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Faint sun rises in the East for struggling UK firms

A SILVER lining for British construction firms struggling to compete in South East Asia has emerged from the economic cloud covering Japan and Korea, according to one of Europe's leading business strategists.

Research by Miles Dodd, the regional director for Asia at Paris-based business school INSEAD, has shown that the economic downturn in Japan and Korea has undermined the financial strength of native contractors. Their ability to compete in markets of vital importance to UK construction, such as Hong Kong, Malaysia and mainland China is now weaker.

Dodd, who is speaking at the NCE-organised Construction 98 on 21 October in London, describes the state of the Japanese construction industry as 'appalling'. In the financial year ending March 1998, three contractors between them lost over pounds500M.

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