The deal builds on a memorandum of understanding signed by ICE and CHINCA in December 2013, agreeing to facilitate mutual exchange of information, and cooperate on training to develop the skills and expertise of its respective members.
Mott MacDonald will be the first UK company to participate in the scheme, with an employee from the China Railway Construction Company (CRCC) joining its Manchester office next month for a three month placement. It plans to place other Chinese employees in its UK offices and is exploring opportunities for Mott MacDonald staff to work in China.
ICE director general Nick Baveystock said: “China’s interest in UK infrastructure reflects the strength of the UK market. China also has a huge infrastructure programme and high demand for engineering expertise, which UK engineers are keen to support. As such ICE and CHINCA have joined forces to develop a scheme that will facilitate the exchange of knowledge and skills between UK and Chinese companies, and help to pave the way for wider collaboration between the two countries.”
Vice Chairman of CHINCA, Madam Wang He, added: “The economic and trade cooperation between China and Britain has being continuously enhanced over recent years, for which the cooperation in infrastructure and energy sector plays important role. CHINCA has established a series of productively cooperative mechanisms with relevant British institutions to promote mutual industry corporation. This employee exchange scheme by CHINCA and ICE is aiming to set up a platform for companies of both sides to make better mutual understanding. We hope the companies can achieve all-round collaboration in technology, management and commerce sectors based on this Scheme, and develop the infrastructure investment and construction opportunities together in both countries and other third country markets.”
Keith Howells, Mott MacDonald Group Chairman said: “We are very pleased to be the hosts of the first exchange with CRRC. Continued collaboration with Chinese companies both in China and abroad is a key part of our strategy. The ICE-CHINCA scheme will build on our existing relationships, enabling further cooperation, and will provide wider benefits to both Mott MacDonald and our Chinese partners.”
The agreement follows a raft of initiatives announced by chancellor George Osborne this week on a visit to China. These include a £2bn government guarantee to underwrite Chinese investment in Hinkley nuclear power station, a co-funded £50m nuclear research centre to be based in the UK and various pitches to Chinese investors and contractors to build things in Britain.