VIETNAM: Kumho to invest USD 100 million in Vietnamese tire plant expansion

The announcement is the first time that the group has revealed details of a planned investment in Vietnam, which is expected to increase the company's Vietnamese plant's annual production from 3.3 million tires to 5 million.

"We are mulling over enlarging the facilities of our Vietnamese factory beginning next year. The amount to be spent is in the neighborhood of USD 100 million,” Park told The Korea Times.

"We will strengthen our footing in Vietnam where our affiliates in construction, airlines and express buses have operations.”

Park regards Vietnam as a significant target market for Kumho. In particular, he has been a strong proponent of cranking up the output of the Kumho Tire plant there.

He flew to Hanoi in late 2012 to meet Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung as part of one of his first international meetings after being reinstated to the group's top post earlier in the year - he stepped down from the job in 2009 amid a family feud.

Experts pointed out that Park's decision makes sense because Vietnam can be a production base to meet fast rising demand for quality tires in China, just north of Vietnam.

Source: Daily "The Korea Times", Seoul; 9 Sept 2013(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)