By Daniel Hunter
British businesses in the construction sector were given a boost today (Tuesday) when the Business Secretary Vince Cable confirmed the signing of two new contracts in Sweden with an order value of nearly £30 million.
UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) helped the two British companies, Astins and Measom, to win contracts for the New Karolinska Solna (NKS) University Hospital in Stockholm — the world’s largest hospital build and servicing project, and one of the most modern hospitals in Europe. 95 jobs have been created or safeguarded in the two UK companies due to these contract wins.
The deals are part of a collaborative project with Swedish construction company Skanska, to secure drywall partitioning contracts and UKTI has worked in collaboration with Skanska from the early stages of the project.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "The UK has world-class expertise in architecture, design and engineering, and British companies, from the largest to the smallest, are leading the way in sustainable construction solutions.
"The announcement that Astins and Measom have secured high-value contracts on a major Swedish infrastructure projects underlines the fact that construction is a sector where Britain has a strong competitive edge and shows why we are working hard to help more UK firms gain business overseas."
For companies looking to succeed in the Swedish construction market, winning business is only one key element. Understanding Swedish labour law, building legislation, taxes and the price index are all crucial to success.
UKTI’s collaboration with Skanska on this project involved managing the market entry process by assisting and supporting the UK companies wishing to explore this project further, and ensuring they had the information required to 'price-up' their tenders so they were realistic and competitive. This process ensured that the UK companies were successful when pitted against established domestic Swedish bidders as well as existing and potential international competitors.
Andrew Measom, Managing Director of Measom, said: “This project signifies a remarkable milestone within the company’s development, and is a great opportunity to establish Measom as a specialist delivery partner in Europe. Having access to UKTI and its range of professional services was invaluable to us and since securing the contract the organisation has continued to offer help and advice. We are sincerely grateful.”
Dominic Tutt, Managing Director, Astins Bygg AB, said: "We are thrilled to be involved in working in Sweden to deliver this project. It represents a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase our expertise in the Swedish market and to learn from our Swedish colleagues. We are convinced that our joint collaborative working practices will result in a world class facility upon completion.
“Our thanks must go to UKTI who have supported us every step of the way and continue to do so now. We plan to rely on their support going forward as we look to continue our expansion into Europe and beyond.”
Johan Karlström, CEO of Skanska AB said: “Our cooperation with Skanska UK and other UK companies has been instrumental in the bidding phase as well as in the construction of the NKS hospital. Besides bringing valuable knowledge and experience of major healthcare projects they have also contributed to the work place safety of the NKS project.”
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