With $2.8 trillion worth of projects planned or ongoing in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, international firms are increasingly eyeing the construction market in the region. At a recent Deloitte Breakfast Briefing session, a select group of key Chinese construction industry executives and service professionals were given insight into the latest trends and developments in the GCC construction industry and discussed best practice in construction project/portfolio management. The event, which took place on June 9 at Deloitte offices in Dubai was led by Cynthia Corby, Deloitte Middle East Construction Industry Lead Partner, Andrew Jeffery, Managing Director on Capital Projects, and Zain Hedge, Director in Forensic, and supported by Madeleine Todd, Chinese Services Group Manager at Deloitte.
“There is a growing number of Chinese construction and construction-related companies coming to do business in the Middle East,” said Cynthia Corby. “Deloitte, with its extensive cross-border network across functions and industries is adequately placed to anticipate and address such clients’ business needs in this exciting yet challenging part of the world. With a global reach and regional expertise, Deloitte connects the expectations between policy-makers, industry associations and market participants, bringing in relevant insights while providing services and solutions that are effective, implementable and sustainable.”
During the Deloitte Breakfast Briefing, Andrew Jeffery delivered a presentation on “Regaining Control of a Portfolio” employing a case study of a major listed MENA contractor with a diverse portfolio in multiple locations. The presentation looked at areas that are fundamental to establishing a first class governance framework for a project/portfolio and explored the Deloitte Procurement and Management of Construction Contracts Handbook that acts as a complete reference for project procurement and management, while also being a live document that is continually updated to meet future needs and changes of a client’s governance and increasing maturity level.
“We are observing a trend of projects in the region involving increased risk and complexity, and this is occurring while globally contractors are seeking a “more for less” approach,” said Jeffery. “This necessitates a rigorous and methodical approach to governance as well as a deep understanding of the individual markets themselves.”
Also during the event attendees were given an introduction to Deloitte’s 2015 Powers of Construction report, titled “Construction – The economic barometer for the region”. This provided a project market overview for each GCC country, as well as the highlights of a survey conducted in March and April 2015 among CEOs and CFOs of construction companies from the region. The findings indicate their views on a range of issues impacting the construction industry, including key concerns and optimism levels, with the latter showing an increase on 2014.
“Based on the strong interest from attendees in having more interactive discussions in future, there is the possibility to see this Deloitte event develop further into a continuing forum of dialogue between construction industry advisors and the Chinese construction community in the Middle East region,” added Corby.