SEOUL, Apr. 20 (Korea Bizwire) – The Export-Import Bank of Korea (Korea Eximbank) on Friday promised 800 billion won (US$753.29 million) in loans and guarantees to the local shipping industry this year as the government acts on a five-year restructuring plan.
Eun Sang-soo, chairman of the state-run lender, met with the heads of shipping companies and shipowners over details of the revamp plan announced April 5, in which the government would place orders for 200 vessels over the next three years to help the industry survive the slump in global demand.
“The shipping and shipbuilding industries are both facing difficulties, raising the logistics cost for exporting firms,” Eun said at the meeting. “The five-year restructuring plan will strengthen the competitiveness of shipping companies, and when this leads to a positive cycle of creating demand for shipbuilders, such cost will be reduced.”
The 800 billion-won aid will be provided for the purchasing of vessels, operational costs and loan refinancing, Eun said.
“We will extend balanced aid for the joint growth of the two industries,” he said.
Corporate representatives at the latest gathering called for more active involvement by the government and financial policy agencies, and expressed concerns over unstable profitability due to the delayed improvement in the global shipping market.