Korea lost its position as the world's leading shipbuilding nation to Japan last year, having recorded 6.2 million CGT (compensated gross tons), about 900,000 CGT less than Japan's 7.1 million CGT. The Korea Shipbuilders' Association (KOSHIPA) said that this is the first time Korea has taken the back seat to Japan in the sector since 1999 when the former was at the top of the rankings.
With last year's performance, Japan's share in the global market leapt from 28.5 percent in 2000 to 37.6 percent as of the end of November last year. Korea's share, by contrast, fell more than 10 percentage points from 45.8 percent in 2000 to 32.8 percent. China is in the third position with 2.2 million CGT as of the end of November, with its market share inching up steadily from 4.0 percent in 1997 to 2.5 percent in 1998, 10.4 percent in 1999, 5.6 percent in 2000 and 11.6 percent last year.
"Korean shipbuilders boast excellent skills and competitiveness, so the slip in ranking last year is not a great concern. But the change in ranking does show us that we need to always view Japan as a very tough competitor," a KOSHIPA official said.