Economy, trade and business
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Articles on current developments, compiled by Tim Beal.
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Korean Business News: December 2008
Korea Business Consultant in Beijing
Housing Construction Progresses Apace
Pyongyang, December 26 (KCNA) -- The DPRK government has paid deep attention to the construction of dwelling houses.
The dwelling construction is in full swing in Mansudae Street in the heart of Pyongyang and other parts of the city.
The Pyongyang City Construction Guidance Bureau is making positive efforts to build various types of dwelling houses in Mansudae Street that goes with other main streets of the city in a formative art. It is effecting innovations in construction by introducing monolithic concrete tamping and precast construction methods.
Provinces, cities and counties are also building dwellings suitable to local conditions, thus changing their looks.
Kim Jong Il Gives Field Guidance to Chollima Steel Complex
Pyongyang, December 24 (KCNA) -- General Secretary Kim Jong Il gave field guidance to the Chollima Steel Complex, lighting a torch for bringing about a fresh revolutionary surge.
Only four years are left before opening the gate of a great prosperous powerful nation and there are many difficulties and trials to be weathered, he said, adding but the Korean people are sure to emerge victorious as long as they have inexhaustible creative power as they are armed with the spirit of self-reliance and have the powerful Juche-based industry equipped with new technology.
Noting that the Korean people opened the gate of industrialization at one go by advancing several centuries in the spirit of self-reliance which stunned the world in the 1950s, he underscored the need to give full play to the might of self-reliance which was augmented in the days of "the Arduous March", the forced march and thus build a great prosperous powerful nation earlier than scheduled.
DPRK's top leader confident of national economy's tremendous potential
PYONGYANG, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- Kim Jong Il, the top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), has said the country's national economy has "tremendous potential," state media reported Sunday.
During an inspection tour to the Huichon Ceramic Factory in Jagang province recently, Kim stressed the need to improve officials' ability to offer better guidance on economy and enhance the role of scientists and technicians so as to bring the great production potential into fullest play.
The top leader called for raising the level of technical skills of the workers and technicians and widely introducing advanced technology.
He said that Jagang province has turned into a socialist fairyland, which showed the plan for building a "great prosperous powerful nation" in the DPRK has begun to come true.
The report, the sixth in five days on Kim's visits, did not mention the exact date of the inspection.
Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation Office closes after 3 years; cross-border cooperation withering
Posted Date : 2008-12-19 (NK Brief No. 08-12-19-1)
On October 28, 2005, an office housing the Inter-Korean Council for Economic Cooperation was established in order to create a channel for routine dialog between North and South Korean authorities and to assist with direct business deals between the two countries. Now, three years later and as inter-Korean relations have stalled, the office has completely closed its doors, causing economic cooperation to wither.
DPRK pushes to meet yearly production plans
Posted Date : 2008-12-17 (NK Brief No. 08-12-17-1)
As the end of the year approaches, North Korea has launched a Year-end Battle in order to encourage every sector of the economy to meet annual production targets, without exception.
On December 1, (North) Korean Central Broadcasting announced, workers, laborers and technicians of the harvesting industry sector overcome difficulties and barriers with indomitable moral strength, while thoroughly accomplishing the (New Year) Joint Editorials fighting tasks, focusing all strengths on the struggle to brightly wrap up the deeply meaningful year,while also reporting on the production innovation of the nations mining and smelting facilities.
Kim Jong Il Gives Field Guidance to Huichon Ceramic Factory
Pyongyang, December 20 (KCNA) -- General Secretary Kim Jong Il gave field guidance to the Huichon Ceramic Factory.
He went round the factory to learn in detail about the introduction of new technology and production there.
After seeing various kinds of pottery produced by the factory, he expressed great satisfaction over the fact that the factory has sharply increased the production of pottery and markedly improved their quality in a matter of one year.
Noting that the officials, technicians and workers of the factory have done a lot of work to consolidate the material and technical foundation of the factory, he highly appreciated their successes.
