ASEAN Construction Sectors Poised for Recovery

ASEAN Construction Sectors

ASEAN / SOUTH EAST ASIA : The COVID-19 Pandemic has caused many economies to shrink in 2020. It appears that the worst is over as the number of daily COVID-19 cases decrease while vaccines are being rolled out. Construction projects across the region are also able to resume or , if delayed, start. To stimulate the economies, infrastructure spending has also increased. In that vein, the construction sectors are poised for a “V” shaped recovery. Read our quick summary covering the growth forecast of the construction sectors of South East Asia.


The Indonesian Government expects to start delayed projects in 2021 and to add $29.4 billion to Indonesia’s 2021 budget to stimulate the economy. The highly anticipated high-speed Jakarta-Bandung railway project is expected to be completed in the second half of 2021. The project had faced challenges such as budget overruns and the pandemic. These resulted in delays that caused railway developer PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia China (KCIC) to push back the completion target from June 2021 to the second half of 2021.


Thailand’s construction sector had shown signs of improvement since Q3 of 2020, spending on public infrastructure is also expected to rise this year.


Despite the termination of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail, the Malaysian construction sector is expected to grow at around 13.9% this year after contracting by 18.7% in 2020 with numerous planned projects lined up. These improvements are likely to kick in in the later half of the year.


The recovery of Myanmar’s construction sector remains uncertain in light of the ongoing military coup. Construction projects such as Amata’s USD 1 Billion industrial complex development have halted with foreign investors unsure on how to and whether to proceed. Opinions are mixed amongst economists as some expect a recession due to Western sanctions whilst others do not due to the absence of trade restrictions from Myanmar’s largest FDI investors in Asia. Our article “Myanmar Economy through the Military Coup and Pandemic” covers more on this topic.


As was the case with Malaysia, the cancellation of the Kuala Lumpu-Singapore high-speed rail was no doubt a dent in the construction sector of both countries. The construction sector in Singapore experienced a substantial contraction of 28.5% in Q4 of 2020. However, strong infrastructure spending is expected to boost the sector into recovery, for example and as covered in our article “Construction of the Jurong East Integrated Transport Hub to begin in Q2 2021”.


Due to quick and early actions taken against the COVID-19 virus, Vietnam’s economy experienced a growth of 2.9% in 2020. Its construction sector also grew at a 6.7% growth rate.


The construction sector contracted by 9.2% in 2020 during the country’s COVID-19 lockdowns. However, growth is anticipated at a rate of 8.3% going forward from 2021 to 2024. The economic boost

*ASEAN comprises of the following countries : Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam , Cambodia , Laos and Brunei.

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