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ICAK Hosts COVID-19 Response Video Conference for Korean Contractors in UAE
On November 25, the International Contractors Association of Korea (ICAK) announced that it had hosted a video conference on the 24th with officials from major construction companies with a presence in the UAE.
The conference featured five Abu Dhabi- and Dubai-based branch managers from Ssangyong E&C, GS E&C, Samsung C&T, Samsung Engineering and Hyundai E&C.
“Despite COVID-19-induced challenges, Korean contractors won overseas contracts worth a total of USD 26.4 billion, a nearly 50-percent increase from last year. In particular, in the UAE alone, they secured projects totaling USD 2 billion, a three-fold increase year-on-year,“ Lee Kun-Ki, Chairman of the ICAK said. “Such strong performance was made possible by the unwavering efforts of these companies to secure contracts. We will try as hard as we can to reflect the ideas of today’s participants in our policies.“
“Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, securing contracts is not easy, but we are making every effort,“ one company official said. “We are managing our business, with a focus on preventing the spread of the pandemic.“
“One major hassle for Korean workers dispatched overseas to earn foreign currency is the mandatory two-week self-quarantine for all arrivals on their return to Korea. If authorities can loosen this requirement for those confirmed negative for COVID-19, they will be able to more actively engage in construction and bidding activities,“ he added in a tone that indicated a request.
Since January, the ICAK has been running a COVID-19 task force under the auspices of the Korean government. The association has strived to support the industry through diverse efforts, including the granting of exceptional approvals for taking face masks out of the country (two approvals for a total of 260,000 masks), the provision of non-contact medical services and the loosening of self-quarantine standards for overseas construction workers.
The ICAK is planning to actively cooperate with the government to help ensure the COVID-19 pandemic subsides as soon as possible while stepping up efforts to resolve difficulties facing Korean contractors seeking to win overseas construction orders.