The Federation of Construction Associations (FCA) held the 70th Construction Day ceremony on July 20 at the Construction Hall in Seoul with over 1,000 participants, including high-ranking government officials, legislators and leaders of the construction industry.
The event was led by Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon. Also present were Rep. Cho Jong-shik, chairman of the National Assembly’s Land and Construction Committee; Minister Kim Hyun-mee of the Land, Infrastructure and Transport; and Chairman Yoo Ju-hyun of the Federation of Construction Associations (FCA).
Prime Minister Lee, in his congratulatory address, said the construction industry accomplished a great achievement in the past 70 years, rising from the ashes of the Korean War, building various key facilities in the country ranging in areas related to national reconstruction from transportation and energy to infrastructure. The industry solidified national economic development. He thanked construction sector employees for their hard work.
Rep. Cho said he also appreciated the achievements made by the construction industry over the past 70 years, and parliament will do everything it can to help the industry overcome the tough times and revitalize its operations both at home and abroad. Chairman Yoo, in his congratulatory address at the ceremony, said “we are here to celebrate the most auspicious day for the construction industry in Korea, today being the 70th Construction Day.”
Over the past 70 years, the construction industry carried out miracles, building and solidifying the foundation for the industrialization of the country, laying the groundwork for the economic ascent of Korea.
Through the construction of major facilities crucial to Korea, including social infrastructure, like highways, residential homes and convenience facilities, the industry has been faithfully fulfilling its duty to improve the people’s welfare and help stabilize their livelihoods.
But he said the construction industry is going through tough times right now, with small construction firms, which take up around 90 percent of the industry, suffering from a lack of projects due to cuts related to infrastructure. The situation is no better for large construction firms, who are coping with falling overseas construction orders, the chairman said.
What really hurts the most is the fact that the construction industry doesn’t have much to show for itself in key areas such as reform of its systems and technology, although its scale has expanded enormously, riding on the dynamic development of the national economy in the past seven decades.
"Over the next 70 years, we the construction people, should be prepared for various changes ahead, such as those from the 4th Industrial Revolution to meet the new demand for the construction industry and create jobs through technology reform in fusion with new high-tech items,” Chairman Yoo said. “We also have to fulfill our social obligations through joining others for development and shared management to respond to what the state and the people want from us,” Yoo said emphatically.
The new government is geared up to create jobs in the country with economic policies centered on the people, he said, adding that improving old infrastructure, and the rebirth of city centers around the country, require massive investments. He said such projects will secure better living conditions for the people. He said he is sure that the construction industry will be at the center of the national economy, standing upright as it overcomes the problems it now faces and winning the support of the people.
The medals and citations were presented to 152 executives of the construction industry and related areas for their achievements, with the Industrial Merit Gold Medal, the highest honor, going to President Hur Yong-hwan of Sokjin Construction Co.