Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Lee Chang-yang asked Airbus to set up a research center in Korea during a meeting with Airbus Defense and Space (D&S) CEO Michael Schoellhorn in Seoul. Photo courtesy of MOTIE

Korea set to beef up cooperation with Airbus

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) announced on Nov. 16 that Minister Lee Chang-yang had met with Airbus Defense and Space (D&S) CEO Michael Schoellhorn in Seoul.

The ministry noted that the meeting had been designed to discuss measures to strengthen the aerospace and defense industry through cooperation.

In particular, Lee asked the Airbus D&S head to set up an R&D center in Korea to deepen the level of cooperation and mutually beneficial development in not only traditional sectors but also next-generation aerospace industries.

Airbus D&S is a division of Airbus SE, the European multinational aerospace corporation, and this meeting was convened on the occasion of the Airbus D&S chief’s visit to South Korea.

Noting the recent successful flight test of the KF-21 and exports of FA-50s to Poland, the Airbus D&S CEO proposed a win-win strategy by which finished Korean aircraft can be exported to Western Europe, according to the MOITE.

Airbus plans to increase its current 700 billion won ($520 million) worth of purchases of shipments manufactured by Korea’s middle-market firms and SMEs to over 1 trillion won in the future.

He also said that Airbus was seeking ways to contribute to Korea’s space industry development in view of the nation’s successful launch of Nuri-ho rocket, so as to broaden the range of space cooperation with Korea.

Addressing Korea’s push for an aerospace center establishment, he said that he would share data on joint project cases involving the European Space Agency (ESA), the MOITE said.