Manuel Furer, Holcim, Regional Director Concrete & Aggregates, Singapore

Population growth and urbanization will continue to globally drive growth in construction and the demand for construction materials, including cement and concrete. Emerging Asia is a key driver of construction growth and Asia is rapidly becoming the largest construction market, with an estimated share of 46% of total global construction spend by 2020.

Four key trends in Asia's construction industry are the need to improve productivity in construction, the construction of ever taller buildings, the need to build and repair road infrastructure fast and issues related to availability and quality of sand used for concrete.

Innovative concrete solutions which address these trends are self-levelling concrete, high-strength and light-weight concrete, ultra-fast road repair solutions using fast-setting and -hardening concrete and high-performance manufactured sand.

Asia World Largest Construction Market
Figure 1: Asia to become the world's largest construction market by 2020.

These innovative concrete solutions have been developed, tested-bedded and are being used in various markets in Emerging Asia. They are examples of how the concrete- and aggregate industry can meaningfully address rapidly changing construction needs and add value to industry and society at large. Close cooperation between the concrete-, aggregates- and construction industry as well as other stakeholders such as government entities and academic institutions is required to promote innovation in concrete. One such platform enabling cross-stakeholder cooperation is the Centre of Excellence in Singapore, a concrete development centre jointly funded by Holcim and the Government of Singapore.

Emerging Asia Will Continue to Drive Global Construction Growth

Population growth and progressing urbanization will continue to globally drive growth in construction and the demand for construction materials, including cement and concrete.Construction globally is expected to rise over 70% (USD 6.3 trillion) to USD 15 trillion by 2025 compared to USD 8.7 trillion in 2012 and that in future, over 60% of global construction activity will be undertaken in emerging markets [1].

Emerging Asia is a key driver of construction growth and Asia is rapidly becoming the largest construction market; with an estimated share of 46% of total construction spend by 2020 [2].

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