Asian economies will form the world’s most dominant construction market by 2025


By 2025, 41% of global construction activity will be happening in today’s emerging Asian economies – up from 31% today.

Emerging Asia includes the powerhouse economies of China and India, but also economies such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and others.

Today China, as we know, is still the main driver of construction growth in the region, but we will see the emergence of new “Asian Tigers” – Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines – which will help propel growth.

These countries’ $350bn market will grow by an average of around 6% per annum to 2025.

Indonesia, in particular, will become a heavyweight construction market. By 2025, it is expected to be the world’s fifth largest construction market, behind China, US, India and Japan.

Indonesia is expected to benefit from growth in export-orientated manufacturing, as well as growth in population and urbanisation – and is the world’s third largest housing market by number of new homes needed by 2025, ahead of the US.

By 2025, construction activity in emerging Asia will have doubled in just 20 years

These may be the new kids on the block, but the opportunities in emerging Asia’s largest economies – China and India – are still vast.

Growth in construction in China will continue to slow, but nonetheless, the construction market in China alone is expected to be over twice the size of the US by 2025, having overtaken the US construction market in 2010, and will account for more than 25% of construction globally by 2025.

Despite the expected rebalancing of China’s economy, away from investment in infrastructure, and a slowing of China’s population, continued urbanisation is still expected to drive growth.

In addition, growth in middle income households in China, with over 30 million households expected to earn more than $30,000 per annum by 2020, will drive growth in areas of construction such as distribution, retail, education and other similar sectors.

India’s share of the global construction market is expected to increase from 4% to 7% by 2025, overtaking Japan as the world’s third largest construction market. Despite its current problems, fall in the value of the rupee and widening trade deficit, India will be a $1 trillion construction market by 2025, as higher growing population and high rates of urbanisation drive growth in construction.

A total of 270 million new homes are needed to meet demographic needs in China and India alone between 2012 and 2025, mostly in the affordable end of the market.

Let’s put emerging Asia in context.

Construction globally is expected to grow by more than 70%, from $8.7 trillion today to $15 trillion by 2025, with the construction markets of emerging Asia expected to be the fastest growing, averaging 6.9% per annum. This is compared with a global average rate of growth of 4.3% per annum and just 1% per annum in Western Europe.

By 2025, construction activity in emerging Asia will have doubled in just 20 years. Construction markets in emerging Asia will be almost three times the size of construction markets in North America by 2025 and over three times the size of Western Europe.

The dynamics of emerging Asia are currently being tested, with increased volatility in markets today, but the underlying fundamentals mean that the region will rise to become the most dominant construction market in the world by 2025.

Graham Robinson is director of Global Construction Perspectives