IJM Corp Bhd will focus on expanding overseas, especially in India, and seeks new markets in West Asia, said chief executive officer and managing director Datuk Krishnan Tan.
This, he said, was in view of the very competitive environment for the construction sector in Malaysia.
IJM would also explore opportunities in Sri Lanka and China, he added.
“The Middle East is seeing enormous construction activity and can potentially be an even bigger market when stability returns to Iraq and non-coalition countries allowed to participate in the reconstruction of that country,” he said in an interview with Bernama.
“Qatar is busy with jobs for the Asian Games, Dubai is witnessing a property boom and other countries are expanding their infrastructure,” he added.
IJM is one of the most active players in road construction in India and has joint venture infrastructure investments in Latin America, China, India and Vietnam. The group has also completed projects in Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Mauritius and Sri Lanka.
IJM's current major projects involve the construction of roads and buildings in Malaysia and India.
Recently, IJM was among 23 Malaysian firms that participated in the Dubai Construction Show.
“We do not expect immediate results from this Dubai show. However, it will be an important step for us in our market diversification strategy of targeting the Middle East as a new core area for our construction business,” Tan said.
However, international markets such as India, China and West Asia, while offering big business opportunities, were also very competitive, he said. “The challenge then is to find a niche where you can still earn a profit,” he said.
Tan said the decline in the US dollar against the euro, yen and other currencies could also have cost impacts (inflationary pressures) that needed to be closely monitored.
Rising commodity prices are another area of concern through their direct and indirect cost impacts on end products and services like steel, fuel and power.
Another challenge would be to execute existing projects expeditiously to maintain profit margins, Tan said. – Bernama
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