MidEast drives orders for S Korean builders

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GCC construction, Middle East construction

GCC construction, Middle East construction

Overseas orders won by South Korean builders surpassed $50bn for the third straight year in 2012, driven by increased demand from the Middle East, it has been announced.

Orders from oil-rich Middle East countries, the largest market for South Korean builders, stood at $30.5bn in the first 11 months of 2012, accounting for more than half of the total orders.

According to data released by the International Contractors Association of Korea, local builders signed total deals worth $51.6bn during the January-November period, up 13 percent from the same period last year.

Industry officials added in comments published by the South Korean News Agency that it remained unclear whether the companies could achieve their overseas sales target of $70bn by the end of the year due to delayed orders from foreign countries amid the global economic slump.

South Korean builders bagged orders worth $59.1bn  and $71.5 bn in 2011 and 2010, respectively, according to the association. 

Last week, South Korea's Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co won a contract to design, build and maintain a $2.6bn bridge in the Gulf state.

South Korean firms are also behind the UAE's multi-billion dollar plan to build four nuclear power stations.

Last year, Saudi Arabia replaced the UAE as the new gold mine for South Korean builders in the Middle East.

Orders won by South Korean builders from Saudi Arabia reached a record $10.7bn in the first 10 months of last year, far exceeding Iraqi orders worth $3.3bn and $2.7bn from Singapore.

The Saudi figure in 2011 was nearly double the orders that South Korean builders won from the kingdom in the same period last year

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