Sat, 13 Aug 1994

Big local contractors told to look for jobs overseas

JAKARTA (JP): Big contractors in Indonesia should set their aims high, going after bigger projects or even looking for works overseas, instead of bidding for small projects in the country, an executive of a state-owned construction company says.

Subianto, president of PT Pembangunan Perumahan, said they should leave the small projects to the smaller companies, perhaps members of Gapensi, the association of small and medium scale construction firms.

Subianto told reporters on Thursday that with the economy increasing at a more rapid pace, there is bound to be enough work for everyone, and therefore the smaller contractors should be given the chance to win some of the smaller projects.

"If big contractors continue to make bids for projects like for building fences, they will kill the small ones," he said.

Subianto said the big contractors should compete for projects which are open for international biddings and therefore measure their capability in facing foreign bidders.

Those who are able to outbid foreign bidders could set their sights on overseas jobs, he added.

Subianto was speaking from experience.

His company, which is supervised by the Ministry of Public Works, has recently won the Lloyd's Registry of International Standard Organization ISO-9000 certifications for its management system, and construction projects of tall buildings, dams, tunnels, irrigation work, port civil engineering, electricity, industrial plants, bridges and machinery and electrical works.


Pembangunan Perumahan is also the first state enterprise to win international certificates on quality assurances from England, Germany, Holland, Australia and New Zealand.

There are a number of similar international quality registers such as AT & T's Quality Register, Bureau Veritas Quality Int. and Quality Management Institute --all in the U.S.--, Canadian Standard Association (CSA), Canadian General Standard Board (CGSB) and British Standard Institution (BSI).

Subianto asserted that if more and more local companies embrace internationally recognized quality assurances, it would change the negative perception of Indonesian companies abroad.

The high cost of red tape in Indonesia has been criticized by many as a scapegoat for forcing both local and foreign companies to resort to ill-practices, such as bribing, to win tenders.

Subianto noted that a number of local companies actually have enough potential to sell their services abroad provided they are given chances and facilities.

"I believe Indonesians are able to compete in the international arena," he said. "They are like neglected gold; if they are rubbed, they will shine abroad." (rid)