Overseas orders clenched by South Korean builders have grown significantly from a year earlier in the first nine months of the year partly on a large increase in orders from Asian and Middle Eastern countries, the government said Monday. In te January-September period, overseas deals signed by South Korean construction firms amounted to US$44.8 billion, up 13 percent from the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. \"The amount had dropped 5 percent on-year in the first half of the year but has turned to a growth of 13 percent on the back of large-scale orders grabbed in the third quarter, such as the deal for Saudi Arabia\'s thermal power plant (worth $3.26 billion) and Morocco\'s power plant (worth $1.77 billion),\" the ministry said in a press release. The ministry said the growth in the first three quarters was led by a 74 percent on-year spike in orders from Asian countries, whose overall orders for South Korean builders totaled $19.19 billion, accounting for 43 percent of all orders won by South Korean firms in the first nine months of the year. Orders from Middle Eastern countries amounted to $17.8 billion or 40 percent of all overseas orders for South Korean builders, but the figure represented a 19.4 percent plunge from $22.06 billion in the same period last year. By type, orders for industrial plants, including power plants, accounted for 60 percent of all overseas orders in the first nine months, the ministry said.