ACF Milestones

SCAL prepared a paper on “A Comparative Study of Financial Structure and Performance of Foreign Construction Companies and Local Construction Companies in Singapore” on 1st November 1985.

This was followed by discussion on the proposal with regard to “Agreement on the Preferential Short-listing of ASEAN Contractors” in November 1985. A paper on “ASEAN Competitive Bidding (ACB)” was deliberated at the 2nd ACF Council meeting held on 16th December 1985 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Foreign Ministers of Brunei Darussalam, the Republic of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Republic of Philippines, the Republic of Singapore and the Kingdom of Thailand signed an Agreement on the Preferential Short listing of ASEAN Contractors on 20th October 1986.

ACF was granted affiliation with ASEAN as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)of ASEAN under the Committee on Industry, Minerals and Energy (COIME) at the 4th meeting of the ASEAN Standing Committee (ASC) held on 3rd – 5th March 1987 in Singapore.

The following recommendations was considered and adopted at the ASEAN International Symposium on Construction and Development held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 7th – 8th May 1990:

  • What ASEAN Construction contractors can do to help themselves
    • cement and expand business ties
    • build up management and execution capacity and capability
    • create skilled manpower pools
    • strive towards excellence
    • raise capitalization to be financially strong
    • mechanize, computerize and adopt project management concepts and techniques to raise productivity
    • train managers and site supervisors
    • raise construction quality
    • co-operate and pool resources to gain ASEAN Government’s support
    • develop strategy to win, structure and manage projects
    • learned about planned development projects early
    • keep abreast with privatization trend and BOT mechanism
    • build up an ASEAN construction database network
    • share construction know how and experience
    • exchange of management and technical personnel


  • What Government in ASEAN can do to help construction contractors
    • Provide incentives and guidelines to spur private-public sector efforts
    • Promote ASEAN building materials exchange and supply as well as to harmonize quality and standard
    • Encourage free flow of construction professionals and workforce
    • Introduce on ASEAN Common construction policy
    • Pay interest for late payment
    • Set up an ASEAN joint construction technology project
    • Redefine ASEAN nationals and entities to encourage ASEAN construction co-operation and assistance
    • Preserve national historic structures and fabrics
    • Adopt fair contract conditions and healthy environment for fair competition
    • Programme construction demand towards continuing development of the construction industry
    • Set up construction industry development board/authority/council
    • Expand inter-disciplinary programme of education, training and research
    • Develop ASEAN skill standard and certification
    • Standardize codes of practice
    • Create an ASEAM common construction market


  • What construction contractors’ associations and related bodies can do to help themselves
    • boost construction-banking co-operation and support
    • settle conflicts between clients and contractors
    • prepare for the ASEAN decade of construction and development

    The said symposium identified the following common problems in the ASEAN region:
    • Building materials price hike
    • Rising wage levels
    • Financial and cash flow snags
    • Construction technology development

    Vietnam Association of Construction Contractors (VACC) was admitted as a member of ACF at the ACF Council meeting held in October 2003 in Singapore. Contractors association from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos PDR, Myanmar have yet to be admitted as ACF member.

    SCAL has been publishing the annual “The Contractor’s Directory” incorporating membership database from ICA, MBAM, PCA, SCAL and TCA

    A study on “Impact of AFTA on ACF Member Countries” was commissioned at the ACF Council meeting held in Singapore in October 2003. Report of the findings was tabled at 20th ACF Council meeting held on 11th June 2004 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    In general, the study finds that ACF members have the potential of benefiting from AFTA as trade liberalization initiatives will continue to take place in the medium to long term irrespective of any political impediments that may slow the process in the short term. There is a need for members to understand the likely impact of AFTA on their businesses and to prepare themselves for competition with foreign firms.

    The study reported that numerous issues have been identified at the country level as contributing factors to the slow pace of cross-border movement of construction materials and services. At the regional level, three common issues are considered relevant. The first issue is capital inadequacy and difficulties in getting the necessary financial assistance and services when bidding for foreign projects. The second is the lack of understanding of what and how the trade and economic liberalization will affect specific local players in construction and construction-related industries. The third issues is with regard to a reluctance among construction players within the region to work together as it is perceived that they all share similar knowledge and expertise. Hence, there seems to be little opportunity to complement each other through alliance or joint-venture.

    The study lays down several recommendations for ACF member associations. The first is to develop a database of its members for easy reference in the event where a member needs to find a suitable partner among ACF member firms in bidding for a project. The second is to develop a database of information that describe the procedure of doing business in each member country as well as news on business opportunities such as Government tenders or invitation to bid for international projects. The third is to set up focused teams within ACF that are able to handle communications with Governments and ASEAN Secretariat in assisting, lobbying and providing feedbacks in the development of policies that are related to the construction industry.