Oliver said that the UK construction equipment manufacturing association's role is to help its members through these novel trading conditions, be they exporters or importers. He added that the industry needs to be particularly sensitive to the specific challenges of the supply chain.
Setting out the CEA's priorities for 2021, Oliver said that Covid-19 will continue to have a massive impact on the lives and livelihoods of those involved in the construction industry. He added that helping CEA members through this unprecedented challenge will be the association's top priority.
As the economy recovers, he said there is general recognition that there are some tried and tested boosters – not least investment in construction, which provides jobs and assists productivity. Construction equipment manufacturers stand ready to make a major contribution to this campaign.
Regarding innovation, Oliver said: "We will need to do things differently and better; the time has come for construction to embrace the new technology that CEA members offer. In this digital and automated world, you have some terrific products which will influence the direction of the construction sector in the years to come."
For the environment, Oliver said that the overarching concern is the creation of a world economy that can shape its future within an environment in which citizens can live, breath and prosper. He added that the construction industry’s continued contribution to this in terms of improving air quality and minimising environmental impact remains a clear commitment.
"Throughout 2020, construction sites were able to keep working under unprecedented conditions," Oliver stated. "A priority for 2021 is to hold government to their commitment to 'Build Back Better' and ensure we have an infrastructure fit for the future.
"It is not only about the UK market, of course, as we need to get behind manufacturers’ export efforts. Historically, 7 in 10 of the construction machines we manufacture find overseas markets. We have to support that effort as countries gradually recover from the tragic shock of the coronavirus."