Daewoo Big Forklifts
Daewoo moved into the construction sector, helping to make the new village movement, that was a part of Korea's rural development program. The corporation was also able to capitalize on the growing markets in the Middle East and within Africa. Daewoo was given its GTC designation at this time. Major investment assistance was provided by the South Korean government to the company in the form of subsidized loans. The strict import controls of South Korea angered competing countries, but the government knew that, independently, the chaebols would never endure the world recession caused by the oil crisis during the 1970s. Protectionist policies were necessary to ensure that the economy continued to grow.
Daewoo's move into shipbuilding was required by the government, even though Kim felt that both Hyundai and Samsung had greater skill in heavy engineering and was more suited to shipbuilding compared to Daewoo. Kim did not want to assume responsibility for the largest dockyard within the world, at Okpo. He said numerous times that the government of Korea was stifling his entrepreneurial instinct by forcing him to undertake actions based on duty instead of revenue. Despite his unwillingness, Kim was able to turn Daewoo Shipbuilding and Heavy Machinery into a profitable company manufacturing oil rigs and ships which are competitively priced on a tight production timetable. This happened during the 1980s when the economy in South Korea was experiencing a liberalization stage.
The government during this time was reducing its protectionist measures that helped to fuel the rise of small businesses and medium-sized businesses. Daewoo had to rid two of its textile corporations at this time and the shipbuilding industry was starting to attract more foreign competition. The objective of the government was to shift to a free market economy by encouraging a more efficient allocation of resources. Such a policy was intended to make the chaebols more aggressive in their global dealings. Nevertheless, the new economic conditions caused some chaebols to fail. Amongst the competitors of Daewoo, the Kukje Group, went into liquidation during 1985. The shift of government favour to small private businesses was intended to spread the wealth that had previously been concentrated in Seoul and Pusan, Korea's industrial centers.
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