Turner & Townsend appointed partner by Department for International Trade in UK-China Initiative in Africa

Posted On Friday, 12 July 2019 12:13 Published by
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The UK Department for International Trade (DIT) has appointed professional services company, Turner & Townsend, as partner of choice in leading their UK-China Initiative in Africa.


Turner & Townsend was selected based in particular on the degree of their experience in working in China itself, as well as with Chinese firms in Africa. The company’s Africa regional MD, Stephen McCartney, who has spent 12 years both living and working in China, heads up Turner & Townsend’s involvement in the initiative.

Turner & Townsend has been active in China since 1996 - having delivered projects across 75 locations, and has 37 years of experience in Africa delivering projects in 34 countries across the continent.

Their collaboration with the DIT extends to trade missions to Namibia and Ethiopia, procuring UK content for an airport project in Uganda and Prosperity Fund projects in South Africa.

In 2015 the UK and Chinese governments agreed to establish a UK-China Infrastructure Alliance, bringing together complementary expertise and skills to help UK and Chinese businesses to develop competitive offerings in both countries and in international markets, and with a particular focus on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The BRI is an ambitious global infrastructure development and investment initiatives strategy by the Chinese government which spans South-East Asia to Europe and Africa.

Says Raksha Maharaj, Trade Development Manager for the DIT: “Following work in China and in the UK to establish the core UK-Chinese programme, we are now working to expand the initiative into other markets, and in line with this recently opened political discussions with Chinese counterparts in South Africa.

“We agreed that the implementation of this initiative would be delivered in partnership with industry, and in so doing, we would appoint a strategic partner organisation working on each side to develop the manner in which the alliance would take effect, including specific functions for each government in making this a success. While Turner & Townsend is the partner appointed by the UK DIT, China Rail International is the partner appointed in China. There is no remuneration for their roles in the initiative.”

Comments Stephen McCartney of Turner & Townsend: “We are passionate about closing the infrastructure gaps in Africa and supporting African economies to reach their economic potential. In participating in this initiative, our contribution is the wealth of experience we have gained over the years through advising and executing infrastructure programmes throughout Africa, in order to help the UK-China Alliance contribute to the ‘Africa Rising’ narrative.”

UK Board of Trade Award

Coupled with the initiative, Turner & Townsend was also presented with a UK Board of Trade Award - primarily for driving notable investment into South Africa with a focus on job creation.

The UK Board of Trade Awards celebrate businesses which show exceptional innovation, delivery prosperity to their local communities and champion free trade.

Taken into consideration in winning this award, Turner & Townsend has delivered on several turnkey projects in the mining and oil and gas sectors for key clients, which includes looking at the rehabilitation of abandoned mines for new economic activities. They have also provided consultancy on oil tanking projects – one of the components of Government’s Operation Phakisa scheme, while other diverse projects have included consultancy on clean water and sanitation projects as well as conservation projects.

Says Maharaj: “Award winners were those businesses which have made outstanding contributions to international trade by championing free trade through exporting, bringing notable investment into the UK, or demonstrating an innovative approach to opening up international markets.”

Businesses eligible for Board of Trade Awards are nominated by DIT staff, with winners selected by an independent panel of senior leaders within DIT, none of whom are in positions that involve regular contact with any of the nominees.

Last modified on Friday, 12 July 2019 12:24
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