Top officials from ruling and opposition parties plan to visit the shipyard of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering on Monday, amid rising concerns over the prolonged industrywide slump in one of South Korea’s key growth sectors.
Chung Jin-suk, the floor leader of the ruling Saenuri Party, will visit a South Gyeongsang Province-based shipyard to receive input from workers and the company. The party also aims to continue discussions with the management on restructuring programs that may emerge as a major drag on the local economy.
Kim Jong-in, interim leader of the main opposition Minjoo Party of Korea, will also visit the shipyard, holding meetings with officials from subcontractors. Kim will visit the yard located on Geoje Island, 470 kilometers southeast of Seoul, right after the Saenuri officials.
Daewoo Shipbuilding has been implementing large-scale self-restructuring measures since last year, including layoffs of 2,300 workers and asset sales, in return for financial assistance from its creditors led by the state-run Korea Development Bank.
The company's creditors and the financial authorities, however, have been demanding additional belt-tightening measures.
The country's top three shipyards suffered a combined operating loss of 8.5 trillion won ($7.13 billion) last year, due largely to increased costs stemming from a delay in the construction of offshore facilities and an industrywide slump. Some 5.5 trillion won of the losses came from Daewoo Shipbuilding.
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