Investment in construction industry to grow 10%, says industry executive

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Total investment in the national construction industry is likely to increase by 10 percent to Rp 250 trillion (US$27.5 billion) this year, according to an industry executive.

"The investment will be used to finance both government and private-sector projects," Sulistijo Sidarto Mulyo, the president of the National Construction Services Development Board, said Tuesday before the presentation of the Building and Construction Interchange (BCI) Asia's top 10 awards.

He said a quarter of the investment would be in government construction projects.

"The government will allocate only around Rp 60 trillion to Rp 70 trillion of the budget for construction projects," he added. The government plans to spend Rp 763.6 trillion on all of its activities in 2007.

The private sector would cover the other 75 percent of the investment, Sulistijo said, with about 50 percent of this being used to finance construction activities in the oil and gas sector.

He said the increased investment needed to be accompanied by improved skills among local architects and engineers if they wanted to compete with expatriate rivals from the ASEAN countries.

Improving human resources competitiveness was important as ASEAN would put its mutual recognition arrangements into effect in the engineering sub-sector in 2008. Under the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement, all service sectors, including engineering, architecture, surveying and urban planning, would be harmonized.

"If Indonesian architects want to compete in the regional market, they will have to improve their skills to meet the regional standards," he said.

According to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), there are 4.47 million people in Indonesia who work in the construction sector, but only 10.5 percent of them possess standard qualifications. (05)
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