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European shipowners and maritime technology industry have called for decisive actions against unfair trade practices and in favour of global playing field.
Namely, trade associations representing European shipbuilding and maritime equipment and European shipowners, SEA Europe and ECSA, have called upon the European Commission and the EU Member States to take concrete and decisive actions against such practices and in favour of a true global level playing field for the European industry.
“Market-oriented conditions, rules-based trade, and open markets are essential to allow European shipping, shipbuilding and marine equipment companies to operate internationally,” ECSA said.
EU Trade Commission Cecilia Malmström, who recently spoke against unfair trade practices in the Far East, stressed that the European Commission “will do what is necessary to shield European shipowners, European shipyards and European maritime equipment manufacturers from the negative impact from competitive distortions resulting from massive subsidies from China and South Korea.”
The Commissioner also underlined that the European Commission is paying close attention to South Korea’s recent support measures in favour of its local shipyards, which “could also be significant”.
“The latest support measures from South Korea are clearly an example of unfair competitive distortions,” SEA Europe Secretary General Christophe Tytgat said.
As explained, the country has contributed to severe overcapacity in merchant shipbuilding and merchant shipping, with consequences for all market players, first for European shipbuilding and also for European shipowners and the entire maritime value chain.
“Europe now needs to be vigilant that the same unfair trade practices with the same potential devastating effects are not repeated in other shipbuilding and shipping segments,” Tytgat added.
“At a time that protectionist trends are rising, we ask Europe to send a strong message in support of free, fair and rules-based trade,” ECSA Secretary General Martin Dorsman said.