Monthly Update – February 2011

Market News

For the first time in a number of years, home sales have started to fall in Guangzhou, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan and Zhuhai showing that the methods introduced by the Chinese government to cool the rising housing market seem to be working. Results from the other cities that had new measures introduced are expected in the coming months.

This month also saw China overtake Japan to become the world’s 2nd largest economy. GDP growth of 9.8% in 2010 took China’s total to US$5.88 trillion. This is still some way behind the US but analysts expect China to overtake them in around 10 years time.

Shanghai Disneyland will begin construction in March as the Shanghai government announced it will invest 40 billion Yuan into tourist projects to make it a leading global tourist destination.

In Hong Kong, Chep Lap Kok Airport was named the world’s best airport for the 5th year running by Skytrax. Asia airports dominated the top 10 and analysts predict this will only continue as investment keeps flowing into airport projects in the region – this includes the potential expansion of Hong Kong’s airport with a 3rd runway.

Hong Kong Airportphoto © 2009 Andy Mitchell | more info (via: Wylio)

A new eco-economic zone at Poyang Lake in China’s Jiangxi’s Province was announced. 700 projects are planned with an investment of more than US $120 billion over the next few years! These projects range from infrastructure schemes through to aviation and new energy projects.

In Singapore, LV Sands has said that it wants to buy more land around it’s Marina Pay Sands project. They forecast that most of the usable space will be occupied in the next 2 years although they don’t plan to expand their casino operations. The focus will be on more exhibition and conferencing space. LV Sands says they will see a return on their invertment at Marina Bay Sands within 4 years which is phenomenal!

Poll Result

This month’s poll asked the question “What Motivates You at Work?” We had a great response with the 100 votes coming in quickly.

The results are as follows:


These results seems to suggest that working on exciting projects with a prestigious company is more important to employees than remuneration and job title. This is interesting because we find the majority of candidates looking for new opportunities rate their potential new package and job title much higher than the type of work they are going to be involved with. Does this mean the emphasis for companies should switch from focusing strongly on what salary someone is looking for to what projects they can offer someone? Maybe. We would always suggest a balanced approach that sells the opportunity and company strongly with a financial offer that is the best they are able to put forward for that position.

Our article on job title is receiving some interesting comments and can be found by clicking here.

What’s Hot

Following the Chinese New Year holidays we have been extremely busy in a number of areas.

Hong Kong developers are asking us to find strong project management, coordination and marketing candidates. These are for roles to be stationed in Hong Kong (which is quite unusual) and also to be stationed in some 2nd tier cities in China. They range from quite junior positions up to more senior level hires – there are some great opportunities for people looking to make the switch to the client side.

We have also had a number of roles for senior interior design candidates to be based in Hong Kong and in China. There are opportunities for people with strong Mandarin language skills in addition to experience working on China projects. On the architectural side of things a number of practices in China continue to search for strong Mandarin speaking Project Architects. The competition for candidates is fierce and the market increasingly competitive. Some of our clients are therefore open to considering Mandarin speaking candidates based overseas who perhaps wish to return to Asia. Registered HKIA architects in Hong Kong are also in high demand. These are to work on projects in Hong Kong and the mainland.

We continue to look for strong M&E engineers at all levels and some senior structural design candidates for a number of Hong Kong’s engineering consultancies and contractors.

Most Urgent Requirements

We have outlined below the urgent vacancies we have had through from clients over the last month.

  • Senior Project Managers – China – Leading Top Tier Hong Kong Developer (to be stationed in China)
  • Project Architect – Shanghai – US Design Practice (Mandarin language essential)
  • Marketing Manager – Hong Kong – Top Tier Hong Kong Developer (less experienced candidates will be considered for less senior roles)
  • Project Co-ordinators – Hong Kong – Leading Developer
  • Managing Director Interiors – Hong Kong – International Hospitality Design Company
  • Project Managers & Assistant Project Managers – Hong Kong – Top Tier Developer

In addition we are still keen to hear from Engineers at all levels with strong structural, M&E and MEP experience for positions in Hong Kong. We’d also like to speak to experienced Architects interested in roles in Hong Kong and China, especially if you are HKIA or equivalent registered. Applications from Project Managers with solid China experience are also welcomed.

Please visit our website for more information on the above roles and our other vacancies:

If you wish to enquire about a position please send an email and your CV to

Don’t forget you can follow us on Twitter here: Please also subscribe to our blog by filling in the email subscription form on the right to stay up to date with our latest posts, updates and information.



Hong Kong Budget – Bonus Post

This week we have a little bonus post. We received an interesting breakdown on the Hong Kong budget given yesterday from the lovely guys at Intertrust. Please click on the link below to open the PDF and get an overview of what was announced.

