Skip to main content
Welcome Speech at 1st CIC-HKU International Consultation Forum: Strategies for Enhancing Construction Industry Productivity

Welcome Speech at 1st CIC-HKU International Consultation Forum: Strategies for Enhancing Construction Industry Productivity

Event: 1st CIC-HKU International Consultation Forum: Strategies for Enhancing Construction Industry Productivity
Date: 21 March 2017

Ir CK HON, Professor Norman TIEN, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. It is my great pleasure to welcome you today to this International Consultation Forum co-organised by the Construction Industry Council and The University of Hong Kong.

The construction industry of Hong Kong is expecting a long period of prosperity. It is anticipated that annual construction expenditure will maintain at high level of more than HK$250 billion in the coming years.

Manpower situation

There is much for us to look forward to. However, there is also much for us to do for the society to benefit from this opportunity.  According to the report recently released by Arcadis, the construction cost in Hong Kong is the second highest in the world. I am not sure whether we are comparing apple with apple; or if, in fact, we are comparing Singapore fried noodles with Hong Kong fried rice. In any case, it is true that the construction cost in Hong Kong has risen to a level that has affected the growth of overall economy. The high construction cost could be attributed to many factors. Two of them have brought us together this morning.  The first one is labour shortage and the other concerns the age profile of our construction labour force.  

It is estimated that we are suffering from a shortage of about 10,000 skilled workers and the situation will continue for sometime. The average age of our construction workforce is 46 and over 40% of them are aged 50 or above. I feel very much home when I visit construction sites because I am always surrounded by people of my age group. Obviously, it is no comfort in our effort to bring prices down.

Similar to many developed economies, e.g. Singapore, we find it is increasingly difficult to attract young people to join the construction industry. Apparently the only solution is to improve the productivity of the present workforce, and to innovate construction methods which are less dependent on human beings.

CIC’s effort

The Hong Kong construction industry is very keen to advance itself. The Construction Industry Council is taking a holistic review of the training model of our construction workforce. Efficiency and productivity depend on the standard and creativity of our workforce.

The CIC will set up an Construction Innovation and Technology Application Centre by end of this year to facilitate the adoption and development of innovative construction technologies, such as the use of automation and robotics, exoskeletons, and 3D printing, for the industry.  The centre will also act as a knowledge hub to showcase the latest local and international construction technologies. 

Digital technology has changed how we live. The Building Information Modelling (BIM) technique brings new dimensions to various aspects of the development and construction process, e.g. design, construction and facility management. The CIC has established a BIM Centre and set up an industry-wide Committee on BIM with industry leaders to spearhead the development and application of BIM in Hong Kong.

The mere things that CIC have done are far from being adequate to address the critical problems currently faced by the construction industry.

This morning, we are delighted to be joined by renowned speakers, who will share with us their experience and knowledge on construction productivity. In particular, I wish to welcome our colleagues from Singapore, Dr John KEUNG, CEO of Singapore Building and Construction Authority (BCA), Professor Florence LING from the National University of Singapore (NUS), and Er SIEW Hoong Kit to share with us the Singapore experience. 

We shall also have some very interesting presentations from Hong Kong delegates, Ir CK HON, Mr. Alex KWAN and Dr. Wei PAN.

Once again, thank you very much for coming and wish you all a very fruitful forum.

Mr. CHAN Ka-kui
Chairman, Construction Industry Council

Last Updated: 2018-07-19 23:04:31