Thursday, 9th February, 2023
Thursday, 9th February, 2023

‘KEPZ textile zone can transform Bangladesh’s textile business’

Textile zone at the Korean Export Processing Zone (KEPZ) in Chattogram will become a “textile hub” in Bangladesh bringing a lot of businesses if the required support is provided to “quickly and fully ” implement it, says the Youngone chief.

South Korea-based global conglomerate Youngone Corporation Chairman and CEO Kihak Sung said the five mega factories, if completed, will have a combined floor space of over 2,000,000 sft.

“Bangladesh needs to make a lot of efforts to produce and supply more manmade fibre (MMF) so that such a supply chain is established successfully here,” he said.

Sung said such efforts will help Bangladesh get a lot of businesses, not losing everything to Vietnam. “That’s my challenge now.”

During an interaction at the KEPZ recently, he said they have a budget to invest another US$ 400 million of their investment. “As long as we’re competitive and customers can take our goods and they make a profit, then we can increase it (investment volume).”

Youngone already started manufacturing polyester fabrics at the two latest state-of-the-art polyester product factories with a floor space of over 430,000 for each which will be expanded to two more similar units for export and supply of high-quality products to garments and apparel factories in Bangladesh as an import substitute and backward linkage.

“We want to be really supportive of Bangladesh garment factories. We need to make raw materials, garments and everything here,” Sung said, adding that quality energy supply still remains the main challenge.

He said they are applying for the generation of captive power in the KEPZ to meet “essential demand of quality” power supply for the sophisticated textile industries.

“We’re appealing to the government to give us a license very quickly so that we can run and produce high quality products for Bangladesh garment factories,” said Sung who is also Honorary Chairman of Korean Federation of Textile Industries (KOFOTI).

He laid emphasis on better infrastructure to be able to enhance export as well as making money. “Losing money, doing more production and more export is not sustainable.”

Responding to a question, the immediate past President of the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF) said Vietnam is doing extremely well and it “deserves our attention.”

“I’ve units in Vietnam. They’re doing well and growing faster than Bangladesh. We need to catch up with that. If we can please our customers with the delivery and quality then customers will naturally rely on us giving more business,” he said.

Sung said they are unable to construct two new factory buildings now due to Gas Ring Main (GRM) pipeline of Karnaphuli Gas Distribution Co, Ltd, currently passing diagonally from north to south in the textile zone.

State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has been apprised on the issue and he directed the KGDCL to take necessary steps.

Youngone Chairman Sung said once Youngone is more successful and more comfortable here in Bangladesh, there will be many other companies to join and make a big investment.

“That’s a brighter part of our future. You need jobs,” Sung said, adding that young people in Patiya and Anwara upazila have more job opportunities than ever, which is also a good thing. “I can’t emphasize enough how it is contributing to the economy of Bangladesh.”

Inspired by his love of nature and outdoor pursuits, Sung founded Youngone Corporation in 1974.

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