ROB Oliver, chief executive of the Construction Equipment Association (CEA), has ended 2020 by delivering a positive message for the plant sector.
Despite the challenges of the past 12 months, his New Year message highlights the opportunities on the horizon.
He said, “We can’t ignore the continuing challenges arising from Covid-19, but we now have more certainty around Brexit. We will have a few bumpy weeks working with government on the application of the detail of the UK-EU agreement but at least now we know the direction of travel.
“Throughout 2020, construction sites have kept working under unprecedented conditions. Our priority for 2021 is to hold government to their commitment to ‘Build Back Better’ and ensure we have an infrastructure fit for the future. It’s not only about the UK market, of course, as we need to get behind manufacturers’ export effort. 7 in 10 of the construction machines we manufacture find overseas markets. We have to renew that effort as countries recover from the tragic shock of the coronavirus.”
Rob Oliver highlighted the following five points:
- Coronavirus: Covid-19 will continue to have a massive impact on the lives and livelihoods of those involved in our industry. Helping our members through this unprecedented challenge will be our top priority.
- Brexit: we are learning new rules. The CEA’s role is to help its members through novel trading conditions, be they, exporters or importers. In particular, we will need to be sensitive to the specific challenges of the supply chain.
- The Economy: as the economy recovers, there is general recognition that there are some tried and tested boosters – not least investment in construction. It provides jobs and assists productivity. Construction equipment manufacturers stand ready to make a major contribution to this campaign.
- Innovation: as we need to do things differently and better, there will be no clearer time to embrace the new technology that CEA members offer. In the digital and automated world, they have some terrific products which will mould the direction of the construction sector.
- Environment: the overarching concern (beyond Covid and Brexit), is the creation of a world economy that can shape its future within an environment that citizens can live, breathe and prosper. Our industry’s contribution to this in terms of air quality and minimal environmental impact is our goal.