Indonesian contractors are eying Myanmar as a new market for their services and plan to send representatives there to investigate the potential, an industry executive said.
“We will send representatives to Myanmar in November. This move is aimed at studying the market there and holding further meetings with the Burmese government,” Sudarto, the chairman of the Indonesian Association of Contractors, said on Tuesday, adding that he hoped contractors could expand into the Burmese market next year.
Indonesian construction companies, he said, were targeting priority infrastructure projects, such as road, bridges and official buildings.
“The entry of Indonesian contractors follows the aggressive Burmese development plan for the next few years. After 15 years of isolation, Myanmar has to put some order into its infrastructure and economy,” Sudarto said.
He said the two countries have already signed a cooperation agreement on construction services and the association has held several meetings with officials in Myanmar to prepare for its implementation.
“From the regulatory side, I think it is still easy, as Myanmar’s regulations are not yet tight. The industry is also relatively new and those providing services are still limited, therefore they do need experienced contractors,” Sudarto said.
State contractor PT Wijaya Karya will spearhead the Indonesian entry into the Burmese construction market, he added.
Bambang Guritno, the head of the Public Works Ministry’s construction guidance body, said the government was aiming to double the number of Indonesian contractors working abroad next year, especially in Southeast Asia.
“With the mounting construction plans in our neighboring countries, we are pushing local contractors, especially the big ones, to expand overseas. Last year there were six companies [working overseas] and this year 10. Next year we expect 20 companies,” Bambang said.
He said the government was also looking into cooperating with Japan, South Korea and China to work on the markets in the Middle East through joint ventures.
“The cooperation with these three countries will boost the penetration of these joint ventures in the Middle East. Their contractors have adequate technologies while our contractors are culturally more accepted there. The cooperation is mutually advantageous,” Bambang said.