He said that the shining successes registered by the factory are the precious fruition of the revolutionary spirit of self-reliance and fortitude and they prove that reserves for boosting the production lie in making scientific and technological progress.
Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Railroaders Arrive in Vladivostok for Training
North Korean railroad representatives have already acquainted with port station Nakhodka Vostochnaia work
VLADIVOSTOK, December 18, vladivostoktimes.com Railroader delegation from Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea continues its training at Vladivostok department of Far Eastern railroad (Public corporation branch Russian railroads), press secretary of Vladivostok Far Eastern railroad department- public corporation branch Russian railroads head Alexander Artomonov reports.
Guests from North Korea came to Vladivostok from Khabarovsk to have training. In Khabarovsk the delegation got acquainted with personnel training system on the Far Eastern railroad. They also visited locomotive depot Khabarovsk-2. The delegation includes employees of Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Railroad Ministry, foreign railroads and transport railroad company Tonkhe cooperation management.
In Primorsky Territory the representatives of North Korean railroads examined the work of port station Nakhodka Vostochnaia, visited container terminal in Vostochniy Post and Nakhodka railroad facilities.
Kim Jong Il Visits Sariwon Chicken Farm and Migok Cooperative Farm
Pyongyang, December 11 (KCNA) -- General Secretary Kim Jong Il provided field guidance to the rebuilt Sariwon Chicken Farm and the Migok Cooperative Farm in Sariwon City.
Kim Jong Il first went to the chicken farm.
Noting that its employees have brought a new turn in breeding chickens through brisk technical innovation movement and in high revolutionary spirit of self-reliance, thus steadily boosting production, he gave appreciation of the efforts made by them devoting their wisdom and enthusiasm for the people.
N Korea state insurance group wins case
By Sundeep Tucker in Hong Kong and Andrea Felsted in London
Published: December 10 2008 21:43 | Last updated: December 10 2008 21:43
North Koreas state-owned insurance company has won a long-running legal battle against a group of London market reinsurers that had refused to pay out a claim relating to a helicopter crash in Pyongyang.
Court proceedings in London have ended after a group of reinsurers, including Allianz of Germany, Generali of Italy and three Lloyds of London syndicates, agreed to pay 95 per cent of the reinsurance claim, or 39.2m ($58.2m).
In depth: North Korea - Dec-10The reinsurers also agreed to retract and withdraw all allegations of fraud and impropriety made against the Korea National Insurance Company.
It is not unusual for reinsurers robustly to contest claims. But it is thought this is the first victory of its kind in an overseas court for the monopoly insurance provider in the communist state.
However, the case also underlines the international nature of the reinsurance industry and that even in North Korea a state-owned body has bought reinsurance from markets around the world, including London and the Lloyds market within it.
One member of the reinsurance consortium, Aviabel of Belgium, has refused to accept the settlement and legal proceedings are continuing.
The case stems from an accident in July 2005 when a helicopter crashed into a Pyongyang warehouse, which North Korea said contained emergency relief goods such as food, clothing and medical supplies.
DPRK reemphasizes priority development of national defense industries
Posted Date : 2008-12-08 (NK Brief No. 08-12-8-1)
The North Korean online magazine Our Nation (uri minjokkiri) emphasized on January 1 that development of national defense industries would be prioritized, stating that it was the best way to move forward and harden a strong national defense while at the same time developing the entire economy.
In an article titled, The Path to Economic Construction of the Military-first Era, the website reminded the reader of the goal of building a strong and prosperous nation by 2012, and stated that Kim Jong Il had said that building up the economy was the main line of construction for the building of a Strong and Prosperous Nation. It went on, Todays era is the era in which the national economic strength is determined by the amount of development of the national defense industries, and, National defense industries are in a leading position, while the independent establishment of the core economic structure is necessary, and a strong economic base can be constructed.
Gaeseong Firms Demand Compensation
By Kim Se-jeong
Eighty-eight South Korean companies are expected to face financial trouble after North Korea decided to halve the number of southerners stationed in the Gaeseong Industrial Complex. Now the question is who is to shoulder the burden.
