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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Malaysian builders win US$1b foreign deals

BANGKOK: Malaysian contractors, who secured 155 projects overseas worth US$15.57 billion (RM53.5 billion) in the past three years, have won another 16 projects valued at US$1.06 billion (RM3.6 billion) so far this year.

Master Builders Association of Malaysia (MBAM) secretary-general Yap Yoke Keong said the Construction Industry Development Board of Malaysia (CIDB) records showed that 2006 was the best year, with 59 projects worth US$8.17 billion (RM27.7 billion).

Last year, Malaysian firms receiv-ed 40 projects with a total value of US$2.43 billion (RM8.24 billion), he said.

Yap said as at the second quarter of 2009, Malaysian contractors had completed 467 overseas projects worth US$8.5 billion (RM28.82 billion) while 131 projects valued at US$18 billion (RM61.02 billion) were currently being implemented.
"However, all these ventures involved only 103 contractors, which is indeed small compared to the total of about 65,000 registered contractors in the country," he said when presenting Malaysia's country report at the 29th Asean Contractors Federation Council meeting here yesterday.

Almost half of the overseas contracts won by Malaysian firms since 1997 were based in the Middle East, Yap said, adding that Saudi Arabia provided the largest share with RM20.73 billion, followed by India with RM14.1 billion and the UAE with RM10.5 billion.

In Malaysia, construction recorded a positive 2.8 per cent growth in the second quarter this year, largely due to the higher take-off of projects related to the stimulus packages, in particular construction on non-residential buildings such as schools, colleges and hospitals, Yap said.

He said under the government's two stimulus packages worth RM67 billion, a total of 83,939 projects had been awarded.

While there were some positive effects from the stimulus packages, MBAM felt that these may not be adequate to enable the economy to ride out from the recession on a much stronger footing.

Yap said the association has called on the government to speedily release the balance of projects budgeted under the Ninth Malaysia Plan to ensure sustainability and growth of the construction industry and to meet the industry's projected gross domestic growth growth of 3 per cent this year.

By Bernama

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