By Yuan Fang
China.org.cn staff reporter
"The global economic downturn has provided us an opportunity to seek overseas acquisitions, but we need to remain very cautious of potential risks," said Xiang Wenbo, president of Sany, one of China's largest producers of heavy machinery, on the sidelines of the annual National People's Congress session.
Xiang Wenbo, President of Sany Heavy Industry
Xiang said several foreign companies had approached Sany to discuss possible mergers but he declined to give names.
"We will think twice before making any moves," he said.
Xiang also said the government should assist Chinese companies in their overseas acquisitions by extending low-cost credit, facilitating procedures and providing coordination.
"Many Chinese companies are unfamiliar with overseas markets and their potential acquisition targets. Government departments should offer them guidance and assistance," he said.
China's equipment manufacturing industry is also feeling the pinch as overseas demand sharply shrinks. But Xiang is still optimistic as he believes the slew of macroeconomic measures taken by the government will also boost the industry.
"President Hu Jintao has said China should view the global economic crisis as an opportunity to further reform and develop the country," said Xiang. "I believe the equipment manufacturing industry will certainly benefit in the process."
Xiang said government measures to stimulate domestic demand will beef up domestic sales for equipment manufacturers.
In February, the government unveiled a stimulus plan to revitalize the equipment manufacturing industry.
Xiang said the stimulus plan is a big boost for the industry, but he said the government should publish details of the plan as soon as possible.
(China.org.cn March 10, 2009)