The companies have recently asked Seoul to compensate them for their expected losses.
According to an association of the firms, they have suffered 110 billion won in losses for the past three months due to cross-border political tension.
One official from the complex told the Yonhap News Agency that the government, which is alleged to have caused the problem, must give them compensation.
[Kaesong] [SK NK policy]
If Gaeseong fails, then what?
Kim Ji-seok, Editorial writer
The first product from the Gaeseong (Kaesong) Industrial Complex was produced right about this time four years ago -- a smart-looking unification cooking pot. Production at the Gaeseong Industrial Complex increased from $14.9 million in 2005 to US$184.77 million last year. Currently, about 36,000 North Koreans work at 88 South Korean-run factories there. Its a well-established industrial zone.
Getting the complex built was not easy. Immediately after the first inter-Korean summit, Hyundai Asan and North Koreas Asia Pacific Peace Committee signed an agreement to push the project forward in August 2000. But the U.S. administration of President George W. Bush had an unfavorable impression of the project. In October 2002, a second nuclear crisis broke out due to allegations the North had enriched uranium. In June 2003, nearly three years after the agreement was signed, a ground-breaking ceremony for the industrial complex was held. It took another year to select the 15 companies that would be allowed to build manufacturing facilities on the site.
N. Korea says it found "promising" reserves of natural resources
SEOUL, Nov 30, 2008 (Asia Pulse Data Source via COMTEX) --
North Korea on Sunday said its geological survey teams recently discovered potential reserves of natural resources such as coal and iron.
"An exploration team in South Pyongan Province has secured a number of fields for natural resources, including coal, while the teams in South Hwanghae and Kangwon provinces made progress in locating iron ore," the North's Korean Central Broadcasting Station reported.
The report did not provide any other details, such as the exact location of the new mine fields or the estimated amounts of minerals buried there.
Natural resources are a valuable source of hard currency for the impoverished North. The communist nation is believed to have the world's largest deposit of magnesite and the second-largest deposit of tungsten in the world.
Imperialists' Despicable Scheme to Lead DPRK to "Reform" and "Opening" Flailed
Pyongyang, November 21 (KCNA) -- "Reform" and "opening" touted by the imperialists are a reactionary plot to block social progress and stem the trend of history and a sinister move to destabilize and undermine other countries under the signboard of "globalization" in a bid to attain their hegemonic purpose, says Rodong Sinmun Friday in a signed article.
The article says: The imperialists are using "reform" and "opening" as pretexts for political pressure, economic sanctions and blockade, while putting them up as preconditions. They have gone the lengths of crying out for "reform" and "opening" when dealing with humanitarian issues in a bid to make humanitarianism a plaything for their political bargaining.
What should not be overlooked is the pressure put by them upon the DPRK to accept "reform" and "opening" despite its firm adherence to the socialist principle.
They are groundlessly accusing the DPRK of opting for "isolation" and "closure", not "reform" and "opening". This is nothing but sheer sophism which can be uttered by those who distort reality and make profound confusion of right and wrong.
As far as reform is concerned, the DPRK transformed the old social system in a revolutionary manner decades ago and it has carried on a steady renovation drive to get rid of everything old and backward and create everything new.
As for opening, the DPRK has always kept its door open. The DPRK has boosted foreign relations since it identified independence, peace and friendship with the avowed basic idea of its foreign policy.
[Economic reform] [Opening] [Camouflage] [Development strategy] [Inversion]
Independent Economy Promotes International Economic Cooperation
Pyongyang, November 24 (KCNA) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is building an independent national economy on the revolutionary principle of self-reliance.
An independent economy does not run counter to international economic cooperation but makes it possible to promote it in a better way.
As each country has different natural and geographical conditions, productive forces and scientific and technological development standards, it cannot afford to produce everything by its own efforts.
The independent economy demands that each country should produce by itself what it requires in large quantities, needs urgently and can make easily, and should solve what it requires less or is short of and cannot produce through economic cooperation and exchange with others.
