Local building firms lauded for successful overseas ventures

BCA recognises 36 firms with new award for internationalising S'pore construction sector

The International Tech Park in the IT hub of Kharadi, Maharashtra, won one of the top SGBuilds Awards for CapitaLand. The development is CapitaLand's 11th collaboration with joint venture L&W Construction.
The International Tech Park in the IT hub of Kharadi, Maharashtra, won one of the top SGBuilds Awards for CapitaLand. The development is CapitaLand's 11th collaboration with joint venture L&W Construction.PHOTO: CAPITALAND

From India to Cambodia to the far-flung archipelago of Micronesia, Singaporean firms in the built environment sector are strengthening the Republic's brand around the world through a range of construction projects.

Amid the gloom the local construction industry is facing with the pandemic, 36 companies were awarded the Building and Construction Authority's (BCA) inaugural SGBuilds Award yesterday for 18 international projects.

The awards recognised companies for successfully internationalising and bringing local partners overseas, with the top awards going to real estate giant CapitaLand, consultancy firm TW-Asia Consultants and post-tensioning contractor Utracon Overseas.

The SGBuilds Award has three categories - for developers, consultants and builders - with the top firm in each category recognised with the SGBuilds Star Award.

Mr Hugh Lim, chief executive of BCA, said that the SGBuilds Award serves to hold up industry efforts to internationalise in a collaborative manner.

"We hope that these awards will inspire other Singapore firms across the entire built environment value chain to consider how to pool their capabilities and resources to venture into new markets overseas," he said.

CapitaLand's win is its 11th collaboration with joint venture L&W Construction, a partnership that began in 2009.

L&W is a fully owned joint venture between construction firms Lee Kim Tah and Woh Hup Holdings, two of Singapore's oldest construction companies.

Having established itself in India's IT parks sector since 1994, CapitaLand shared with L&W its strong knowledge of India's business environment and provided the joint venture with opportunities to expand in markets that CapitaLand has a presence in, said a CapitaLand spokesman.

Since the first collaboration, the partnership has gone from strength to strength, with several CapitaLand International Tech Park developments in major cities across India, including CapitaLand's winning project in the IT hub of Kharadi, Maharashtra.

Meanwhile, TW-Asia Consultants took home the SGBuilds Star Award in the consultant category for an eight-storey resort it worked on in Palau, in Micronesia, slated for completion next year.

 
 
 

INSPIRE NEW VENTURES

We hope that these awards will inspire other Singapore firms across the entire built environment value chain to consider how to pool their capabilities and resources to venture into new markets overseas.

MR HUGH LIM, chief executive of the Building and Construction Authority, on what the SGBuilds Award aims to do. 

NOT AN EASY TASK

Being able to venture out internationally is already challenging. On top of that, constructing a sensitive and secured project for a well-established client is something that many would not take on.

MR KHOO JYH HAO, director of Utracon Overseas, on the challenges of a project for the National Bank of Cambodia.

BCA lauded TW-Asia as a pioneer for venturing into the Pacific island state, which many in the built environment sector considered a new frontier.

Construction services firm Utracon Overseas was awarded the top prize in the builder category for a six-storey building it built for the National Bank of Cambodia.

This was the firm's second project for the bank and has won it a third.

"Being able to venture out internationally is already challenging. On top of that, constructing a sensitive and secured project for a well-established client is something that many would not take on," said Mr Khoo Jyh Hao, director of Utracon Overseas.

He credited partners, such as project management firm Atelier International Management, for their "vast market familiarity in Cambodia (to meet) the goal of achieving the best project outcome".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2020, with the headline 'Local building firms lauded for successful overseas ventures'. Print Edition | Subscribe