South Korean apparel manufacturing giant Hansae Co is investing up to $2m to set up its first US manufacturing operation.

The site in Garner, North Carolina, will focus on producing personal protective equipment (PPE) for the US market.

"The facility will focus on surgical masks, and we have plans to expand to other products in the future depending on the market conditions," explains Hermann Chiu, vice president of strategic sales. 

The operation will commence in the last quarter of 2020, and the business will be run under Hansae's subsidiary AMP (Apparel Manufacturing Partners). Hansae will initially employ eight to 10 people at its Garner location.

"During these uncertain times, the access to PPE has never been more important. Having a company like Hansae here producing PPE will only help ensure that people around this country will have access to much-needed PPE products," adds Garner Mayor Ken Marshburn.

Hansae recently teamed up with Wilson College of Textiles in North Carolina in a move aimed at nurturing new talent in the American textile industry.

The South Korean group is one of the world's largest apparel manufacturers, with a global network of factories in Vietnam, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Indonesia, Myanmar and Haiti producing around 300m articles of clothing per year.