South Korean Firms Eye Shipyards, Electric Cars, Seek Business Partners

February 1, 2016, thejakartapost.com

A number of South Korean companies are seeking Indonesian business partners for the potential development of shipyards and electric cars in the country in the near future, a government official has said.

Among the companies are shipping firm Korwell Corp., ship builder Dongil Shipyard Co. Ltd., automotive component manufacturer Jinwoo Co. Ltd. and cable manufacturer Helukabel, according to the Industry Ministry’s director general of metal, machinery, transportation equipment and electronic industries, I Gusti Putu Suryawirawan.

“They presented their business activities to us and they’re asking for a list of potential local partners,” Putu said recently.

Industry Minister Saleh Husin said the government appreciated the South Korean companies’ interest in expanding their business in the Indonesian shipyard and electric car industries, adding that now was the right time for them to invest.

“I’ve told them that President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo’s idea to boost the sea transportation network will require a lot of ships and that it will be an opportunity for investors in the shipyard business,” he said.

The government would also welcome investment in the domestic development of ship components, as most ship components were currently still imported from overseas, he went on.

Saleh said that his ministry was ready to help the South Korean investors to meet and build further relationships with national shipyard companies, be they state-owned enterprises or private companies.

Accompanied by Jeju Island’s tourism goodwill ambassador to Indonesia, Rokhmin Dahuri, a former maritime affairs and fisheries minister, representatives of the four companies paid a visit to the Industry Ministry on Thursday to discuss the matter.

Busan Indonesia Center (BIC) chairman Kim Soo-il, who also attended the visit, said that South Korean investors were currently looking at the possibility of investing in the two sectors.

“If an electric car company enters the Indonesian market, that would mean a lot for the country’s industrial development. For the car industry, it would be a milestone,” Kim said.

South Korea itself, he added, was a world champion in the production of batteries for electric cars, with electronic giants such as Samsung and LG having years of experience in the manufacture of such products.

Putu said that while market demand for electric cars was still not identifiable in the country, the business would be of great importance for the country in regards to its commitment to reduce green-house gas emissions by 29 percent by 2030 as against projected business-as-usual emissions.

Under its national industrial policy, the government aims to also develop low-carbon emission cars in addition to conventional multi-purpose vehicles (MPV), sports utility vehicles (SUV) and sedans.

The government is set to come up with a new regulation on the automotive industry before the second half of this year to attract more investment in the manufacture of cars other than MPVs, according to Putu.

South Korea was the fifth-largest foreign investor in Indonesia last year, with total foreign direct investments (FDI) from the country hitting US$1.2 billion. – See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/02/01/south-korean-firms-eye-shipyards-electric-cars-seek-business-partners.html#sthash.5Cbe9fYz.dpuf

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