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Partnership in construction trade boosts competitiveness in international market

Construction enterprises in Hong Kong and the Mainland could, through collaboration, form highly competitive partners in exploring the international market, Permanent Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works (Works), Mr Lo Yiu-ching, said today (April 19).

Speaking at the opening ceremony of a seminar on co-operation of contractors in both places, Mr Lo said the construction enterprises in Hong Kong were well versed in international practices and market operation as the development of the trade had been in line with its overseas counterparts over the past few decades.

“Construction enterprises in Hong Kong possess rich experience in project planning, financing, construction management, contract management, arbitration, construction technologies and risk management, with performance that meets international standard," he said.  "At the same time, there is an abundant supply of professionals, excellent design skills and a massive workforce in the Mainland enterprises.

“I hope that enterprises in the two places can build up friendship and communication channels and explore opportunity for cooperation through the seminar.  Our counterparts from the Mainland can also make use of the seminar and site visits to understand more about the advantages and potential of the construction industry in Hong Kong.  Most important of all, I would like to see enterprises of both places become partners.”

Mr Lo pointed out that to tackle strong competition, the construction enterprises in both places must strengthen their skills, capability for innovation and management quality.  In addition, they must also adopt creative thinking and innovative modes of operation to raise their competitiveness.

On the other hand, the trade must abandon the tradition of adverse competition and adopt new strategies of mutual co-operation to create a win-win situation.  Trust, communication and co-ordination were key factors of success.

He said government investment in infrastructural projects averaged $29 billion a year.  Together with projects of the private sector, the gross value of construction work would be about $100 billion.  However, the market was being shared out by the growing number of local and outside contractors.  

“Therefore, local construction enterprises must reach out for opportunities both on the Mainland and overseas,” Mr Lo added.

To assist the trade in expanding their businesses, the Environment, Transport and Works Bureau, together with the Commence, Industry and Technology Bureau and related industries are organising a visit to several Southeast Asian countries around the middle of the year.  Destinations being considered include Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines, India, Singapore and Malaysia.

 “We hope the visit can provide a useful and appropriate platform for the delegates to meet local senior officials and representatives of local enterprises.  Delegates can see for themselves the investment environment there and seek out more business opportunities,” Mr Lo said.

The two-day seminar, the most representative of its kind in Hong Kong so far, is being attended by more than 50 local and 13 Mainland enterprises. It is organised by the Hong Kong Construction Association and the China International Contractors Association.  The Hong Kong Federation of Electrical and Mechanical Contractors and the Association of Consulting Engineers of Hong Kong are co-organisers.

Ends/Wednesday, April 19, 2006