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Global Komsco Daewoo boosts S. Korea’s minting prowess

Uzbek-based Korean cotton pulp manufacturer secures global market presence after 10 years, officials say

GKD executives and employees pose for a photo in front of the company’s factory in Yangiyul, Uzbekistan after a 10th anniversary celebration held on Tuesday.
GKD executives and employees pose for a photo in front of the company’s factory in Yangiyul, Uzbekistan after a 10th anniversary celebration held on Tuesday.


Global Komsco Daewoo, a Korean cotton pulp maker in Uzbekistan owned by the state-run Korea Minting Security Printing and ID Card Corp., has become a major supplier of raw materials for banknotes to minting agencies in more than 10 advanced economies, the company said Wednesday.

Cotton pulp is widely used in making bills, checks, gift vouchers, and secured bank papers. It also serves as a main material for synthetic chemistry products and new material textiles.

Marking its 10th anniversary this year, the Korean pulp maker saw a $2.1 million of operating profit and $10.9 million in sales in the first half of the year, officials said.

Last year, the company recorded $17.34 million in sales with $3.94 million in operating profit, they added.

In its first four years, the company suffered from price increases in essential fibers like linter as well as a lack of key sales channels. In 2014, however, the Korean pulp maker made a turnaround and has been making profits for six consecutive years through a series of management reforms and continuous quality improvements, they said. 

Founded in August 2010 as a joint venture between the Komsco and Daewoo International, the predecessor of Posco International, a trading unit of steel giant Posco, GKD has served as a pipeline of cotton pulp for Korean enterprises and major foreign markets, including France, Italy, Russia, Poland and India. It produces more than 14,000 tons of related fibers annually.

Komsco‘s cotton pulp manufacturing technology and Posco International’s experience of operating its affiliate in Uzbekistan played a vital role in the venture’s growth, officials said. The two hold a 65 percent and 35 percent stake in the company, respectively.

Over the past 10 years, stable supply chain of cotton pulp fueled by the GKD has elevated Asia‘s fourth largest economy‘s prowess in the minting industry, the Komsco said. 

“The establishment of GKD set a new milestone for Komsco’s global expansion. We will step up efforts to develop the company as a model of success for other state-run corporations’ oversease subsidiary,” said Komsco CEO Cho Yong-man. 

Now as a leading cotton manufacturer and exporter in Uzbekistan, GKD has not only fostered the regional economy by creating more than 230 jobs, but it has also taken the lead in corporate social responsibility activities, enhancing South Korea’s image in the international community. The firm, for instance, regularly delivers basic supplies such as books and school uniforms to young students in the region and finances the remodeling of school auditoriums. 

By Choi Jae-hee and Lee Kwon-hyung (cjh@heraldcorp.com) (kwonhl@heraldcorp.com)
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