The China factor

China is a major player in construction and offers lots of opportunity.

As has been widely publicized, China has been consuming a majority of construction materials during the past few years. The Chinese gross domestic product (GDP) increased 9.1 percent in 2003, reaching its highest point since 1997, which indicates the Chinese economy has entered a new high-growth period. And the country's appetite for construction materials isn't likely to abate soon. Following is an overview of the Chinese economy, as well as a close look at the Chinese waterproofing/roofing market.

Real estate industry

Since the beginning of 2004, the real estate market index has shown a tendency of "starting high and going down in steps." The investment in office and commercial buildings increased faster than in residential buildings during the same period.

Credit and land policies have become important macro-control tools. In 2004, the government has issued six land-management policies and five financial measures, including the first interest rate increase during the past 10 years to help control fast-growing investment.