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(LEAD) Support measures eyed for US$30 bln overseas construction order target

All News 09:52 July 05, 2021

(ATTN: ADDS more details in last 2 paras)

SEOUL, July 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korea said Monday it will provide financial and policy support to local construction firms to help them achieve the US$30 billion target of overseas orders this year.

The government unveiled a set of comprehensive measures to support local builders as the overseas construction market is expected to rebound this year following slumps caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the finance and land ministries.

The global construction market is estimated at $12.4 trillion this year, up 12.2 percent from a year earlier amid a global economic recovery.

Korean builders clinched overseas orders worth $35.1 billion last year, up from $22.3 billion a year earlier. But they secured overseas orders worth $14.7 billion in the first six months of the year, down 9 percent from a year earlier in the face of the prolonged pandemic, according to the government.

This file photo, provided by Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co. on Oct. 8, 2020, shows the Kazungula Bridge across the Zambezi River that connects Botswana and Zambia and was built by the South Korean firm (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

To support Korean builders' overseas push, the Export-Import Bank of Korea, a state-run policy lender, plans to expand loans and cut lending rates or commissions.

The bank will push for opening a $5 billion credit line to Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., one of the world's biggest oil producers, in a bid to help more Korean firms clinch infrastructure-building projects in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The lender will seek to open similar credit lines with oil companies in the Middle East.

The government will also encourage public firms to take part in massive overseas development projects in an effort to prompt more South Korean firms to make a foray into foreign countries.

The government said it will support local builders' foray into the U.S. construction market as new investment opportunities will open with the U.S. administration's $1.2 trillion plan to expand investment in infrastructure projects.

The country will also expand COVID-19 vaccinations to businesspeople who will make overseas trips.

The government will adopt a "fast-track" inoculation scheme for businesspeople who plan to travel abroad urgently, under which the vaccinations will be completed within one month after application from the current three months.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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