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(SEJONG=NEWSIS) The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF) announced January 29 its work plan for 2015.
The ministry will expand financial investment in core infrastructure, including ports and fishing ports.
It will first invest KRW 1.3 trillion (USD 1.192 billion) in the port infrastructure facilities and attract private investment worth KRW 3 trillion in offshore plants and ship repair by 2020.
It will invest KRW 1.72 trillion (government expenses: KRW 920 billion, private capital: KRW 800 billion) in the development of docks for the Port of East Sea, KRW 320 billion (government expenses: KRW 170 billion, private capital: KRW 150 billion) in the establishment of the Port of Hadong and KRW 1.2 trillion in the construction of a large-scale ship repair yard (government expenses: KRW 200 billion, private capital: KRW 700 billion).
The MOF will also allow private development and the pre-sale of port hinterlands to attract investment in the region.
It will provide commercial, residential and business facilities to the areas around the ports to integrate marine and relevant industries.
The ministry will provide visa-free entry to foreign cruise passengers to attract more foreign cruise ships. The visa-free time period for cruise passengers entering the Jeju area will be extended to 120 hours. It will also attract Chinese cruise ships to arrive in the Gangwon region.
The number of cruise passengers exceeded 1 million in 2014 for the first time in Korea and the economic benefits exceeded KRW 1.12 trillion.
The ministry will also promote technology development to enter the mega yacht market, which is worth KRW 3.8 trillion. It will inject KRW 21 billion in research and development to build 100 feet-long-mega yachts by 2019.
A mega yacht refers to a leisure ship 24 meters or more in length overall, with amenities including a bedroom and a saloon. There are about 6,000 mega yachts in the world and the industry is growing rapidly.
Despite its world-class technologies in shipbuilding and IT, Korea faces difficulties entering the large-scale leisure ship market due to the weak conditions of small- and medium-sized shipbuilding manufacturers.
"If we succeed in building a mega yacht, we will be able to compete with Italy, Taiwan and China, which dominate when it comes to global large-scale leisure ships," said an MOF official.
Source: Newsis (January. 28, 2015)
** This article was translated from the Korean.