Hong Kong Budget Bulletin 2011-2012

How does the budget affect you? Are you going to be better or worse off this year do you think? It would be great to hear your thoughts.

We will be posting our February update tomorrow so remember to check back to find out what’s been happening this month!

Chinese City Fact: Wuxi

Wuxi would perhaps be classed as one of China’s smaller cities but with an urban population well in excess of 2.2 million people, on a global scale it is still large! It is sometimes know as the “Little Shanghai” for its prosperous economy and is regarded in China as a clean and beautiful city. Wuxi is also quite unique in that it is surrounded by canals and waterways which lead into Lake Taihu to the south of the city. These waterways are used for transportation, agricultural and fishing purposes.

Bridge in Wuxiphoto © 1999 Scott Vachalek | more info (via: Wylio)

In recent times the Wuxi government has been pushing for the city become a leading name in China for renewable energy research, development and industry. Culturally Wuxi residents are known for their wit and humour and a number of famous artists and scholars have counted it as their home town throughout history.

100_3334.JPGphoto © 2005 Thor Matthiasson | more info (via: Wylio)


For more information on Wuxi please visit:

The Importance of Job Title

This week we wanted to post an article we recently came across which highlights some interesting points on the importance of job title. In Asia, how someones fit within a company hierarchy is considered incredibly important and job title is often regarded as being as important as salary, benefits and duties (although our February Poll results so far suggest otherwise).

We’d be interested to hear your views on job title and your thoughts on the article, particularly if you are based in Asia and familiar with the intricacies surrounding job titles.

Please click the following link to download and read the article as a PDF:

The Economist June 2010 – Schumpeter – Too Many Chiefs

Job Title Article

Inflation in job titles is approaching Weimar levels


Chinese City Fact: Shenzhen

Shenzhen has grown from a small fishing town of a few thousand inhabitants in the 1970’s to one of China’s biggest cities with more than 8.9 million people. It is classed as one of the world’s fastest growing cities and a lot of this has been on the back of more than US $30 billion foreign investment into manufacturing and joint ventures.

Shenzhen Stock Exchange by OMAphoto © 2010 FHKE | more info (via: Wylio)

Now it boasts its own Stock Exchange (Designed by OMA), the tallest building ever designed by a British Architecture firm (The Kingkey Finance Tower design by Terry Farrell and Partners) and is ranked the 3rd busiest port in China after Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Shenzhen Meridian View Centre Observatory, Shenzhen, Chinaphoto © 2010 YoTuT | more info (via: Wylio)

Most visitors travel to Shenzhen for it’s shopping where massive malls offer everything from designer handbags to high-tech electronics. Famously not all of these are legitimate products but this doesn’t stop thousands of bargain hunters flocking over the border from Hong Kong every day.

Shopping!photo © 2010 Gary Lerude | more info (via: Wylio)

Perhaps one of the most staggering facts about Shenzhen is the example of Foxconn who produce electronic components for a number of the world’s top electronic names. Controversially in the press in 2010 for concerns about employee welfare at their Shenzhen factory they actually employ between 300-450,000 workers in this one campus! A number greater than the population of Cardiff, capital of Wales!

For more on Shenzhen and the projects please visit: Shenzhen Stock Exchange Kingkey Finance Tower

Opinion Poll – February 2011 (Poll Now Closed)

Thank you to everyone that voted – the February Poll has recevied 100 votes and is now closed. Please click below to see the results and add any comments or questions you have. A new poll will be published in March and we will be commenting on the result of this poll in our Monthly Update on Friday.

Chinese City Fact: Guangzhou

Guangzhou, formerly know as Canton, is a metropolis of more than 10 million permanent inhabitants situated on the Pearl River about 75 miles from Hong Kong. It has long been an extremely important transportation and trading hub and has a rich history including it’s key role during the Opium Wars in the 1800’s. The population speaks an approximate split of 50% Cantonese and 50% Mandarin (and other dialects).

Guangzhou west towerphoto © 2010 llee_wu | more info (via: Wylio)

In recent years, a number of high-profile construction projects have been completed including the high-speed rail link connecting Guangzhou to Wuhan (and the rest of China), the Guanzhou IFC (formerly known as the Guangzhou West Tower 432m tall), the Guangzhou Opera House designed by Zaha Hadid. Perhaps most striking of all is the Canton TV Tower completed in September 2010. This now stands as the world’s second tallest free standing structure at 610m and for those of you not afraid of heights, has an observation wheel on it’s top deck.

IMG_1872-ephoto © 2010 Hasan Basri AKIRMAK | more info (via: Wylio)

For more on Guangzhou and these projects please visit: