[EDITORIALS]Kudos to Hyundai HeavyHyundai Heavy Industries achieved an astounding feat. Breaking away from the long-standing perception that large ships are built in drydocks, the shipbuilder has built 105,000 metric ton oil tankers on land. By succeeding in this new method of construction, Hyundai can now build ships in a fast and safe manner without having to build expensive drydocks. Hyundai Heavy Industries has filed for international patent rights to this new construction method, which is recognized to the extent that Russia ordered the construction of 16 vessels. That would amount to one year’s worth of orders for shipbuilders that still use the drydock method. Hyundai, which developed Korea’s shipbuilding industry basically from scratch, has opened another era for the world shipbuilding industry.
Hyundai’s feat was prompted by a change in thinking, and then propelled into success by technology accumulated through years of experience and know-how. Foreign shipbuilders laughed at the idea of building ships on land, but Hyundai achieved the impossible. With this latest success, Hyundai can consolidate its No. 1 ranking in the world, and can look forward to improving their business. The company’s management and its labor union are unified in that they have recently committed to a decade free of labor conflicts. We would like to thank them for their work.
Hyundai Heavy Industries is not the only Korean firm to astound the world with new technology. Samsung Electronics has developed 60-nanometer, 8-gigabyte NAND flash memory chips, and POSCO has replaced a century-old smelting furnace technology with a new one. Hyundai Motor competes in the forefront with other world-leading automobile makers.
At a time when pessimism about the Korean economy abounds, these breakthroughs provide a reason for celebration for Korea Incorporated. Companies like these contribute greatly to the growth of the Korean economy. We need more of those companies. President Roh Moo-hyun, who is traveling overseas at the moment, has said that he realizes that Korean products represent Korea and that he is thinking of ways to help the businesses.
There is only one way. The president must provide an environment where the companies can rush headlong into research and development and revive the economy. The future of the Korean economy depends on it.