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January 16, 2008

SINGAPORE/CONSTRUCTION
Construction boom looks set to continue this year

Singapore's robust construction demand looks set to continue this year to reach between 23 billion to 27 billion Singapore dollars (about 16-18.9 billion U.S. dollars), local media reported Tuesday.

The value of construction contracts last year reached 24.5 billion Singapore dollars, a 46 percent increase from 2006, which was the sector's strongest growth since the mid-90s boom, local television Channel NewsAsia quoted Parliamentary Secretary for National Development Mohamad Maliki Osman as saying.

Speaking at the Construction and Property Prospects 2008 seminar, he expected construction gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate to be sustained at a double-digit pace this year.

But higher construction demand will continue to exert pressure on resources.

Maliki said the government is taking proactive measures to ease the tension, which include rescheduling more than 2 billion Singapore dollars worth of public sector projects to 2010 and beyond, as well as manpower-related measures to facilitate entry of foreign workers.

He also revealed that the supply situation of sand has stabilized now, so the government will discontinue its assistance scheme to co-share the risk of importing sand from distant sources, which was implemented when Indonesia banned sand exports to Singapore last year.


Courtesy Xinhua

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