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Emergency Economic Council Moves To Support Korean Shipping Industry

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

29 April 2009


Korea's President Lee Myung-bak held an emergency economic council meeting on April 23, which focused on streamlining the country's shipping industry.

At the 15th in a series of emergency economic council meetings to discuss measures to help the local economy in the global economic downturn, President Lee and government officials agreed on measures to bolster the domestic shipping industry.

For one, the government will establish a fund worth some KRW4 trillion (USD3bn) to purchase around 100 vessels from struggling shipping companies. The measure will likely take effect in June, and will prevent the companies from selling their ships at cheap prices to overseas companies as part of restructuring efforts.

The envisioned fund will be raised from the state-run debt clearer Korea Asset Management Corporation, credit banks and private investors, as well as the government.

In addition, the government will expand credit lines to boost sales of ships being constructed by cash-strapped shipyards.

President Lee Myung-bak praised the emergency economic council for doing a good job in coordinating economic policies and for effectively executing budgetary spending.

President Lee added that the fact that international organizations such as the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) have recently voiced a positive outlook for Korean economy indicates that the government's efforts to overcome the economic crisis have paid off.

However, he urged continued and increased efforts by the government, saying it may take some time and more efforts to invigorate the economy.


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