Wed, 09 Mar 2005


WTO raps South Korea for aid

GENEVA: The World Trade Organization said Monday that South Korea must halt some financial help for the country's shipbuilders, but rejected European Union accusations that Seoul committed wide- ranging breaches of the rules of global commerce by helping its shipyards restructure.

WTO made public a ruling that was issued confidentially in December to both sides in their long-running dispute.

At the time, South Korea painted it as a win, noting that the WTO had rejected the EU's complaint over restructuring aid to shipbuilding giants, notably Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co.

Daewoo and Hyundai Heavy Industries, which is also South Korean, are the world's biggest shipbuilders. European shipyards have been losing ground to such Asian competitors in recent years, resulting in bankruptcies and layoffs in Europe. -- AP