South Korea will release a fresh set of shipbuilding restructuring plans in the first quarter of this year to support the struggling sector as the industry as a whole is bracing for another tough year, the commerce ministry said Thursday.
In a new year’s meeting held in the southeastern port city of Busan, industry and government officials discussed ways to tackle the challenge through technology innovation and cost-cutting efforts.
“The South Korean shipbuilding industry is expected to face a tough business environment due to decline in backlogs, low sales prices, a strong Korean won and rising steel prices,” the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a release.
The ministry said it will come up with ways to increase orders from the public sector and expand support for innovative technology to develop eco-friendly vessels and self-driving ships.
The latest move comes as the local shipbuilding industry, once the backbone sector of Asia’s fourth-largest economy, has been reeling from massive losses and a drop in new orders.
Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. and its smaller rivals have been conducting self-rescue measures to tide over a protracted industry-wide slump.