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Title: Legal risks faced by foreign architectural, engineering, and construction firms in China
Authors: Ling, F.Y.Y. 
Low, S.P.
Keywords: China
Construction industry
International factors
Legal factors
Issue Date: 2007
Citation: Ling, F.Y.Y., Low, S.P. (2007). Legal risks faced by foreign architectural, engineering, and construction firms in China. Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice 133 (3) : 238-245. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The extensive opportunities in China's construction industry are expected to attract many foreign architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) firms to her shores. However, these foreign firms may face many legal risks and obstacles, mainly because of the differences in culture and operating environment from their home countries. This study investigates the legal risks that foreign AEC firms encounter when operating in China, and how these risks are managed. Data were collected from 21 foreign (non-Chinese) AEC professionals who have extensive experience in China. Legal risks faced by foreign AEC firms in China include: difficulty in complying with the innumerable laws and regulations at the central, provincial, and local levels of the government; keeping up with new laws and regulations that are constantly being enacted; seeming reluctance of Chinese business associates to enter into binding contracts; and lack of sanctity of contracts and contractual obligations not being carried out fully, leading to disputes. Based on the research findings, a framework for managing legal risks is proposed for use by industry practitioners. The framework recommends to practitioners several measures to manage the legal risks. These include relationship-based strategies like establishing close relationships with the Chinese government officials and Chinese business associates and careful selection of Chinese business partners. It is recommended that foreign AEC professionals adopt the mindset that in China, the contact is to be continuously negotiated and reinterpreted. To achieve this, industry practitioners should provide a substantial contingency sum. It is also important to emplace permanent staff in China so that they can understand the local environment and monitor the changes taking place there. © 2007 ASCE.
Source Title: Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice
ISSN: 10523928
DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)1052-3928(2007)133:3(238)
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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