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$27bn: IMF estimates bill Korean taxpayers are paying to save local maritime industries

Irate Korean taxpayers reacted with shock Sunday as the full enormity of Seoul’s bailout of the nation’s beleaguered shipping and shipbuilding sectors was revealed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF stated in a report on Sunday that the full bill for restructuring South Korea’s shipping and shipbuilding sectors would likely run to KRW31trn ($27bn), something that would take a decade to claw back.

The IMF report also stated that redundancies in the local shipbuilding sector would total around 10,000 workers.

The general public in South Korea have become increasingly disenchanted with the administration of President Park Geun-hye’s continued bailout of maritime firms, something the government has in recent months taken onboard and changed tack, saying maritime firms who fail to meet certain financial criteria will no longer be saved.

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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