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August 22, 2022

Apparel manufacturer Sae-A Group expands Costa Rica presence

South Korea's apparel manufacturer Sae-A Group has completed its second spinning mill in Costa Rica and started construction on its third with plans to build more factories in future.

By Laura Husband

Apparel yarn manufacturer Sae-A Group has created 400 jobs in Costa Rica as part of its US$150m investment plan and expects the completion of its second mill to create 200 more in the coming months across multiple areas for people with different educational levels, from primary to higher education.

The company’s third mill, which has just started construction is expected to be completed in 2023 and operational in 2024 and once these three factories are completed, the company plans to expand its presence in the region by building more in future.

Costa Rica’s president Rodrigo Chaves Robes said at the completion ceremony of the second mill in Coris Cartago last week: “The Global Sae-A Group, which operates factories in over 40 countries around the world, invested in Costa Rica in 2015 and in the seven years since, it has created hundreds of jobs. It has contributed greatly, not only to our Cartago family, but also towards Costa Rica’s development.”

The company started business in Costa Rica in 2015 to produce quality yarn and Sang Soon Han, senior, president of Sae-A Spinning explained: “We decided to invest in Costa Rica seven years ago because of its political and social stability, along with its excellent talent availability. We believe that it was a successful investment.”

He continued: “This second factory is part of our $150m investment plan for Costa Rica, which includes the third factory. The construction for the third factory has already begun and it will be completed by the end of 2023. The second factory introduced a storm water reuse system, and was built as an eco-friendly building and certified as LEED Silver by the US Green Building Council (USGBC). Furthermore, we hope to continue to grow in Costa Rica by constructing a recycled yarn manufacturing factory as well as our fourth factory, in line with the global sustainability trends.”

Founded in 1986, Sae-A Trading, a subsidiary of Global Sae-A Group is described as one of the world’s largest apparel manufacturers and exporters. It is said to have 60,000 associates at 40 factories in the CAFTA countries and ten countries in Asia that manufacture more than 2.6 million articles of clothing every day with yarn supplied by Sae-A Spinning.

Sae-A Spinning manufactures yarn using its cutting-edge technology and Costa Rica’s labour and talent. The yarn is sent to sewing factories to produce finished products for fashion brands in the US and Europe.

The investment promotion agency of Costa Rica, CINDE’s managing director Jorge Sequeira congratulated Sae-A on its impressive growth in the country.

He said: “The company is one of the success stories of our strategy to invest in new regions, as well as a great opportunity to attract investment in other parts of Costa Rica in line with the trends of nearshoring and friendshoring that seek a market close to primarily North America, or its allies with political, social and economic stability.”

Sae-A Group’s establishment and operation of Sae-A Spinning in Costa Rica is described as an important milestone for the company as it has become the first to perform vertical integration in the apparel manufacturing industry for all production processes, from spinning to weaving, dyeing, and sewing. Currently, the company produces 18 million kilograms of yarn per year.

Earlier this year the company announced it had implemented Coats Digital’s GSDCost solution in all 41 of its production facilities.

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