Covid-19 outbreak likely to affect Fiji construction industry

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SUVA (FBC News/Pacnews) — There are fears that the construction industry in Fiji will suffer a decline because of the deadly Covid-19 virus.

Businesses are now facing an increasing number of challenges due to the outbreak that needs to be addressed and mitigated and the construction industry is no exception.

The building industry is contemplating what will transpire and looking at ways to avoid delays in their projects.

Economist Dr. Rohit Kishore said the construction industry is bracing for slowing economic growth, at least in the short term.

“We seeing the slowing down of the construction industry. As you know in previous years a lot of buildings were being developed. This is simple things we can see around. You see some of the buildings and projects are on hold.”

Dr. Kishore said should the virus not be contained in a few weeks, a reduction in supplies from China could cause a slowdown in any import dependent sector.

“Right now we need some positive news in the economy. If we start talking with business people, we start moving around, looking at stimulus packages that will bring positive news in the economy.”

Suva Retailers Association president Vinay Kumar said some issues have been raised by one of their hardware associates that glass and mirror is not coming through due to the closure of some ports.

“As we go on we may find out some items may be getting less which I predicted a month ago. China is not fully open yet so some of the shipments may be delayed and we may be running out of some items so as the time goes on we will find out more.”

Construction Industry Council chief executive Vijay Naidu believes that there is enough stock of construction material in the country for now; however, the sector might be affected in the coming months.

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