least one service center in the country. And those who want to be competitive in the standard segment have to have a manufacturing operation in the country.
Special machinery of the kind that is not produced in China, is still being exported to China. For example in the first ten months of 2011, imports to China of cutting, tunnel-driving and other heading machines rose overall by 52 percent to close on 190 million euros.
About bauma China
bauma China, the International Trade Fair for Construction Machinery, Building Material Machines, Construction Vehicles and Equipment will be taking place from 27 to 30 November 2012 in the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC). With a total of 1,892 exhibitors from 37 countries, 155,615 visitors from 171 countries and 230,000 square meters of exhibition space in 2010, bauma China is Asia's largest and most important industry event. Further information: www.bauma-china.com.