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Love towards GIC became a stimulus for leading globalization
- President Moon Chang-seop, Samduk Tongsang
| “At the time of constructing a pilot industrial site, Gaeseong
was a vast wildness. Under lack and poor infrastructure, we used
a temporary generator to supply electricity to a factory. Also I
waited for over an hour to use telephone and fax machine that
Hyundai Asan only had at that time. I was worried about my
business but it turned to be successful. When I saw well-
manufactured shoes, I felt like dreaming,” said Moon Chang-seop,
a president of Samduk Tongsang.
Samduk Tongsang, established in 1997, is one of the most famous OEM, ODM shoes manufacturers in Korea supplying walking shoes, jogging shoes, etc. to domestically and internationally well-known brands. Also it produces its own functional shoes called ‘Stafild’.
It's been about 10 years Samduk Tongsang has carried out business in GIC.
Samduk Tongsang is one of the representative companies in GIC, employing the biggest number of workers. President Moon’s initiative and drive played a great role in his success. He decided to start the business in GIC because he had a faith in its potentiality. “Labor-intensive industry had lost competitiveness in Korea. Therefore I moved China, but China was not an attractive place anymore. At that time the government promoted GIC project, so I thought GIC would be the best place for small and medium sized companies to grow further.”
After the construction of factory, President Moon’s faith got more strengthened. He sold his factory in Qingdao, China to move into GIC. This is solely by his judgement that company’s future lies in Gaeseong. He considered low labor cost, superb accessability and high skill of North Korean workers as advantages of GIC.
Also people-centered business management as well as training laid the foundation for fast growth. “Technology is very important in shoes manufacturing in contrast to textile and sewing. Therefore it was urgent to give technical training to workers.” President Moon promoted production initiative activity and training programs while he stayed in GIC. Also in late 2004, about 20 North Korean workers were brought to China for technical training. Now, they work as technical leaders in GIC.
Regardless of some difficulties due to lack of infrastructure in the beginning, Samduk Tongsang’s quality is being praised by customers thanks to business stabilization. Factory in GIC has started to produce famous domestic brand shoes as well.
The business has not been so rosy all the time but President Moon overcame all the barriers. It proves that GIC is a sustainable inter-Korean economic project. GIC is transforming into a business-friendly industrial complex.
President Moon’s love and passion towards GIC became a stimulus to lead globalization. He introduced SISBRO and GIC to delegates all over the world in UNGC Business for Peace Annual Event on September 29~30 in Istanbul, Turkey.
He believes that GIC will become a global industrial complex. Based on this belief, he comes and goes from Busan and Gaeseong to other parts of the world to make Samduk Tongsang a world-class shoes manufacturer.