SINGAPORE: The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) projects the total value of construction contracts to be awarded in 2017 to reach between S$28 billion and S$35 billion. The numbers are higher than last year's preliminary estimate of S$26.1 billion.
BCA is anticipating an increase in public sector construction demand from S$15.8 billion last year to S$24 billion for 2017, boosted by an increase in demand for most building types and civil engineering works.
Additionally, the public sector is expected to contribute about 70 per cent of the total construction demand.
Meanwhile, the slowdown in the property market and continued economic uncertainties are likely to weigh on private sector construction demand, the Government authority added.
BCA projects construction demand for the private sector to stay between S$8 billion and S$11 billion this year.
Total construction demand in 2016 was valued at around S$26 billion, slightly lower than preliminary estimates of S$27 billion to S$34 billion. This was because of the rescheduling of major public sector projects and longer preparation times, BCA said.
Beyond 2017, BCA projects the average construction demand to be between S$26 billion and S$35 billion per annum in 2018 and 2019 and between S$26 billion and S$37 billion per annum in 2020 and 2021.
On the projected increases, BCA's CEO, John Keung, said: "Although the year-to-year fluctuations in the total value of annual construction demand are influenced by the lumpy nature of major infrastructure projects, the overall on-line construction activities or construction output is expected to stay at a relatively high level."
"Companies that are prepared to change, innovate and transform to stay at the forefront of technological innovation, process re-engineering and productivity improvements are more likely to sustain their growth and competitiveness despite the headwinds under challenging economic conditions." he added.
Speaking at the BCA-REDAS Built Environment and Property Prospects Seminar, Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development Desmond Lee unveiled the formation of the Built Environment cluster sub-committee under the Council for Skills, Innovation and Productivity (CSIP).
Mr Lee will co-chair the committee along with CapitaLand CEO Mr Lim Ming Yan.
The committee aims to develop the Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs), a growth and competitiveness plan covering areas such as productivity and internationalisation, for the construction sector.
Mr Lee said: "There will be a task force looking at measures to help companies that wish to expand overseas. We understand that not all markets are as open or predictable as ours. There are also language and labour barriers."
"The committee will look at ideas and study practical ways on how we can provide support for companies willing to expand overseas," he added.