Building up a bright future
The future of Hong Kong’s construction industry is bright. Census and Statistics Department figures show the total gross value of work carried out by main contractors in the first quarter of 2012 rose 15.9 per cent year-on-year to HK$37 billion. The value of work at private sector sites hit HK$11.2 billion, up 41.2 per cent, while work at public sector sites grew 17 per cent in value.
In the 2011/12 Budget, the government estimated that total spending on infrastructure would rise 45 per cent year-on-year to HK$58 billion. Ten major projects are being rolled out, and a proposed third airport runway is under discussion.
The mainland is another potential market for Hong Kong architects. In 2005 to 2010, China devoted some 9 per cent of GDP to public building and improvement projects. The central government said in its 12th Five-Year Plan that it will continue the trend of increasing spending.
Under the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (Cepa), Hong Kong professionals who have obtained the Class-1 registered architect qualification can act as partners in setting up offices on the mainland. Those who obtained it by mutual recognition can register and practise in Guangdong, regardless of whether they do so in Hong Kong.
Legislative councillor Patrick Lau Sau-shing
As told to Chiu Po-sze