Economy Minister María Luisa Hayem reported that she recently held meetings with South Korean businessmen and authorities with the aim of strengthening business ties between the two nations.
During the official mission, the official met with Yoo Gwang-ho, CEO of Sae-A Trading, a clothing company considered the largest in the world, to talk about their investment plans in Central America.
During the meeting, Sae-A International confirmed that it continues to expand its investments in Central America, including Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, and is now evaluating its entry into El Salvador.
The Korean company’s business in Central America follows the close-buying trend of buyers who want to locate consumer markets and production facilities in close proximity after the global supply chain crisis and COVID-19.
In Costa Rica, they entered in 2015, with the first thread production plant and in August 2022 a second one was completed. The third is scheduled for 2023.
In Guatemala and Nicaragua it operates sewing factories, through which it takes advantage of the benefits of CAFTA for duty-free exports to the US market.
«It was a significant meeting to discuss the expansion of the textile industry strategically in El Salvador. We will be evaluating future plans with a variety of possibilities to achieve success between Sae-A and El Salvador,” said a Sae-A executive.
During the official mission, the official also met with the president of Youngone Corporation, Kihak Sung, a leading company in the textile and clothing sector worldwide and that is already installed in the country, with whom the Government seeks to expand business relationships.
On her tour, she also met with the vice minister of small and medium-sized enterprises and startups of the Asian nation, Cho Juhyeon, with whom they exchanged experiences on business acceleration.
“We exchanged experiences on entrepreneurship ecosystems in El Salvador and South Korea,” Hayem shared on Twitter.
The minister explained that as a result of this approach, it was agreed to intensify the work to strengthen innovative financing that allows expanding the matrix of entrepreneurs in El Salvador.
The agenda included a meeting with senior executives of the company Shinwon Corp, an entity specialized in energy diversification and security that has considered the country’s potential to install operations.
The advantages offered by the country
During the work meetings with the Asian businessmen, the delegation from El Salvador explained that the Salvadoran Government is promoting a series of policies to support the development and revitalization of the textile and clothing manufacturing industry.
She added that El Salvador, in addition to being part of CAFTA, offers advantages such as: geographic accessibility; higher labor productivity compared to neighboring countries; and a smooth cooperation system in various fields, such as logistics movement and the supply and demand of raw materials.
Regarding the textile and clothing sector, the official highlighted that it is one of the most important, since it represents around 33% of the country’s total exports; and between January and August of this year, the sector added sales of $906.6 million.