The South Korean government is scrambling to save the nation’s shipping industry which is on the brink. In particular, it plans to make pan-governmental effort to promote Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. (HMM) as the nation’s leading container line with the global competitiveness.
According to the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF) on December 14, Minister Kim Young-suk will host the “Policy Financing Conference on Support for the Shipping Industry” with shipping finance organizations, such as Marine Finance Center (MFC), Korea Asset Management Corporation (KAMCO) and Korea Maritime Guarantee Insurance (KMGIC), at the Busan International Finance Center on the 15th. The MFC consists of the Korea Development Bank, the Export-Import Bank of Korea and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency.
At the meeting, participants will discuss the current situation of major financial support policies enforcement, including the “ship building support program,” the “expansion of KAMCO shipping fund” and the “revitalization of maritime guarantee insurance,” and talk on the trend and difficulties in the shipping finance market. They will seek for cooperation plans between the MOF and policy finance organizations.
Kim plans to ask participating agencies to cooperate with the government in order to foster HMM as an ocean carrier with the global competitiveness at the conference as it has been decided that the nation’s major shipping line will join the 2M Alliance. He will also call on them to quickly launch “Korean shipping company” in a bid to improve HMM’s financial structure and secure its cost competitiveness.
In addition, Yoon Hak-bae, vice minister at the MOF, will preside the “Policy Conference on the Competitiveness Reinforcement of the Shipping Industry” at the Shipping Association Building in Yeouido, Seoul, on the same day. The executive officers of major domestic shipping firms and officials from the Korea Maritime Institute and the Korea Shipowners’ Association will attend the meeting.
As HMM will join the world's largest container shipping alliance, Yoon also plans to check the current support plans in order to promote HMM as a global leading shipping line and turn the mid-size shipper into a next-generation large shipper at the conference.
Meanwhile, the MOF announced the pan-governmental comprehensive plans to strengthen the competitiveness of the shipping industry on October 31 to support the shipping industry which is in severe crisis after Hanjin Shipping entered into court receivership. Accordingly, it expanded the financial support programs worth 6.5 trillion won (US$5.57 billion), established the “Korean Shipping Company” and formed a council to boost the competitiveness of shipowners and shippers, carrying out follow-up measures.