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This Week in Construction (and Other) News | 30 August 2020

An ambitious rail project, Healthy Towns, and a surprising omission all feature in this week's round-up:

  • Thailand eyes a new rail hub in a historic location.

  • Singapore continues to promote green projects.

  • The UK construction industry hasn't made the cut for Brexit talks.

Thailand Turning Historic Capital into a Rail Hub of the Future

The former Siamese capital of Ayutthaya is well known in Asia as an area of historical significance. But it could soon also be known as the high-speed rail hub of Thailand.

Situated north of the Thai capital, Bangkok, Ayutthaya is one of three cities in the kingdom cited for "transit-oriented development projects". The US$1 billion project is scheduled to start in 2021 and will involve building a new station, a commercial zone and, latterly, infrastructure to promote tourism in the city.

Check out the full story here.

Singapore Government takes Lead in Modernising Construction

Singapore's Business Times reported this week that the government plans to take the lead in modernising the city-state's construction industry. As well as utilising methods aimed at reducing labour-intensive works, the plans include creating greener zones and "Healthy Towns".

In an addendum to the President's Address, minister for National Development Desmond Lee said:

We will drive research, innovation and digitalisation across the built environment value chain, from construction to property transactions services and facilities management.

Lee' vision also includes creating more nature parks and enhancing protection for the country's nature reserves, introducing "more natural landscapes and water bodies in our gardens and paths, and integrate nature into our urban areas and pathways."

Construction Left out of Brexit Talks

The protracted process of Brexit talks between the EU and UK continues, albeit without the input of the UK's construction sector. Construction Index reported this week that "Brewers, distillers, food producers, financial services, carmakers, chemical companies and even pop stars" have been turned to for informing the government's negotiating position, but the construction industry has been left out in the cold.

Eleven Trade Advisory Groups ("TAGs") have been created to assist talks across the following industries:

  • Agri-Food

  • Automotive, Aerospace and Marine

  • British Manufacturing and Consumer Goods

  • Investment

  • Life Sciences

  • Tech and Telecoms

  • Chemicals

  • Financial Services

  • Professional Advisory Services

  • Transport Services

  • Creative Industries

Construction is one of the top-5 employers in the country but, bizarrely, didn't make the cut as an advisory group. It remains to be seen if a U-turn will be made to include a voice from one of the UK's largest and most important industries.

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