Tarek Amri: Former Ambassador to China Builds a bridge between China and Africa

06 August,2019

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Tarek Amri

    The China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo pushed a tall, white-skinned gentleman to public. He was former Tunisian ambassador to China, and now is the SANY Vice President, Tarek Amri.


“My life is more fulfilling”

   

    The 54-year-old Tarek Amri is the former Tunisian ambassador to China. In October 2016, with his deep love for Chinese culture and his firm confidence in China’s economic prospects, he resolutely gave up his ambassador job and joined SANY Group, a leading Chinese manufacturing company, as the Vice President.

    "I really like the culture in SANY. When I came to SANY, I felt that life is more fulfilling." He is the first diplomat who abandoned the ambassador's position and joins a Chinese private enterprise. Since joining SANY, he turned the idea of ambassador into reality, which makes him feel very excited. "Before, as an ambassador, I acted as a bridge for cultural and economic exchanges with the identity of messenger. Now, as the Vice President of Chinese enterprises, it is a more pragmatic job."

    In recent months, Tarek’s work becomes even more complicated. He will focus on Africa and be responsible for the sales performance of the entire African region. Compared with the big projects in the past, he needs to pay more attention to the specific equipment market and put more energy into the customers and dealers.


“No pain, no gain”


    Liu Dan is an assistant to Tarek. In her view, Tarek is a person with affinity. His work ability and negotiation ability are outstanding. And he has high requirements for work. Due to time difference, it is common for him to work until two or three O’clock in the morning. "He rests for only three or four hours per day, and then gets up and continues to work." Liu Dan said. In her opinion, her "boss" seems to be 7*24 hours standby and devotes himself totally when he is working.

    In CAETE, SANY signed a cooperation agreement with Kenyan dealer Rembus Construction Co., Ltd. (short as Rhombus). The two sides will jointly complete the development of 35,000 sets of affordable housing in the Ministry of Housing and Construction of Kenya with an investment of US$1 billion. This is the largest residential industrialization empowerment project of SANY Group in Africa, which has a benchmarking significance for deepening China-Africa economic and trade cooperation.

    In fact, last year, Tarek also contributed to the signing of more than 10,000 housing projects between SANY and Saudi Arabian housing companies. The contract for the construction of affordable housing with a total amount of more than US$1 billion is the largest project in SANY Construction. In February of this year, this project officially started.

    This benchmark project was highly recognized by the local government and local market, and they gave great support to SANY. It also played an important role in promoting the development of African assembly buildings.


Deeper participation in African construction


    SANY’s performance in Africa grows steadily, but because of unfamiliarity with local policies, religions, laws and other information, SANY suffered losses and caused some messy problems. With the help of Tarek, these problems have been gradually solved, and cooperation with dealers in some countries is getting more enjoyable, especially for Algerian dealers. In the blank market such as Morocco, SANY equipment market share increased gradually.

    However, in recent years, SANY Group is no longer satisfied with simply selling engineering machinery to Africa, but hopes to participate in African construction at a deeper level. “At present, SANY's sales in Africa totaled more than 10 billion RMB, and the number of equipment is about 12,000. SANY equipment can be seen in renowned projects such as the East-West Expressway and the Inner Mongolia Railway.”

    Besides the construction machinery, SANY also found African partners in the fields of residential industrialization, wind power, industrial Internet, etc. For example, Rhombus became the first overseas dealer who introduced Internet of Things technology from SANY Root Cloud. In the future, IoT technology will be used in the new PC factory jointly built by SANY Group and Rhombus.

    At the same time, SANY is also accelerating the process of localized production in Africa. Now, SANY is under discussion regarding the localization with partners in Algeria, South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt and other countries. "There will be actual plans and actions." Tarek particularly stressed. “In addition to equipment, SANY will provide technical support to strengthen the training of local personnel.”

    “Once we put into production in local African countries, we will have our own products. In this case, we are more advantageous and more convenient when we ship to other countries for sales.” Tarek said, “There are many opportunities for cooperation in China, I hope that African companies could be more proactive, so that the cooperation between the two sides will be closer.”


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