South Korea has drawn up ambitious goals for its shipbuilding sector, which it expects to achieve dominance within the next decade.
A new blueprint issued by the country is likely to hit a nerve in China and Japan, the other two top shipbuilding nations in the world.
South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy has set a target for shipbuilders to take up to 75% of the market share for eco-friendly vessels with less or no carbon emissions by 2030, up from 66% today.
It also aims for a 50% share within the same time frame for autonomous ships, a market that has yet to be established.
“We will strengthen the power of our shipbuilding industry and make it the overwhelming number one in the world that no one can match,” said President Moon Jae-in in a speech. “Our shipbuilding industry has achieved the highest order volume in 13 years this year and has regained its status as the world’s best.
“Now is the time to make the shipbuilding industry stronger.”
The remarks come as the sector is enjoying a strong rebound this year, with an upsurge of newbuilding orders, making shipyards in South Korea one of the largest beneficiaries.
For the first eight months of 2021, they together won orders for 329 ships or 13.7m in cgt terms, nearly sixfold the tonnage contracted during the year-ago period, according to Clarksons data.
But the race against China for the position of being top dog remains fierce.