Trade officials are planning a constructors' trade mission to South America in September, even though a similar visit to Manila earlier this month attracted representatives from only eight firms and lobby groups. The Trade Development Council (TDC) said Chile and Brazil are among the countries that could be visited, because both are 'prime markets for infrastructure development'. A mission to Jakarta and other parts of Indonesia planned for next month has been postponed until August at the earliest, because of the country's elections this week. 'It may be put off until next year,' the spokesman added. This is the first year that the TDC has organised trade delegations for the construction industry and follows extensive lobbying by Chan Ka-kui, managing director of Hsin Chong Construction, for more Government support to develop an export market for the territory's construction skills. The Manila trip included meetings with many leading organisations in the Philippines, including the Board of Investments, the Co-ordinating Council of the Philippine Assistance Programme and the Clark Development Corporation. 'These were discussions with top people which would be extremely difficult to replicate if firms were visiting individually,' the head of one construction firm said. 'But the lacklustre response to the Manila trip indicates either that firms are not interested, the TDC failed to inform people or that the cost was prohibitive. 'I doubt if it was the first, because many local companies, including Zens Pacific Construction, Hsin Chong and Paul Y-ITC, are already working in other Asian markets,' he added. Last week, Zens Pacific, which includes the former Shui On Civil Contractors, said it was negotiating for reclamation projects in Taiwan, Indonesia and Malaysia. On Friday, Paul Y-ITC agreed to buy Roche Bros, one of Australia's largest mining companies, for nearly $450 million. Roche carried out a large proportion of the land reclamation at Chek Lap Kok airport. Of the eight delegates to Manila, only two local building firms, Gammon Construction and Yau Lee Holdings, were represented, as was a local architectural firm, Liang Peddle Thorp. Most of the rest were either foreign-owned contractors or consultants.