WEDNESDAY, 20 FEBRUARY 2019, KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s construction services industry is making inroads into the fast growing construction industry of Uganda thanks to the public-private synergy between Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) and Malaysian Inc. The two parties have realised the first mover advantage for Malaysian companies to take part in the development of the Uganda Eco-Satellite City project.
This came following a feasibility study conducted by the Malaysian Inc. on the project, which was supported by MATRADE’s Services Export Fund. With the completion of the feasibility study, qualified Malaysian construction companies can now join hands with Malaysian Inc. to participate in the development of Eco-Satellite City. The awareness on areas of opportunities for the local companies will be disseminated through a series of business forum that commences today.
The Malaysian sectors set to benefit from the development include Consultancy Services, Project Management, Construction Services, Solid Waste Management, Water Supply, Power Plant and other related services. Work on this massive development project is expected to commence this year.
The Uganda Eco-Satellite City project in the capital city of Kampala is one the major new projects initiated by the Uganda Government. The project involves 1,000 acres of land which is to be a mixed development consisting of residential, commercial, government offices, schools, hospitals, malls as well as other amenities. This is a long term project which has the aim of reducing the congestion within the fast booming city of Kampala. The Eco-Satellite City Project is part of the Ugandan Vision 2040 national development initiative of the Ugandan Government and is targeted to transform the nation from an agrarian society towards a modern, progressive and industrialised nation.
The partnership approach between Malaysia and Uganda is most apt as the Uganda Eco-Satellite City proposal was conceived during the visit by the Hon. Isaac Musumba, Minister of State for Urban Development, Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development, Republic of Uganda to the Africa Day in 2016 organised by MATRADE in Kuala Lumpur. That visit, also coordinated by MATRADE, allowed an opportunity for the officials to discuss opportunities towards bridging the construction industry of both Uganda and Malaysia together.
Upon the mooting of this concept in 2016, Malaysian Inc organised a Feasibility Study on the satellite city’s master plan. This involved a team of experienced Malaysian consultants from the construction services industry.
According to MATRADE’s Chief Executive Officer Dato’ Wan Latiff Wan Musa, MATRADE as Malaysia’s trade promotion agency has been linking the Uganda’s project decision makers with Malaysian companies through Malaysian Inc who acts as a Consortium. “We are very pleased the collaboration between MATRADE and the Consortium over the years and this created a huge opportunity for the Malaysian Service Providers (MSPs) to expand their footprint in Africa. We urge Malaysian companies to be part of the Consortium,” he said.
Malaysian Inc was the brainchild of the National Professional Services Export Council (NAPSEC) which secretariat is MATRADE. The Consortium aims to provide a platform for MSPs to tap on projects overseas. The Malaysian Inc also operates to facilitate and promote international collaboration between MSPs and the private sector abroad.
Indeed, Malaysian construction services companies are highly regarded around the world, especially in developing nations – for our expertise, track record and success in delivering various projects. Between 1980 to 2018, Malaysian companies have been able to successfully deliver over 1065 projects around the world. This was achieved by 135 qualified Malaysian companies through projects that were implemented in 63 different countries around the world. These were mixed projects ranging from residential and commercial projects as well as building of roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects, including power plants.
The services sector is earmarked as the country's next engine of growth and has also been highlighted in various development plans including the New Economic Model. By 2020, the services sector is expected to contribute 56.7 per cent to the country's Gross Domestic Product, as outlined in the Services Sector Blueprint. In 2018, services exports were recorded at RM179.69 billion while imports were at RM159.99 billion. Efforts such as this by MATRADE and Malaysian Inc (providing linkage to overseas projects) will accelerate the growth of the services sector and help Malaysia diversify its strong performing export sector.