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Engineering & Construction

South Korean shipbuilders embrace foreign labor amid shortage

Industry hub of Geoje adjusting to influx of Southeast Asian workers

A 100-meter-tall portal crane looms over Samsung Heavy Industries' Geoje shipyard. (Photo by Kotaro Hosokawa)

GEOJE ISLAND, South Korea -- The sea change afoot in this shipbuilding hub southwest of Busan can be felt at Asia DC Mart, a supermarket that boasts both a view of a 100-meter-tall portal crane and a growing array of imported goods.

The manager of the store, which already offers 200 types of seasonings, has been fretting about how to expand its lineup even further to respond to the rapid rise of foreign residents in the area. "I have to add more sweets and dried noodles, which Indonesians like," she said.

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