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 Post subject: Sri Lankan companies to build 15000 houses in Qatar
 Post Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 4:47 pm 
Sri Lankan companies to build 15000 houses in Qatar

Sri Lanka Chamber of Construction Industry signed a contract to build 345 residential villas on Salwa Road in Qatar. MoUs have been entered into to build 15,000 houses and an 80km stretch of road in the country, the country's Minister of Construction Industry said yesterday.

Saturday 09th of February 2008
@ The Peninsula


(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Sri Lanka's construction sector has signed a QR439m contract to build 345 residential villas on Salwa Road. MoUs have been entered into to build 15,000 houses and an 80km stretch of road in the country, Rajitha Seneratne, the country's Minister of Construction Industry said yesterday.

Seneratne is heading a delegation made up of 25 construction and construction-related companies who are members of the Sri Lanka Chamber of Construction Industry (CCI) which will be here until February 13. Delegates will be interacting with local construction firms and officials of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry during the course of the visit.

Dakshitha Thalgodapitiya, CCI CEO and Secretary-General, told reporters yesterday: "November last year was the first time we have ever embarked on an export of construction-related services. When we chose this mission, we chose one with multiple disciplines. We want to change the image of Sri Lanka from a country that provides labour to one as a destination that provides expertise."

The CCI will be opening an office in the QCCI premises by April, he said.

S B Atugoda, Sri Lanka's ambassador here, said he felt there were three phases of migration of Sri Lankans here. The first lot was professionals, involved in telecommunications, the hospitality industry and the engineering and energy sectors. The second phase brought in unskilled labourers while the present phase is witnessing visits by industrialist and entrepreneurs.

"Sri Lanka is a country that can offer technology and expertise. At 92 percent, it has the highest literacy rate in Asia. But people have moved out because the economy did not catch up with the educational standards," said Atugoda.

Thalgodaditiya said Qatar, as an emerging market, offered many opportunities for firms from his country. "The export of our services is something new for us. The construction sector accounts for six to seven percent of our economy and its contribution to the fixed capital of our country is around 60 percent." he said.

Construction and its related fields come easy to the Sri Lankans. "We have 2,157 years (of experience) in the construction industry," said the Minister.


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