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International SOS banks on B&R boost

By Jing Shuiyu | China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-28 07:07

International SOS banks on B&R boost

Volunteers from International SOS organize a first-aid training demonstration in Beijing.[Photo by Hu Qingming/China Daily]

International SOS, the world's leading medical and travel security assistance company, said it is ramping up efforts to win more clients in China, including those setting to expand in economies related to the Belt and Road Initiative.

"We will further tap the Chinese market which enjoys tremendous growth potential, and offer more professional medical services and travel security management to Chinese companies expanding in countries and regions participating in the Belt and Road Initiative," said Karel van de Pijpekamp, CEO of International SOS China.

The company's operations in China now account for almost 10 percent of its global revenue, with over 100 Chinese corporate clients, most of whom are State-owned firms.

"Currently, Chinese clients are mainly from infrastructure and extractive industry, and other industries like financial services, high-tech and telecommunications will also become our target clients in the future," said van de Pijpekamp.

Established in 1985, International SOS provides services for overseas workers and staff on business trips from international companies, government institutions and organizations.

When companies seek overseas expansion, risks in host countries included political unrest, changeable local policies and fluctuations in exchange rates, according to Feng Guanghua, chairman of China Bond Rating Co Ltd.

Therefore, Chinese firms have a greater need to help their staff receive quality medical services and prevent travel security risks, as they are conducting deeper cooperation with economies related to the Belt and Road Initiative.

To meet the growing needs, International SOS offers integrated medical and security risk prevention and management including assessment, advice and assistance.

John Williams, managing director of International SOS China, said: "We're glad to offer this platform for professionals in medical and travel risk control to share experience, discuss solutions to ensure personal security of overseas staff, and exchange management experience on offshore risk control."

International SOS assesses risks in advance, then provides prevention suggestions, and offers assistance when clients face risks, in order to help Chinese firms developing overseas business to ensure their staff's personal safety and to ensure business continuity, according to Williams.

For instance, during the South Sudan evacuation in July 2016, International SOS handled 80 information and assistance requests, and evacuated 212 staff from 16 firms. Forty-two information requests and seven assistance requests were from Chinese clients.

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