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Co-competence involves the possession of both transactional and relational competences.
Transactional competence refers to a company’s distinctive capabilities and strengths grounded in economic efficiency (such as innovation, quality, customer responsiveness and productivity).
Relational competence refers to a company's distinctive capabilities and strengths in cultivating, maintaining and exploiting beneficial relationships with its external business stakeholders, such as partners, competitors, governments, suppliers and distributors. Firms excelling in both transactional and relational competencies tend to outperform others in creating, leveraging and upgrading collaborative competitive advantages. In many foreign markets, such as Asia, relational competence is profoundly important as business transactions are often based on interpersonal and interorganisational connections.
To compete with groups such as GE, ABB, Siemens, Westinghouse and Mitsubishi in the power equipment industry, Harbin Power Equipment Corporate (HPEC) has actively expanded internationally, especially in developing countries where the company can leverage its relational competence developed at home - in particularlar rich experience in dealing with governments and institutional hardship. HPEC has developed and leveraged its strong and healthy ties with local officials in host countries, such as Pakistan, Vietnam and Sudan, to facilitate project completion and related economic activities. Meanwhile, HPEC’s technology is more suitable to the level these developing countries can accept, absorb and assimilate than its western counterparts. Its transactional competence is also reflected in cost advantage. HPEC wins engineering and power equipment orders in Indonesia, Vietnam and India by quoting very attractive prices (often 10 per cent lower) compared to their European and American rivals.