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June 3, 2008

ACF to tackle common issues facing the industry

The Asean Constructors' Federation (ACF) will prepare a long-term plan to resolve common issues related to the construction industry on a regional level, reported Malaysia’s national news agency Bernama.

Chairman Patrick Wong said such a plan was crucial in order to help to grow the construction market in the region.

"Our focus right now would be to understand the immediate concerns of our ACF members," he said in a statement after chairing the 27th ACF Council Meeting here Monday.

The ACF has of six country members -- Indonesia Contractors Association, Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM), Philippines Constructors Association Inc, Singapore Contractors Association Ltd, Thai Contractors Association and Vietnam Association of Construction Contractors.

Wong, who is also MBAM president, said the council meeting enabled members to exchange views and share information through various country reports.

"This sharing of information will enable us to sharpen our competitive edge in tackling the challenge of a competitive global construction market," he said.

Among the highlights of Monday's meeting was the briefing on the liberalisation of services under the Asean Framework Agreement on Services and the impact of implementation of the Asean Economic Committee in 2015.

Wong said the meeting also opened opportunities for ACF members to get the latest updates on construction opportunities in Malaysia arising from projects implemented under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

ACF, formed on May, 30 1985, was set up to provide a forum for dialogue among the construction contractors in Asean through which to evolve a collective and more effective role for the construction industry in regional economic development.

Other objectives include fostering closer cooperation among construction contractors in the Asean region and thereby promote joint ventures and joint operations to enhance their construction contracting capabilities.

Another aim is to promote mutual consultation among construction contractors in the Asean region and thereby encourage exchange of information and know-how for improvement of construction technology and management, upgrading of construction labour skills and standards, and ultimately, advancement of the construction industry in the region.

The federation was also aimed to unify efforts of construction contractors in Asean in promoting export of construction services to countries outside of the region, and to pool resources, if necessary, to attain the goal.

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