Lotte Engineering and Construction (E&C) will make a foray into the Southeast Asian market on a full scale by setting up a branch office in Singapore.
"We are considering establishing a branch office in Singapore in the second half of this year," said a senior official of Lotte Engineering on May 29. "We are studying projects mainly about infrastructure."
At the 2018 Management Strategy Meeting held early this year, Ha Seok-ju, CEO of Lotte E&C, announced that the company would concentrate on expanding its presence in the global market, going beyond the saturated Korean construction market. In particular, the builder set its sights on the Southeast Asian market, seeking to stabilize its business in the market early.
Currently, Lotte E&C has no project in progress in Singapore. The company is in the early stage of reviewing projects, but will set up the branch in advance for perfect localization.
Some analysts say the move is aimed at a more effective management of its business in Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia which Lotte E&C already entered. They say that Lotte E&C will generally manage its operations in such Southeast Asian countries surrounding Singapore from its Singapore branch office.
Vietnam is one of the Lotte Group's major overseas markets with more than 10 affiliates, including a construction company, hotels, department stores, big discount stores and cinemas, in operation.
Indonesia has been a booming business site for Lotte E&C over the past three years. In 2015, Lotte E&C won the Grati CCGT Power Plant project from Indonesian state power company PT PLN for about 250 billion won. In the same year, the contractor also succeeded in winning an additional order for the construction of a complex commercial facility for 149.1 billion won from the Pakuwon Group, a residential and commercial development company in Indonesia. This year, Lotte E&C signed a joint investment agreement for the construction of Umata Premier Apartment Buildings ordered by the VIP Group of Indonesia and started to participate in an apartment development project for the first time in Indonesia.