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NFC: Promoting localized management to ensure the normal operation of overseas projects

2018-08-16Sino-Swedish CSR Websiteadmin0010

 

Company profile
 
China Nonferrous Metal Industry’s Foreign Engineering and Construction Co., Ltd. (NFC in short) was in 1983 upon the approval by the State Council. NFC has committed itself to project contracting and nonferrous metal resources exploitation in global market for years and is one of the earliest “going global” nonferrous metal enterprises.
 
Since its establishment more than 30 years ago, NFC has developed and constructed a number of key nonferrous metals projects in more than 30 countries including Iran and Kazakhstan. It has repeatedly completed the intergovernmental cooperation key project as an international general contractor in the international nonferrous metal market and established a good reputation. NFC has been selected as the Top 250 International Contractors by ENR for many years and ranked 106th in 2017. It is the AAA –level enterprise of China International Contractors Association and the AAA-level Large-scale complete equipment export enterprise of China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export Machinery and Electronic Products.  
 
Challenges
 
As a friendly neighbor of China, Kazakhstan faces the twin problems of the lack of high-skilled talents and job hunting difficulty of ordinary people in the large-scale exploitation of mineral resources. Since NFC entered the project contracting market of Kazakhstan in 2005, it has been engaged in the construction of a series of large-scale industrial projects, including the electrolytic aluminum project in Pavlodar and the Basaku copper mine site selection project. However, in the early days of entering the project contracting market of Kazakhstan, the company could only employ domestic skilled workers (including domestic Kazakhstani workers) to undertake professional work, because most of the local people had never received professional labor skill training and could only take simple jobs such as driver and security guard. In addition, due to differences in language, cultural customs and way of life and lack of understanding between each other, the local government and people showed great resistance to Chinese construction enterprises and personnel, which affected the normal operation of the project.
 
Solutions
 
For the past many years, the NFC Kazakhstan subsidiary has taken fulfilling social responsibility as its own mission and strengthened the localized management of staff to create job opportunities for the local and to improve local employment rate, which has helped the company gain the full trust and support of the local government and stakeholders, ensured the normal operation of the projects, and realized the win-win development of the company and the local community.
 
Understanding and respecting local employees from culture to diet
 
The NFC Kazakhstan subsidiary respects the traditional culture and customs of Kazakhstan. It has arranged safety training and education on Kazakhstan customs at the first time since Chinese employees entered the site and requires Chinese employees to abide by Kazakhstan’s customs and taboos while communicating with local employees.
 
Meanwhile, to strengthen mutual understanding, the company awards and appoints outstanding Kazakhstani employees to Chinese headquarters for visits, exchanges and learning. So far, it has sent out 15 local employees in 6 batches. Through visits and exchanges, they have gained a better understanding of China’s economic development and culture, which further stimulates their passion and enthusiasm for work.
 
The NFC Kazakhstan subsidiary also organizes and launches a series of activities on a regular basis, which has promoted the communication between the Chinese and Kazakhstani employees, enhanced mutual trust and understanding, and created a harmonious and inclusive cultural atmosphere. Every year, in festivals like the New Year’s Day in Gregorian calendar, the International Women’s Days, the Kazakhstani New Year (Navruz), the International Labor’s Day, the Kazakhstani Veterans’ Day (Men’s Day) and on the birthdays of the employees, the Chinese staff of the NFC Kazakhstan subsidiary will celebrate holidays or birthdays with Kazakhstani employees, which brings warmth and cheers to them.
 
On the project sites, the company has set up both Chinese restaurant and Kazakhstani restaurant according to the differences in religious belief, ethnic customs and lifestyle to let Kazakhstani employees enjoy their favorite food as well
 
Improving the employment rate of local employees from management to recruitment
 
The NFC Kazakhstan subsidiary pays attention to and respects the expectations of local Kazakhstani employees. According to the development needs of the company and making use of the advantages that the local employees are familiar with the local political environment, economic environment, natural environment and traditional culture, the company has created more job opportunities for the local.
 
On the one hand, the company recruits a large number of local employees on the project sites and pays great attention to recruit residents in surrounding villages and towns. The Basaku project attracted more than 1,000 local employees in accumulation, and the Aktogai project absorbed more than 2,000 local employees at the construction peak, which has greatly improved the employment rate and income level of surrounding residents. Besides, NFC actively promotes the employment of disabled people around Basaku to help local disabled people improve their living standards and restore their confidence in life.
 
On the other hand, during the implementation of the projects, the company arranges Kazakhstani cadres to manage Kazakhstan construction workers on the site in principle, promotes local employees to serve as deputy department managers of the comprehensive department, quality management and HSE department and site supervisors, and hires more security environment management personnel and translators of Kazakhstan, which effectively enhances the communication with local employees and improves the local employees’ enthusiasm for work.
 
Creating a comfortable and pleasant working environment from safety to welfare
 
On the one hand, the project department attaches great importance to the safety of on-site employees. It has purchased and equipped a large number of safety protective supplies of high-specification to ensure construction safety of local employees and purchased insurances for local employees to effectively protect their safety interests. On the other hand, according to the requirements of the law and regulations and based on its own economic benefits, the company provides supplementary guarantees and multiple benefits for the normal work and health and safety of local employees, which enhances the sense of happiness and security of employees and reduces the loss rate of local employees. These include physical examination, celebrating each employee’s birthday, providing sponsorship fees for employees’ children who are at their first year of school, sending out New Year’s gifts for employees’ children on the New Year’s Day, providing stationery fees for school-age children of the employees on the school opening day, and providing consolation money for in-service employees under special circumstances such as hospitalization, which fully displays its people-oriented corporate culture.
 
Achievements
 
Social benefits
 
The localized management of employees has helped to solve the employment difficulty and won the hearts and minds of local people. Since it entered the Kazakhstani market in 2005, the company has paid great attention to train and select a group of outstanding localized management personnel to fully tap the potential of local employees. At present, the NFC Kazakhstan subsidiary has 93 local employees, whose proportion reaches 85% of Chinese staff. More than 65% of the middle posts are held by local employees and 1 local employee has entered the company leadership. There are four department managers who are local employees and most departments have Kazakhstani employees as deputy managers, captains and team leaders.
 
Economic benefit
 
The localized management of employees ensures the smooth progress of NFC’s projects in Kazakhstan and sets up a good reputation for the company to undertake more projects in Kazakhstan. The total amount of the projects completed by the NFC Kazakhstan subsidiary has exceeded $1.8 billion, contributing nearly $180 million of taxes to Kazakhstan. In 2015 alone, the company paid more than $ 70 million of taxes in Kazakhstan, ranking seventh in construction enterprises in Kazakhstan and creating good economic benefits. In 2017, the Aktogai copper mine site selection project was incorporated into the “Belt and Road” cooperation framework between China and Kazakhstan and the cooperation agreement was signed with the witness of the two prime ministers.
 
Prospect
 
In the future, NFC will take advantage of the Belt and Road Initiative to further enhance the localized operation and further build the Kazakhstan market into a sustainable market, making Kazakhstan a new profit growth point. As always, it will contribute to the China-Kazakhstan cooperation in economy, trade, science and technology, infrastructure and other aspects.
 
 
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