Construction industry expects to see slower growth next year

However, the sector is still set to be among the biggest contributors to the nation’s GDP, says sec-gen


The construction industry is expected to scale a slower growth next year as a result of the revision of various mega projects in the country, on top of the slowdown projected for the sector globally.

Works Ministry secretary general Datuk Seri Zohari Akob said despite the projected slower growth, the sector is still set to be among the biggest contributors to the nation’s GDP.

“The growth momentum of the small civil engineers sector is expected to slow down due to the infrastructure project revisions in order to rationalise the country’s current fiscal position,” he said at the Asean Super 8 launch in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

He said last year, the construction industry reported a growth of 6.7% and contributed 5.9% to the GDP.

According to the midterm review of the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP), the allocation for the development expenditure ceiling will be lowered to RM220 billion.

Deputy Works Minister Mohd Anuar Mohd Tahir said the government’s focus moving forward is to embark on initiatives to move up the value chain and become a productivity-driven economy.

“To achieve this, one of the key strategies identified is by fostering sustainable practices and enhancing knowledge content to transform the construction sector,” he said.

He added that in line with the 11MP, the Construction Industry Transformation Programme 2016-2020 was launched to transform the industry into a modern, highly productive and sustainable industry that also prioritises safety.

“The transformation is still on-going, and the ultimate goal is to create a construction industry that is on par with developed nations, with industry players that are able to compete confidently on the global stage,” he said.

Zohari said to work towards this, the construction industry should focus on private projects in the next few years to double up its productivity and further advance the adoption of the industrialised building system (IBS).

“There are areas that we need to focus on, such as the private development sector, for the next few years. That is where I think the value of construction lies in,” he said.

He said based on the Construction Industry Development Board’s analysis, public investments make up only 20% of the total construction value.

“If we only use IBS in that 20%, the demand will only stay within that percentage, so our focus in the next few years is on the remaining 80% which is of private construction,” Zohari said.

In a report by The Malaysian Reserve, CIDB CEO Datuk Ahmad Asri Abdul Hamid said the board is working to develop the ecosystem for IBS utilisation and is confident that it will be made mandatory in 2020.

Meanwhile, the Asean Super 8 mega exhibition will debut at the International Construction Week 2019’s (ICW 2019) 19th instalment of the largest construction trade conference and exhibition in Malaysia and South-East Asia.

CIDB chairman Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Ali said the mega exhibition will enable stakeholders of the industry to be introduced to new products and technologies.

“This includes new sustainable materials and energy sources, innovative design approaches, as well as advances in digital technology in line with the ICW 2019 theme of ‘Construction Beyond 2020’,” he said.

The Asean Super 8 mega exhibition will have eight features, namely the Ecobuild South-East Asia, Tenaga Expo and Forum, Green Energy Expo and Forum, Asean Solar Expo and Forum, Asean Ecolight, Asean Lift Expo and Forum, Heavy Mach and IFSEC South-East Asia.

The event is expected to attract 37,000 visitors, 1,150 exhibiting companies, 15 country’s group pavilions, 200 business matching sessions, 300 group visits from corporate, government bodies, associations and universities, as well as 200 conferences and seminar sessions.