B&V's China deal on the rocks

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 December, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 December, 1995, 12:00am

GERMAN shipyard Blohm & Voss (B&V) says its plans for involvement in a new repair yard in China have been put on hold and will probably never be realised.

B&V repair chief and board member Helmut Nadler told Shipping & Trade News of Japan that doing business with China was 'extremely difficult'.

The yard, in Mawan, near Hong Kong, was to be its first ship repair venture in the Far East.

'The China ship repair co-operation plan, as we originally perceived it, cannot be realised. Probably nothing will come of it,' he said.

B&V signed a co-operation deal in October last year with Reliable (Shenzhen) Dockyard, the first such shipyard deal between Germany and China.

It covered construction of the new ship repair yard and included German financial participation.

B&V said at the time that German shipbuilders would be permanently stationed in China.

B&V technical experts were there earlier this year to study the project and help supervise construction of the new yard.

But Mr Nadler said there were no German personnel there now and that planned construction of the facility was behind schedule.

Explaining the reasons for the withdrawal from the project, Mr Nadler said many Europeans had sobered up as far as joint ventures and co-operation with the Chinese were concerned.

'Bureaucracy and politics are still too deeply entwined in daily business,' he said.

'The Chinese are clever businessmen. However, when political influences and bureaucracy are added to the equation, the whole thing is no longer fun. Everything takes too long and gets out of control.' As recently as April, a B&V spokesman said the Germans were still looking at co-operations and that the substance of the China project had not changed.