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Monday 18.11.2019 | Name days: Doloresa, Aleksandrs

UPB Board Chairman: Scandinavian markets offer better experience and competitiveness rise

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Construction holding company UPB Chairman Uldis Pilens

Scandinavian markets provide greater experience in engineering solutions and safety issues matters, as well as, considering that we are neighbours, they enhance our potential market competitiveness in the Baltic States market, construction holding company UPB Chairman Uldis Pilens (Uldis Pīlēns) said in an interview with the business portal

He explained the constructed units in foreign countries differ both in size and functions. A whole city block is being built in the Swedish city Mersta – six residential buildings with six to twelve storeys. In Upsala, two large agricultural university research centres have been built, each 20 000 square metre of acreage. While in Sweden and Norway many other objects are being built or have already been built: office buildings, hotels, hospitals, prisons, industrial buildings, railway stations, stadiums, residential and commercial complexes.

«All this has been designed by UPB, manufactured in Latvia, transported to Sweden and assembled there. In Germany, a unit of Bochum University has been completed and, currently, we are constructing the Faculty building of Wuppertal University; but in Darmstadt – a mental hospital. In Germany we mostly work on facade construction, whereas in Sweden the construction works are more related to concrete and metal structures,» specified Pilens.

«Foreign markets turn out to be more challenging, although initially they seem very simple and easily conquered, as there are not as strict conditions as in Russian or Arabic markets.  On the other hand, strictly defined and civilized European markets, including Scandinavian, are more stable and secure in terms of contracts and payments execution. These markets run much lower business risks, the only thing is – we must adopt their rules. It is more complicated and takes longer time to enter the Scandinavian market, yet all this is justified by the increase in our competitiveness,» Pilens emphasized.

The holding company UPB started its foreign market business activities in Iceland, where the very first units were built. The major one is Reykjavik cultural and leisure centre. UPB subsidiary still operates in Iceland.

«We are currently launching local businesses in each market UPB starts operating within, we are trying to involve local employees as well. The construction sector cannot be established as 100% export, local partners and employees team must be brought in. All the assembly works abroad are done by workers from Latvia, though. I suppose, if UPB development in the foreign markets achieves even greater scale, then in our enterprises in Germany, Sweden and Norway we will also try to involve the local workforce. The tendencies show everything leads to it, because the tenders where we participate and the construction unit projects are getting more and more extensive» told Pilens.

Presently, the company’s foreign markets have levelled; and Norway, Sweden and Germany’s markets are equally important. The volumes in Iceland and Danish markets are now smaller, but it does not mean they are less important, stressed the entrepreneur. «Different experience is gained in each market. Currently, we are begining operating in Finland, and it is clear each markets offers something completely different,» Pilens added.

UPB continues to participate in many tenders abroad. «The scale of construction growth tendency is impressive, UPB already has been provided with sufficient work for the year 2011 in Germany, Sweden and Norway. Now, when Iceland has also recovered from the crisis, new orders appear also from them,» said Pilens.

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