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March 1, 2019

Annual capital works expenditure to exceed $100 billion
The latest Budget Speech points out that in the next few years, the annual capital works expenditure is expected to rise to over $100 billion, and the annual total construction output will increase to over $300 billion, covering the construction of public and private housing, implementation of hospital development and redevelopment projects, development and expansion of new towns and new development areas, as well as construction of a third runway for the airport.
     In order to enhance the standard and efficiency of works supervision, digitisation of the supervision system will be promoted. Pilot projects will be launched to motivate site supervisors and contractors to use innovative technology to collect real-time data on site environment and works progress for record, monitoring and analysis purposes. The Development Bureau (DEVB) will set up a task force to plan and co-ordinate inter-departmental work in this regard.
     The government will also upgrade the Project Cost Management Office and rename it as the Project Strategy and Governance Office for implementing strategic initiatives and enhancing capabilities in cost surveillance and project governance. A holistic approach to strengthen cost management and uplift the performance of public works projects will be adopted. Moreover, the DEVB is gearing up for the establishment of a Centre of Excellence for Major Project Leaders to equip public officers with more innovative minds and enhanced leadership skills for delivering public works projects.
     In view of the challenges of labour shortage and an ageing workforce in the construction industry, and the keen demand for skilled workers arising from infrastructure development projects in the short to medium term, DEVB will allocate $200 million to expand the apprenticeship scheme for the construction industry to cover more trades with manpower shortage, and increase the allowances for new trainees pursuing one-year full time programmes to encourage and attract in-service workers to pursue continuing education.
     Besides, the government will lead the construction industry to implement Construction 2.0 for improving productivity, quality, safety and environmental performance of the industry by advocating innovation, professionalisation and revitalisation.

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