TCA Apr 2014

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China has become very competitive in a relatively short space of time, and now it is aiming to transition to the next development stage, namely innovation-driven competitiveness. China's general trajectory in this regard is clear, and foreign companies are facing the prospect of a competitive landscape significantly altered by emerging Chinese competitors. By Barry van Wyk

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Squeezed from different angles by the strengthening of the renminbi, rising costs for labour and raw materials, more stringent environmental regulations, push towards industry consolidation, and slack capacity in developed countries, Chinese machinery suppliers have no choice but to move up the value chain. They are producing increasingly sophisticated goods, but are still struggling to increase their efficiency and adequacy of internal support processes. Buyers must be patient and invest more time in building relationships with suppliers to ensure that they can capture the benefits of China procurement while reducing its risks. By Lilian Luca

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Unlike the initial wave of overseas investment led by China's dominant state sector in their purchases of mining and energy companies in resource-rich regions, the current M&A activity is emerging as a key enabler of consolidation, growth, market positioning and the acquisition of strategic assets and expertise for Chinese companies. Forward-looking Chinese companies now consider overseas investment as a viable approach towards moving up the value chain by gaining access to foreign brands and technology. By Daniel Galvez

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