KUALA LUMPUR: About 15,000 people are targeted to attend the International Construction Week (ICW) which is to be hosted by the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) from April 10 to April 14.
CIDB chief executive Datuk Ahmad Asri Abdul Hamid announced that the targeted 15,000 would be made up of visitors to its exhibitions and well as those attending its seminars.
According to CIDB, 12,000 people had attended the seminar last year and 10 per cent of the participants were international visitors and industry players.
Ahmad Asri who spoke to the press during a briefing here said the core component of the five-day event is Ecobuild Southeast Asia.
He said events under Ecobuild are set to take place from April 12 to 14 and this is the fourth time that Malaysia has hosted the component.
Ahmad Asri said Ecobuild, which is a world renowned exhibition in the field, had started off in the United Kingdom and expanded to South America before making its way to Southeast Asia.
He further said that as a result ICW had blossomed from a centralised platform promoting construction to an event which was planned to ensure sustainability of the industry.
Ahmad Asri added that ICW is also the birthplace of the construction industry transformation programme. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had announced the transformation plan at ICW 2015.
He said ICW was a platform to disseminate and share technological breakthroughs gripping the industry.
Ahmad Asri said CIDB was working with 34 partners to get the mega scale event, which would be mostly held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, off the ground.
Its partners include the Works Ministry and Chartered Institute of Building Malaysia. It is also supported by the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), boards of surveyors, architects and engineers, among others.
The event, among others, features free seminars on 46 topics, a career fair, competitions, and industry roundtable as well as two technology symposiums.
ICW 2017 will be officially launch on April 13 by Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof. The theme is Towards Enhancing Quality and Safety in Construction. The Department of Occupation Safety and Health will also hold a talk.
Ahmad Asri said that industry players should not be myopic when it comes to safety as it can be cost effective. He said safety had to be prioritised to secure higher levels of productivity and quality, and in that ensure profit.
He also pointed out that fatalities among construction workers were a concern and that technology in the industry is poised to level the playing field as higher technology means it can be less labour intensive, thus the focus can then be on recruiting more skilled workers.
Herein, he said, is an opportunity for locals to excel, and in the long run, the industry can reduce its reliance on foreign hands.