European aerospace giant EADS has offered South Korea a huge defense-sector investment. The European competitor said procuring the deal would create tens of thousands of jobs.
EADS confirmed Friday it had offered South Korea a $2 billion (1.55-billion-euro) investment in a bid to edge out US rivals for a contract to provide 60 advanced fighter planes.
EADS spokesman Francisco Salido said South Korea could rely on comprehensive support for its own next-generation KF-X combat fighter program.
Sensing a window of opportunity
"If the assembly of the Eurofighter and the KF-X program are conducted at the same time in South Korea, it will bring economic effects worth dozens of trillions...and create 50,000 jobs on the ground," EADS commented in a statement.
So far, South Korea's military procurement needs have overwhelmingly been met by US suppliers not least because of a historically close defense alliance.
But EADS is now hoping to get a foot in the door and open up a new market. "South Korea is a strategically important market for us in all business sectors, including civil aviation, defense and satellite technology," Salido maintained. A decision on the contract is expected by the end of next month.
hg/kms (AFP, dpa)