Taiwan Government to Provide $18 Billion to Prop Up Ocean Carriers
The government of Taiwan is planning to provide $17.57 billion to help locally-based shipping concerns survive the global downturn in the maritime transport industry.
The move comes against the backdrop of the merger of two large Chinese carriers earlier this year, the Hanjin banruptcy in August, and the recently-announced merger of the cotnainer operations of the three largest Japanese ocean carriers.
According to local news reports, the Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications noted that shipping is key to his nation’s economic development. Wang Kwo-tsai added that he expects the plan to be “quickly implemented.”
“The bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping has caused many of its ships, as well as the goods they carried, to be detained by port authorities around the world,” Wang said. “We see how people had to figure out ways to salvage their goods stranded at sea. The incident shows us that the government has to provide support to the industry before the damage becomes uncontrollable.”
Wang expects the industry to recover within two years.
As part of the package, the National Development Council has offered $1.9 billion for mid to long-term loans earmarked to finance stressed shipping firms.
Other elements of the package cut fees for docking and land rental, and extend a $15.7 billion bank lending scheme begun in 2015 that was to have ended this year.
Wang said the package would prevent “our shipping industry being affected by the global economic difficulty.”
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