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Rebuilding boom


Swiss firms keen on Trump’s infrastructure promises


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Companies like Sika and LafargeHolcim want to be a part of US President Elect Donald Trump’s plans to rebuild crumbling roads, bridges, tunnels and airports infrastructure. 

While the election of Trump has made certain players in the Swiss business community uneasy, others see opportunities to expand. 

"Trump has announced big investments and wants to build this wall in Mexico,” Sika spokesperson Dominik Slappnig, told Swiss Public Television SRF. The Swiss firm specialising in construction material employs over 1,500 people in North America and made a turnover of CHF839 million ($848 million) in the region. It has already acquired two American companies - FRC Industries in Alabama and L.M. Scofield in Los Angeles - this year. 

“We’re extremely well positioned there," said Slappnig. 

Another company that is hopeful of a windfall from infrastructure projects in the United States is the Swiss-French cement giant LafargeHolcim. 

“We’re of the opinion that investment in infrastructure is a deciding factor that can support economic growth in the US,” Eike Christian Meuter, spokesperson for LafargeHolcim told Swiss Public Television, SRF. The company is already the largest cement supplier in the US. Meuter added that they are continuously monitoring the situation following the election.

The American Society of Civil Engineers gave a “D+” grade to US infrastructure in its 2013 report card. One in nine bridges were rated structurally deficient, 2,000 dams were identified as high hazard, and 45% of American household lacked access to public transport. It is estimated that an investment of $3.6 trillion in infrastructure will be needed by 2020.

swissinfo.ch

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