Move will make firm the second top ten UK consultant to enter the growing market

Arup will move into Indonesia, one of the world’s fastest growing construction markets, the new head of the UK, Middle East and North Africa region has said.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Building, Robert Care, Arup’s UK-MEA chairman, said that Arup would open an office in the country this year, making it only the second top UK consultant to enter the rapidly growing market.

Care, who took control of the region in January, said: “We’ve done rail projects [and] a number of projects there but we don’t have a physical presence. But I would say in the next few months we will have a physical presence.”

He said the firm was attracted by the country’s burgeoning market and because Arup already has a substantial presence in neighbouring Australia.

“It’s the largest Muslim country in the world; 230 million people on the doorstep of Australia,” he said.

“And we’ve worked there in a number of ways already, through Arup international development, which is a non-profit part of our business, doing work after the 2004 tsunami.”

Global construction spending is expected to increase by £3 trillion from 2010 to 2020, and about 4% of this growth is expected to come from Indonesia, an increase of £113bn, according to a report by Global Construction Perspectives and Oxford Economics.

The only countries set to contribute more to global construction growth over the next decade are China, the United States and India.

Graham Robinson, one of the authors of the Global Construction 2020 report, said that there was huge demand for roads, marine work, mining, manufacturing and rail-related construction in the country.

“If you look globally at construction over the next decade, about seven countries will provide two-thirds of the growth and Indonesia is one of them,” he said.

Mott MacDonald is the only other top 10 UK consultant to have offices in Indonesia, in Banda Aceh and Jakarta.

Davis Langdon & Seah, the Asian arm of Davis Langdon that was not bought when US engineering giant Aecom acquired the rest of the Davis Langdon global group, also has an office in the country, as do US engineers URS and Aecom.