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“Daegu’s Milano Project to Be Overhauled”

Posted March. 31, 2005 23:46,   


The Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) made a report on March 31 on the Fashion Apparel Valley Project (Bongmu Local Industrial Complex), the core of the “Milano Project” initiated by Daegu in an effort to stimulate the textile industry, demanding that the project’s “promotion itself should be overhauled, with a thorough analysis of its feasibility.”

The Milano Project, a plan for stimulating the textile industry that has been pushed for since 1999 with a total budget of 82.51 billion won, aims at transforming Daegu, which once was the center of the Korean textile industry, into a global hub for the fashion industry comparable to Milan.

In its audit report on the “Current Status of Promotion Projects for Local Industries,” the BAI indicated that the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy and the City of Daegu enforced the project without sufficient consideration of its feasibility, despite the fact that, while Milan and other fashion industry clusters had been developing spontaneously based on a large number of small- and mid-sized businesses with sophisticated textile production technologies and their own brands, Daegu lacks nearly all such fundamentals.

The BAI also added that, when it comes to fundraising for the Fashion Apparel Valley, no measures have been formulated for raising the necessary 23.07 billion won in the private sector, excluding the 70 billion won that the government will provide out of a total project budget of 30.07 billion won, making it virtually impossible to continue promoting the project. As of late August 2004, five years after the initial launch of the project, its completion rate stood at a mere 18%.

It was also pointed out that the Busan Footwear Industrial Promotion Center was playing practically the same role as that of the existing Korea Institute of Footwear and Leather Technology (founded in 1987), failing to live up to its initial aim by encroaching upon rather than enhancing the business area of the private sector.

The City of Busan had also invested 400,000 dollars in a joint venture with a Lebanese, in an attempt to launch sales agencies in seven countries including Lebanon, but the money has gone to waste after the Lebanese in question failed to keep up his end of the deal.

Yong-Gwan Jung yongari@donga.com