CAK Chmn. Choi pledges to support new government to create jobs and recharge the economy by luring investments to various SOC projects
The Construction Association of Korea opens New Year with a ceremony with
Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik, 2nd R, Minister Kwon Do-youp of the Ministry of
Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, 1st R, and Chairman Choi Sam-kyu of
CAK, 3rd R, pushing the buttons to open the Year of the Snake at the
event at Lotte Hotel in Seoul on Jan. 4.
“This is the year of snake, an animal that is a symbol of eternal life, defying death, while at the same time a symbol of affluence and valuable assets, and like the snake, we hope for rising national fortune and a bright year for the construction industry with the resolution of all kinds of difficulties facing the industry,” said Chairman Choi Sam-kyu of the Construction Association of Korea (CAK) in his New Year’s message.
“Looking back at last year, it was the year in which Korea’s position was uplifted amid sluggish economic conditions facing many countries around the world impacted by the global economic crisis.
“For two consecutive years, Korea recorded $1 trillion in foreign trade, emerging as the 8th largest trading nation in the world and its credit ratings the highest in its history thanks to upgraded international positions of its various sectors such as diplomacy and culture.
“The construction industry, too, has done well in the midst of trying times, clinching over $60 billion worth of construction projects overseas, putting the accumulated overseas projects won by Korean builders beyond the $500 billion mark, displaying the stronger reputation of the Korean construction industry in the eyes of the world.
“This year will not be an easy one for the construction industry with tough times looming for the foreseeable future. The Euro zone crisis and the U.S. fiscal cliff will cast a long shadow over the world, keeping global economic growth down. Domestically, the low growth tone will be exacerbated by household debt default fears and worsening conditions for government investment, along with changes in government policies impacted by the stresses on the expansion of welfare policies and the democratization of the economy, geared toward possible reductions in investments and new regulations,” the chairman said.
“But,” he said, “as there are opportunities in crises and despite the difficult conditions, we should not forget that new hopes are looming with the government leadership changing hands. We expect the new government under President-elect Park to map out new stimulus measures to refuel the economy, since she claimed that they would be the topmost priority of her government as they will create new jobs and help rebuild the middle class. When those commitments are realized, new opportunities will come to the construction industry, with a lot of potential to create jobs and ignite a high productivity effect.”
Chairman Choi continued on to say that the association will try to mix robot, IT, and other scientific technologies to reform its construction technologies in order to boost its industrial competitiveness.
And at the same time, there must be an end to the cut-throat competition among domestic builders over overseas projects so that the image of Korean builders might be improved through high-level technology competition overseas, thus boosting the international reputation of Korea as a country strong in overseas construction projects.
Choi said he will try to lead the CAK with high ethical management principles to satisfy what the people expect from the construction industry.
He said the CAK will try to explain to the new government the tough problems that the construction industry will face this year and to secure rational government policies helpful to the industry in taking care of its problems. It will try to faithfully play the role of a helmsman to steer the industry through the various social and economic problems in its way this year.
The association will also support the government’s major policies to create more jobs and recharge the economy’s growth, to attract investments in projects to improve residential environment and SOC projects including the ones to prevent floods in city centers and other livelihood friendly SOC projects, the chairman said.