The joint Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex is the only such facility in the world where a worker can produce "zero defect products" for US$90 per month, one of the business operators there says. Park Sung-chul of Sinwon, a medium-sized maker of casual wear, was talking to reporters in Beijing on Monday.
Park was there for the China International Clothing and Accessories Fair 2011, or CHIC for short, Asia's largest fashion show. He added it is a great pity that business at the industrial park is stagnating due to strained inter-Korean relations.
"The 1,250 North Korean workers at the Sinwon factory at Kaesong are very quickly acquiring technical know-how because all of them have worked there for six years," Park said. The workers, 80 percent of whom are women in their 20s and 30s, "are so skilled that they could produce clothes every bit as good as Italian designer brand clothing," he claimed.
They are also parsimonious. With material intended for 1,000 suits of clothes, they will make 1,005. And they also have a high sense of responsibility, to the point where they will cut their lunch breaks if they think they would otherwise fail to reach their production targets, according to Park.
Now bonuses have been introduced at the industrial park. "In the early years, we were banned from giving them bonuses, but now a system of bonuses for excess production has taken root there," he said.