Future of Korean Shipbuilding (1)
As mentioned above, when considering the establishment of Hyundai Heavy Industries in early 1970s as the starting point of Korean modern shipbuilding engineering, it took about 30 years to reach to the similar level with Japanese shipbuilding.
At present, Japan is going through economic stagnancy, not to mention troubled shipbuilding industry, as strong yen continues for a while and young Japanese started to avoid working at shipyards.
However, with steady investment in R&D and attractive wages and benefits packages, Korean shipyards now secure high-end technologies in LNG carrier, offshore plant, etc., and lead global shipbuilding market.
Then, will Korea be able to get the spotlight in the years to come as well? How will it be affected by late runner China's challenge?
Chinese shipbuilding industry has gained superiority in a quantitative perspective (delivery in numerical terms), however, I think it will take longer time for Chinese shipyards to threaten Big3 shipbuilders - Hyundai and Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering.
Korean Big3's R&D commitment seems higher than Japanese shipyards during their glory days in the past. For instance, Japanese shipbuilders had developed by gaining competitiveness in oil tanker segment, while Big3 in these days concentrate on containership, LNG carrier, offshore plant, etc., which are not largely related to market ups and downs.
By the way, a majority of those contracted in China is bulker, which is technically simpler than tanker.