Local construction industry remains optimistic

A GROUP of local concerned builders, subcontractors and suppliers remains optimistic of taking Fiji’s construction industry to the “next level”.

The group — Fiji Master Builders Association (FMBA) — intends to align the flourishing industry with technological advancements and sustainable practices, which include a higher degree of value added services.

With the central bank’s 3.6 per cent economic growth forecast for 2018 largely off the back of tourism, FMBA president Vijay Raghwan said they were well placed to be part of that new era with “members already determined to step up and be part of that growth”.

“For the past 56 years, we have literally helped build the nation’s economy to what it is today,” Mr Raghwan said in a statement yesterday.

“Many industry players have come and gone in that period, but for those of us who still remain, we have an obligation to help Government build a resilient economy and we are keen to do that by offering better training opportunities for our members.”

Mr Raghwan, an industry veteran, said many challenges had been faced by the building and construction sector dating back to the early post-independence year’s right up to the economic slowdown after 1987.

He said while many builders were busy with post TC Winston rebuilding works, the FMBA fully supported Government’s vision to “build back stronger.”

“The FMBA looks forward to working in strong partnership with policy makers as well as our tertiary and technical institutions to see how together, we can offer more cost-effective and environmentally sustainable projects that create jobs and foster growth,” Mr Raghwan said.

In putting these plans to practice, the FMBA are scheduled to meet today to discuss issues concerning the local construction industry including accreditation and licensing, shortage of trade skills, the building code and training needs.

The FMBA annual general meeting will be held at Vine Yard Palace Restaurant, (Old Town Hall) along Victoria Pde in Suva at 6pm this evening.

FMBA was formed in 1961 to give a voice to reputable building contractors regarding the many issues relating to the construction industry.

It has a membership of more than 40 comprising small, medium and large construction companies in the country, employing up to 15,000 workers.

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