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State to rescue shipbuilders

State to rescue shipbuilders
Seoul is considering support measures for the troubled auto and shipbuilding industries on the condition they make voluntary efforts to reduce costs.

Seoul is considering support measures for the troubled auto and shipbuilding industries on the condition they make voluntary efforts to reduce costs.

Seoul is considering support measures for the troubled auto and shipbuilding industries on the condition they make voluntary efforts to reduce costs, while auto companies must make production lines more flexible, officials said yesterday. "The government will review what supports are necessary and what would be effective in boosting car sales if they are willing to go through restructuring," an official said.

The Ministry of Knowledge Economy, which supervises auto industry policies, has delivered its plans to the National Assembly yesterday. On Dec. 18, the government lowered the individual consumption tax on automobiles by 30 percent until June to boost car sales.

The government, lawmakers and the auto industry so far have been considering offering tax benefits or subsidies for new car buyers. They have also been discussing whether to expand investment in developing energy efficient cars.

The country's economic downturn has hit the automotive market full on. Car sales have plummeted in recent months.

Although the government is planning to support credit companies in an effort to boost car sales and provide funds for troubled parts makers, experts say that restructuring will be unavoidable for manufacturers.

The government is also coming to the rescue of the shipbuilding industry.

For small-and medium-sized shipbuilders, it plans to supply liquidity and spur restructuring.

For struggling exporters, Seoul plans to expand export insurance from 170 trillion won. It will provide marketing services for companies to boost sales of Korean products overseas, officials added.

The government and the Korea Export Insurance Corporation are pushing ahead with investing an additional 300 billion won to support cash-squeezed exporters that have been hit hard by falling demand and a crashing won.

For the energy sector, the government claims it will acquire another oil field abroad.

Earlier this month, the Korea National Oil Corporation acquired Petro-Tech, an oil production and exploration company that owns an offshore oil field in Peru, potentially capable of churning out a total of 842 million barrels of crude oil, officials said.

The KNOC issued $450 million worth of foreign bonds to acquire the oil field.

www.TurkishMaritime.com.tr

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