Government-backed body could bring ‘right kind of standards into the industry’, says Kez Taylor
The formation of a contractors’ association in Saudi Arabia could bring positive benefits to the kingdom’s construction industry, the CEO of ALEC has said.
Kez Taylor said he welcomed the creation of such a body as it would add value to the industry. However, he cautioned that if it was to have an effect, it would need to be established in the right way.
“What it can do is bring the right kinds of standards into the industry. If you don’t have a strong contracting association, what can happen is that you have an ‘A-grade’ contractor and an ‘E-grade’ contractor competing on the same field,” he told MEConstructionNews.com.
The Saudi government earlier this month approved the establishment of a special body intended to speed up construction projects stalled by bureaucracy or a lack of coordination.
The Saudi Association for Contractors is expected to handle matters related to contractors’ business including the issue of permits and visas. The Saudi Press Agency said that the country’s trade minister had been tasked with creating the association’s first board.
Local media added that board members would be named within 60 days of the announcement, and that the association would constitute the official umbrella of the contractor sector in the kingdom.
Taylor pointed out that the introduction of construction-focused regulations and legislation by the UAE government had had a positive impact on the industry. He cited the policing of the midday work break as an example of how a strong government directive can prove beneficial to the industry.
“[The midday break] has been strongly policed here, the ruling was made and it’s been adhered to in general. So in this part of the world, it’s good. In terms of health and safety, something similar should happen as well.
“I think the local authorities should set certain criteria, in terms of ensuring that certain practices are adhered to. There is a massive difference across the industry in the region.”