Seoul creates special industrial crisis response zones to aid ailing shipbuilders

With more than 100,000 Korean shipbuilders out of work in the past two years, and whole towns devastated by the drop in newbuilding activity, Seoul has taken further drastic steps to resurrect the sector, moves that could further infuriate rivals Japan and Germany who are already talking up the possibility of taking the Asian country to the WTO for its shipbuilding subsidies programme.

South Korea has designated five key regions, which are home to major shipbuilders as “special industrial crisis response zones”. The five zones are in Ulsan, home to Hyundai Heavy, Geoje island, where Samsung Heavy and DSME are, and STX’s hometown of Jinhae, and Tongyeong and Mopko, the latter two especially hard hit areas by shipyard closures in recent years.

According to Kim Dong-yeon, the finance minister of South Korea, the government will provide job support and tax incentives for the shipbuilding companies and suppliers in the designated regions.

Jason Jiang

Jason is one of the most prolific writers on the diverse China shipping & logistics industry and his access to the major maritime players with business in China has proved an invaluable source of exclusives. Having been working at Asia Shipping Media since inception, Jason is the chief correspondent of Splash and associate editor of Maritime CEO magazine. Previously he had written for a host of titles including Supply Chain Asia, Cargo Facts and Air Cargo Week.
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