Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon returned home on July 21 after four days of his official visit to Bangladesh, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Qatar.
Prime Minister Lee visited Bangladesh on July 14 to visit the Youngone Corp. factory in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, and he visited the plant with Youngone Corp. Chairman Sung Ki-hak. On the day, Chairman Sung announced the company’s various plans to invest in Bangladesh.
In a luncheon with Prime Minister Lee and Korean businessmen at the Intercontinental Hotel in Dhaka, Chairman Sung said, "We will establish a textile technology design university in Bangladesh. We will also build a world-class technical school in the Korean export processing zone (KEPZ) in Bangladesh for our Korean residents. We will continue to make active local investments. "
Bangladesh is the main overseas production base of Youngone Corp. KEPZ has 22 factories and employs 20,000 people. Youngone Corp. plans to build 15 more plants in the next 1-2 years. In addition, it plans to establish educational facilities and speed up localization work.
However, legal disputes were raised as a problem to be solved. Youngone Corp. has established KEPZ in the port city of Chittagong, but Bangladesh has not granted permission for more than 10 years. In the end, Youngone Corp. filed a lawsuit against Bangladesh. Lee's visit to Bangladesh is expected to lead to a settlement of the legal disputes between Youngone Corp. and Bangladesh.
The prime minister met with the Bangladesh minister of land at the Youngone Corp. in Dhaka on the same day, and requested cooperation for a smooth settlement of the issue Prime Minister Lee then urged Bangladesh government officials such as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to resolve the difficulties of Youngone Corp.
In an interview with local reporters in Dhaka on the same day, Chairman Sung said that he wants to make a textile-specialized region in Chittagong, the port city of Bangladesh.
"There are many brands I want to produce in Bangladesh. Customers who have ordered in China often want to move their orders to Bangladesh. "The project prospects in Bangladesh are positive," he said.
"There is a lot of room to expand production facilities at KEPZ in Chittagong. In Bangladesh, the total employment of Youngone Corp. is 64,000 persons, of which more than 50,000 are employed in Chittagong. Its goal is to increase the number of direct employees in Chittagong to 100,000. Furthermore, I want to make an area specialized in textile fashion field in Chittagong. And I want to establish elementary, middle and high private schools in Chittagong. If the problem of child education is solved, we can hire better employees,” he added.
Established in 1974, Youngone Corp. is a specialized manufacturer of outdoor clothing, footwear, and equipment. It is producing and supplying products to over 40 major customers around the world on an OEM basis. In particular, Youngone has domestically owned the sales rights of the global outdoor brand 'North Face', leading the domestic outdoor market.
Youngone Corp. employs more than 1,100 production lines and over 80,000 people worldwide, and Bangladesh accounts for about 70% of its total production capacity. Youngone entered Bangladesh for the first time in 1980 and now operates factories in Chittagong and Dhaka.