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2020 was the year that upended every country’s predictions and plans as the COVID-19 pandemic swept through communities and economies. As a result, growth predictions for 2021 start from a lower standpoint than usual. We have likely (and hopefully) moved past the worst conditions the industry is going to face, and therefore 2021 is expected to deliver a tangible improvement to the conditions of its predecessor. The International Monetary Fund substantiates this notion with the expectation that the Asia Pacific region will recover better than other parts of the world, with growth in the regional GDP of around 6.9%.
So where to from now for the region?
Trends shaping construction
Looking at the overall region, there are four major trends that evolved and will continue to evolve throughout 2021:
- Safety First
The processes already in place helped us respond quickly to new protocols needed for the COVID-19 and are set to continue to evolve throughout the year.
- The pivot to digital tools
The sharp movement toward digitisation required to meet new operations has subsequently led to the rapid evolution of many firms’ practices. This pivot was adopted quickly, but also revealed areas for improvement.
- Navigating borders
Labour mobility (especially for foreign workers) has been greatly restricted and will continue to remain in place throughout most of 2021 which means the labour shortage is not letting up any time soon.
- Government intervention
With the general restrictions across the sector, increased spending was necessary in order to reboot the industry. This increased spending is mostly within infrastructure projects and public building projects, which will provide great opportunities across the sector.
What’s happening in Asia construction specifically?
Across the board, the region is set to rebound from 2020 with an increase in public infrastructure and projects. Construction firms have been able to respond very quickly to the requirements of COVID-19 (especially in terms of quality and safety), by utilising digital technologies–this is set to go further in 2021. Firms that take this digitisation further will reap the benefits of technology through enhanced communications and productivity. A recent report by the World Bank said fostering innovation and improving the business environment would be “critical in supporting the digital economy.”
To find out more about how 2021 will shape up for your country: download your copy of 2021 APAC Construction Forecast