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Defense industry promotion law to take effect this week

All News 10:00 February 04, 2021

SEOUL, Feb. 4 (Yonhap) -- A newly legislated defense industry promotion law will go into effect this week, requiring the government to give priority to locally developed parts in the country's weapons systems, the arms procurement agency said Thursday.

Under the new law that will take effect Friday, the government will expand support to local companies' weapons parts development and help them be used more in broader weapons system development projects, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration.

To increase exports, the agency said the military will actively use locally developed weapons in pilot operations to help them meet foreign countries' purchase requirement, it said.

South Korea has allocated 176.6 billion won (US$159 million) to support the defense industry this year, sharply up from 93.8 billion won in 2020.

Of the total, the budget for weapons parts localization more than quadrupled from 20 billion won to 85.4 billion won, while the budget to support small and medium-sized firms also rose from 30.5 billion won to 41.8 billion won. To support defense exports, the government will spend 49.6 billion won this year, up from 43 billion won in 2020.

"With the new law, we have now secured a firm base to turn our defense industry from a domestic-centered one to an export-friendly industry," agency chief Kang Eun-ho said, vowing to work with the industry to boost its competitiveness in the global market.

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