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Okinawan contractors in double bind

Date Posted: 2001-08-22

Okinawan construction companies are in a struggle lately with a steep decline in new orders since April.

According to a research made by the Bank of Japan, Naha Branch, the total amount of orders accepted by 21 main construction companies in Okinawa, dropped roughly by 26 percent in April, 34 percent in May and 35 percent in June, compared to the same months last year. The bank officials also analyze that one of the biggest reasons is that major general contractors from mainland Japan have spread their area of operations all the way to Okinawa, because of the continuing economic slump has made the business difficult in this field around the nation. Because of their size and financial resources, they have been able to muscle their way into Okinawan market making it difficult for the much smaller local companies to compete.

Currently, sixty percent of the total construction investment comes from the government, and the rest from private institutions. The current government policy calling for cutting the government construction contracts by ten percent does not help.

Even though Okinawa Construction Association has pledged the government to take measures to guarantee Okinawan companies a preferential treatment when bidding, it seems that the un-welcome situation for local construction companies will continue.

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