It, therefore, strengthens the Juche character of the national economy and fully ensures the sound and sustainable development of economy.
What the independent economy opposes is not the economic cooperation and exchange with other countries, but the economic domination and subordination.
[Development strategy] [Juche] [Opening] [Trade]
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S. Korea begins withdrawing staff from Gaeseong
Additional staff to be withdrawn following negotiations with N. Korea
South Korea began withdrawing its personnel from the Gaeseong (Kaesong) Industrial Complex in North Korea on November 28. Tours to the Norths ancient border city of Gaeseong and cross-boarder cargo train service on the Gyeongeui Line were both suspended on the same day. The actions were taken after North Korea notified the South on November 24 that it would block and strictly limit non-essential overland travel and reduce the number of South Korean staff at the Gaeseong Industrial Complex beginning next month.
1,600 Southerners Allowed to Stay at Gaeseong Site
By Kim Sue-young
With just two days to go before North Korea's passage restrictions at the inter-Korean border, South Korean personnel began to withdraw from North Korea Friday.
About 1,200 South Koreans returned to the South from the joint Gaeseong Industrial Complex in North Korea, reports said. The group includes officials from the Gaeseong Industrial District Management Committee and the South-North Economic Cooperation Office.
Kaesong Firms Face Dire Straits
Most of the South Korean businesses in the joint Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea are in trouble amid a new ice age in inter-Korean relations.
The Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business on Sunday released a survey of 63 South Korean businesses operating or planning to operate in the industrial park. Some 60.3 percent of respondents said their situation was very serious and 28.6 percent it was serious."
What is the future of the Gaeseong Industrial Complex?
Complex has the potential to grow 7.1 times in 3 years, but profitability and workforce shortages must be addressed
[4th Hankyoreh-Busan Symposium]
» Ngo Xuan Binh, the head of the Northeast Asia research institute at the Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences, discusses his experience with the establishment of special economic zones in Vietnam at the 4th Hankyoreh-Busan International Symposium at the Novotel Ambassador Hotel, Busan, on November 21.
The Fourth 2008 Hankyoreh-Busan International Symposium held its second day of meetings November 21 with the theme of the future of the Gaeseong (Kaesong) Industrial Complex. Held at the Novotel Ambassador Hotel in Busan and jointly sponsored by The Hankyoreh, the city of Busan and the Korea Land Corporation, the second day of the symposium set its sights on identifying conditions of success for special economic zones and tasks of the Gaeseong Industrial Complex.
DPRK authorities reclaim plots for tree planting
Posted Date : 2008-11-18 (NK Brief No. 08-11-18-1)
The South Korean civic organization Good Friends recently reported that North Korean authorities have prohibited North Koreans from working private plots in the mountains which had been cleared and used for grain production, and have recently begun replanting trees in these areas.
Businesses Invited to Use 2009 Hi Seoul Brand
By Lee Ka-won
Seoul City is inviting small manufacturers without their own trademarks to take part in its 'brand' project for 2009.
The Seoul Business Agency, a business promoter funded by the metropolitan city, has announced that it is receiving applications for the "Hi Seoul" brand project by Nov. 25.
Business in the fields of information technology (IT), fashion, culture content and daily necessities that have been doing business for two years or more after being created in Seoul will be eligible for the project, the agency said.
Successful applicants will be given the right to place the logo and trademark on their products and receive support in selling them abroad through comprehensive marketing and promotion activities by the agency at its cost, an official said.
Pyongsu Joint Venture Company
Pyongsu Joint Venture Company, Limited is a pharmaceutical company jointly founded in 2002 by the Pyongyang Pharmaceutical Company, the Ministry of Public Health's pharmaceutical factory with the longest experience in traditional and modern medicine in North Korea and a company headquartered in Hong Kong which is a market leader in pharmaceuticals distribution and contract manufacturing in Asia.
South Korea to Suffer Trade Deficit in 2009
South Korea is expected to suffer a trade deficit for a second straight year in 2009 mainly due to declining exports amid the global economic recession, Yonhap News reported quoting a government report Wednesday.
