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DAPA boosts financial support for local firms

South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has outlined plans to enhance support for local defence firms hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

DAPA said on 19 October that it will allocate KRW435 billion (USD370 million) to “help the defence industry overcome a worsening business environment” because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The funding is available as soft loans over 10 years.

The new allocation takes the total value of DAPA loans for local defence firms in 2021 to KRW723 billion, nearly four times the amount in 2020. Small businesses can borrow the funding at 0.3%, while larger companies must pay up to 1.5% in interest.

DAPA said the funding has been made available for local defence companies to support activities such as research and development, production, exports, expanding production assets, and general operations.

Commenting on the loans, DAPA official Kim Eun-seong said the funding is aimed at enabling South Korea's defence industry to become a “growth engine” for the national economy.

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