Korean companies hit hard by SARS virus and conflict in Iraq

Korean construction companies have been hit hard by the war in Iraq and the SARS epidemic in Asia over the past 12 months.

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By  Eudore Chand Published  January 13, 2004

Korean construction companies have been hit hard by the war in Iraq and the SARS epidemic in Asia over the past 12 months. Overseas orders for Korean companies slumped by 40% during 2003 to US $3.66 billion; the lowest total for a decade. Orders from the Middle East reached US $2.3 billion, while Asian countries accounted for another $1.2 billion, the construction ministry said. “The war in Iraq and the SARS epidemic in Southeast Asia damaged overseas building orders for Korean construction companies,” said Jin Hyun-hwan, deputy director of the overseas construction division at the Ministry of Construction & Transportation. Within Korea, however, business has been booming for construction companies. Hyun-hwan pointed to figures that residential construction volume had increased by 30% in 2003. He also expected overseas orders to leap by 60% to $6 billion as Iraq reconstruction contracts are snapped up by Korean firms. Construction leaders including Hyundai Engineering & Construction, Daelim Industrial Co., Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction, and Daewoo Engineering & Construction, are all hoping to benefit from an upturn.

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