ACF Summit Discusses Asean Standards

The 44th ASEAN Constructors Federation (ACF) Council Meeting met in September to discuss progress toward achieving ASEAN-wide construction standards. 

The ACF, which represents constructors in the South East Asian region, attended the summit chaired by the Singapore Constructors Association Ltd (SCAL) at the Mandarin Orchard venue, Singapore on 28 September, 2017. The one-day gathering provided an opportunity to discuss and assess the numerous challenges being faced as part of the integration process.

The ACSTST program aims to produce a single standard for construction workers across ASEAN, but establishing vocational training centres in each respective nation remains a problematic issue. Due to different requirements, criteria and assessment methods in each country, harmonising the minimum requirement for each level has not yet been concluded. Each member country was asked at the meeting to go back and review their requirements again. 

To produce tangible results, the Master Builders Association of Malaysia (MBAM) made a suggestion to the Board regarding the possibility of hiring external consultants to compare variables of each country, to harmonise them and to write up one ACF ACSTST standard. In addition, the board discussed for the possibility of hiring an external professional consultant to compare modules, requirements and criteria from each country and how to move the program forward. 

The Cambodia Constructors Association (CCA) was also urged to speed up work on this program as the board aims to receive the respective criteria for worker standards from each country by the end of this year. The Thai Constructors Association (TCA) contacted the Laos National Construction Association (LACA) and requested they send information on their constitution, registration and some activities. However, according to the TCA, Laos need to set up independent contractors not under government for this process.

Amending the ACF constitution was another talking point at this year's summit. The ACF President sees the need to revisit and review the Constitution in order to bring it up-to-date and suit the changing environment. The TCA, being the secretariat office, will work together with the ACF president and Secretary-General to draft the amended clauses and will send them to members for comments.

Since the ACF now has a new member and the host country rotates, the ACF President also saw the need to write up a ‘Manual of Standard Procedures’ for the host country. In this role, the TCA will help to draft the procedures and circulate to members for comment.

On the administrative side, the members also shared insights on ways to improve the ACF website; making it more informative and communicative so that not only each association, but also the ASEAN people as a whole can benefit from the information hosted on the website.

The Philippines Constructor Association (PCA) proposed the creation of a Members’ Corner where the minutes of all past meetings are included and secured by password. The SCAL also informed the Board that the initial cost of setting up the Members’ Corner is USD2150 with an annual maintenance fee of USD1700.

The MBAM recommend moving the webmaster to countries where expenses are cheaper. Each member country will also go back and check the cost of adapting the ACF website. The MBAM also suggested that the information should be stored on Cloud, and each member country will go back and look into the idea of how to do it.

Next year, the Indonesia Constructors Association (ICA) will become the next ACF President. The ASEAN Constructors Federation (ACF) was established on 30th May 1985 with its inaugural meeting held in Jakarta, Indonesia. For 27 years ACF has been continuously holding two council meetings each year wherein council members discuss business matters arising.

To date, ACF has eight constructors association members representing private construction-related companies across South East Asia are: Cambodia Constructors Association(CCA), Indonesian Constructors Association(ICA), Master Builders Association of Malaysia(MBAM), Philippines Constructors Association(PCA), Singapore Contractors Association Limited (SCAL), Thai Contractors Association(TCA), Vietnam Association of Construction Contractors(VACC) and Myanmar Construction Entrepreneurs Association(MCEA).

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