Friday, 13 November 2009

Malaysian Construction industry to see 3.5% growth

PETALING JAYA: The construction industry is expected to register 3.5% growth this year, despite the current global economic crisis, according to Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah.

He said when many sectors were facing a growth contraction, the local construction sector was still resilient and a pillar of strength to the Malaysian economy.

“The construction sector registered a growth of 1.1% in the first quarter and improved further to 2.8% in the second,” he said at the official opening of the Second Malaysian Construction Summit 2009 yesterday.

Husni said the present economic crisis provided the construction industry with an opportunity to reinvent itself.

“We see consolidation within the local construction industry with smaller players merging, to compete more effectively. The industry as a whole will need to take stock of its position in the market and reassess its financial strength, technical expertise, branding and reputation,” he noted.

Construction players should restructure themselves and invest in new technology and systems to build capacity to be competitive locally or abroad, he said, adding that the industry also needed to reposition itself to survive in a competitive market dictated by demand-supply forces, citing green designs and technological advancement as the way forward.

“Buildings and infrastructure works of the future will have to be sustainable in terms of energy usage, material use and technology adoption.”

At the government level, the minister said: “We will continue to promote public-private partnership initiatives in line with the aspiration to increase the role of the latter (private sector) in the economy.”

Master Builders Association Malaysia president Ng Kee Leen said the outlook for the construction sector in the next two years should be better than this year, buoyed by global economic recovery and the stimulus packages’ funding coming onstream for larger projects.

“Work on the extension of the light rail transit system, revival of mega projects in the Iskandar region as well as hydro-electric dams and rural development in east Malaysia have been speeded up,” he said.

Ng said in the third and fourth quarters this year much of the funds from the stimulus packages would be spent on smaller infrastructure projects to support small and medium enterprises.

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