Makes remarks at meeting to discuss pending issues with construction industry and business leaders on Sept. 26
Minister Kim Hyun-mee of the Ministry of Land. (Photos: MOLIT)
Minister Kim Hyun-mee of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) presides over a meeting to discuss pending issues with construction industry and business leaders on Sept. 26.
Minister Kim Hyun-mee of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) had a meeting to discuss pending issues with construction industry and business leaders on Sept. 26 for the first time in 100 days after she took office as the MOLIT minister.
Among those on hand at the gathering held at the Construction Hall in Nonhyeon-dong, Seoul, were Chairman Yoo Joo-hyun of the Construction Association of Korea (CAK); Chairman Kim Han-kee of the Korea Housing Association; Chairman Sim Kwang-il of the Korea Housing Builders Association; Hyundai E&C President Chung Soo-hyun; Jeunghung Construction President Chung Won-joo; and other construction company CEOs.
“The construction industry is a major economic sector accounting for 15 percent of the nation’s GDP. It also employs more than 1.8 million people,” Minister Kim said. She stressed the need for construction contractors’ understanding of an inflection point for the construction investment paradigm shift. Taking its cues from lessons learned from advanced countries, she said a reduction in new infrastructure investments cannot be avoided in a matured stage of economic development.
Minister Kim urged the construction industry to push for substantial growth through the development of new growth industries, departing from the conventional external growth. She called for the exploration of new breadwinners involved in the 4th Industrial Revolution such as smart cities, departing from the conventional sales practice of winning mega projects. “Construction contractors need to create new demand to raise the general public’s life quality and safety levels, including the improving of decrepit facilities and the implementing of urban renewal projects.
Recognizing the significance of the overseas construction industry, Kim also stressed the necessity of ramping up diplomatic efforts to land overseas construction orders.
During a closed meeting, the participants voiced worries over a cut in the social overhead capital budget. Figures released by the MOLIT showed that the SOC budget will decline from 19.1 trillion won in 2017 by 4.359 trillion won to 14.697 trillion won in 2018.
Construction CEOs talked about the slumping housing market, caused by outpourings of new housing units in some areas. Prior to the meeting with MOLIT Minister Kim, Jeunghung Construction President Chung sounded concerned about the sagging housing industry in provincial areas, which saw the initial housing distribution rate halve recently, a reversal from its previous fortunes. The meeting served as an opportunity for the first MOLIT minister of the President Moon government to lend an ear to the voices of the construction and housing industries.
She called joint efforts to consider the future direction of the industries and find solutions to pending issues.