Tell me about the Beijing Amusement Park.
Beijing Amusement Park is a 7 year old park. By Western standards the park is of medium size. We have an annual attendance of around 1.5m and this year will have revenue in excess of RMB30m.
What are the main problems you have encountered working with China?
The main problems are:
* lack of support from government agencies
* lack of properly trained motivated work force
* lack of technology
* difficulties in importing technology
How good is the supply of raw materials in China? Are prices sufficiently stable?
Basic building materials seem to be in adequate supply. Construction must be done in the traditional Chinese way or materials become hard to obtain. That means if your project calls for bricks, cement, steel reinforcing rods and very little else the materials are available. Wood is in very short supply and is very expensive. Prices are subject to great fluctuations. Price rises in China are never small. Increases are generally in the 30 to 50 per cent range.
How cheap is labour in China compared to other areas in Asia?
Individual labourer wages are very low but because of the lack of training, tools and technology labour can cost as much as in industrialised countries.
How does operating in China differ from operating in other Asian countries?
I've never operated in another Asian country but my amusement park contacts in other countries inform me the situation is similar all over Asia. Customer satisfaction is only now being recognised as a necessary part of doing business. Production schedules are not closely adhered to and lack of quality control makes it almost impossible to guarantee a product.
Would you say that China's construction industry is booming at present or can you see the frenzied activity of the last few years levelling off?
We are witnessing only the beginning of boom in the amusement park business. All industry indicators point to continued growth for the next few years.
Which areas in the country do you think are likely to offer the most opportunities in the future?
Coastal areas of the country will experience the greatest economic growth with the northwest being the next growth area.
What are the main problems facing the industry's future development?
Availability of quality equipment will be the biggest problem facing the industry for the next few years. *