7 Challenges Faced By International Construction Companies

Construction has never been an easy business. In fact, it’s no exaggeration to say that every construction project is a feat of human ingenuity and skill. It takes an extraordinary level of skill to coordinate different teams to plan, design, finance, and bring a large scale project to completion. Coordinating and executing the logistics is difficult when done locally, regionally, or nationally, but it becomes far more difficult when done internationally.

Usually, international construction is based in developing nations because there is less demand for construction work between developed countries. Construction companies have to contend with a less mature consumer base, a less well-regulated environment, and a bewildering assortment of economic environments. While low growth countries can be very difficult to work in because of a distressing lack of infrastructure, even high growth developing countries, like Brazil, for example, have large areas of their economy that remain under-developed and difficult to penetrate.

7 Challenges International Construction Company Can Encounter

International building company
What are the likely challenges an international construction company will face in its bid to work on foreign lands? Here are 7 challenges an international construction company often face and ways to resolve them.

Here are 7 challenges an international construction company often faces:

Linguistic and cultural barrier

Differences in language and culture make it difficult for teams to work in harmony. However, the use of international construction software makes it much easier for multicultural teams to understand the changing details of a project because they are able to share an application with a multilingual interface.

Linguistic and cultural barrier
Linguistic and cultural barrier tops the list of limitations faced by international construction company workers. Inability to communicate effectively in one tongue could dampen the positive spirit amongst workers.

Bureaucratic hurdles

While bureaucratic hurdles exist in all countries, developed and developing alike, which makes it difficult for international construction companies to operate is that they have little familiarity with the bureaucracy of other countries. Some of these hurdles make no sense. Using Brazil as an example again, it takes about 469 days for a company to get their construction permits.

International Construction Company Bureaucratic hurdles
International construction company bureaucratic hurdles are one of the major challenges that limit project execution and causes delays in completion. Work permit alone could cost a lot in brand image repair.


Again, corruption exists in all countries, and it is rare to find a country, where corruption has been defeated. Iceland is one of those rare examples. Corruption has almost come to a standstill thereafter the government got rid of all the financial institutions that were steadily undermining economic growth and working against the interests of the people. However, in countries where there is a dictatorship, corruption flourishes openly. In most democratic countries, corruption also exists, but it is done with much more caution for there are more filters against it.

Corruption in construction companies
Corruption alone contributes largely to the disservice of international construction companies. Politicians are greedy, selfish and can prevent growth to take place if they aren’t well-settled. It is insane, huge hurdle you must crosscheck before you sign the final papers.


It’s always difficult to arrange finances when the currency is not on par with other nations. Usually, in situations where there is not much of a middle class, but a wide disparity between the rich and the poor, the country’s stock and commodity markets are stuck in a rut. All this makes it much more difficult to arrange investments or to win over investor’s confidence when trying to raise funds.


In countries with a short developmental history, like countries that have thrown off the colonial yoke, plundered by different regimes, or torn asunder by wars, infrastructure is often insufficient to make construction projects easy.Infrastructure at a construction site


Countries that have poor infrastructure are also less likely to have much in the way of technology. In developed countries, competing multibillion-dollar telecommunication companies are getting bigger. They have all heavily invested in laying down fiber optic cables, building towers to beam Wi-Fi signals, or even sending satellites into the earth’s atmosphere.


Often international construction companies are viewed less favorably than local companies. Local companies know the construction landscape, understand the consumer base, and have figured out how to work within the confines of their regulatory structures. While they may lack the equipment or knowledge of an international company, they have the inside edge on knowing how to navigate within their country’s political and socio-economic systems.

International construction company worker
It is often believed, especially in underdeveloped countries, that foreign companies are coming to take jobs off their indigenous companies. Hence, the hostile environment for international construction companies trying to establish in such region. There have been cases of kidnapping of foreign workers, killings such as the case of recent Xenophobia on foreigners in South Africa and many others.

Often international construction companies must choose to partner with local companies if they hope their projects move forward.


In order for an international construction company to excel beyond borders, some of the above-outlined hurdles need to be properly cross-checked and worked out. Failure to factor in some of these into consideration could result in loss of valuable time and resources.





6 responses to “7 Challenges Faced By International Construction Companies”

  1. hayacma Avatar

    thanks for sharing

  2. Brian Winners Avatar

    I agree so much in all the stated challenges but most with language barrier.
    I remember years back when I was up for a construction supervision at the middle east part of the world and it was like, to be understood, I must get a third party to fully analyze my points. It was really funny and fun

  3. Avinash S Avatar

    Ya, Great challenges!! Out of all these, Finance is the real toughest challenge.

  4. Neeraj Rawat Avatar
    Neeraj Rawat

    Intriguing post techatlast team.
    You truly have care about the constructors. Improper technology barrier and corruption are major hurdles amongst them.
    I truly appreciate from the bottom of my heart for sympathising with the constructors.
    — Neeraj

  5. Pradeep Kumar Avatar
    Pradeep Kumar

    Bureaucracy and corruption is problem for international company as well as local construction company also. as well as the language problem is the major which cause the lack of communication between worker and company .

  6. sonia Avatar

    can you referace this article,please?

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