Korea Business News November 2008
Dutch trade mission to the DPRK
Consultancy and the Netherlands Council for Trade
Promotion recently organized a business mission in
order to investigate the business opportunities in this
country. The economic mission to Pyongyang took
place from 28 September to 4 October 2008.
Pyongyang remodelling underway
Posted Date : 2008-11-17 (NK Brief No. 08-11-17-1)
North Koreas capital city of Pyongyang appears to be getting a facelift. The (North) Korean Central Broadcasters has reported that a city beautification project is underway in Pyongyang.
An apartment-erecting crane is building a new skyscraper, while construction has been restarted on the 16-year old remains of the shell of the Ryukyung Hotel as large-scale construction equipment and barges crowd the river as piles of construction materials can be found at each construction site.
Deterioration in inter-Korean relations threatens Gaeseong Industrial Complex
Some criticize S. Korean government for failing to take action, which could have negative repercussions for both Koreas
Gaeseong (Kaesong) Industrial Complex, that last entrenchment of inter-Korean cooperation, is under siege. On November 12, North Korean military told South Korean authorities that it is going to strictly limit passage by land across the Military Demarcation Line. The industrial park is not going to have its doors immediately shut, but the situation is serious, in which we cannot exclude the possibility of, depending how the North-South relationship goes from here, South Korean companies withdrawing from Gaeseong and a complete severing of inter-Korean relations.
The Gaeseong Industrial Complex has long been a successful experimental model in mutual prosperity.
[SK NK policy] [Kaesong]
Kim Jong Il Sends Vehicles and Equipment to Chongjin Goat Farm
Chongjin, November 10 (KCNA) -- General Secretary Kim Jong Il sent vehicles and equipment to the Chongjin Goat Farm.
He gave field guidance to the farm in May last and advanced highly important tasks to be fulfilled in managing and operating it.
Bicycle business growing in North Korea
Posted Date : 2008-11-03 (NK Brief No. 08-11-3-1)
The Daily NK has reported that the use of bicycles for business and transportation around the city of Pyongyang is becoming more and more commonplace, with 7 out of 10 households owning a bike, despite the fact that the cost of a bicycle in the capital city has doubled in the last twelve months alone.
According to North Korean defectors, until the early part of the 21st century, bicycles were the most sought-after purchases, with only 30~40 percent of families able to buy them.
According to a source in Pyongyang, If you go to a [market] these days, youd see that people who sell or purchase goods mostly use bicycles, adding, With the exception of those houses with extremely difficult situations, most households have a bike.
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Global financial crisis hits DPRK economy by way of China
Posted Date : 2008-10-29 (NK Brief No. 08-10-29-1)
Contacts within North Korea are reporting that the North Korean people are becoming very anxious over the possibility of the international economic crisis having a long term impact as not only exports have dropped, but even cross-border smuggling is taking a hit.
Recently, as Chinese traders have more than halved the price of North Koreas main export goods such as minerals and scrap iron, North Koreas markets and even construction industry have felt the blow.
As North Korean state-run media outlets report the current financial crisis as the ruin of the United States and other capitalist world powers, they report as if North Korea were completed unaffected by it. On the 20th, the Rodong Sinmun emphasized that the the U.S. financial management system was like a candle in the wind.
However, it has been leaked that since last week, businesses in North Korea have been shutting their doors as a result of the financial crisis. In particular, the value of the North Korean Won has dropped sharply against the Chinese Yuan, and combined with Chinese traders reluctance to purchase North Korean goods and calls to lower prices, very little business is being conducted. This has led mines in Hyesan to halt exports of lead and zinc, and with the drop in legitimate exports, of course smuggling has dropped of, as well.
Furthermore, as raw materials from China are not being supplied, construction projects in the North are also grinding to a halt.
[Globalisation] [NK China]
Escape global financial crisis, visit North Korea
By Yoo Choonsik
Thursday, October 30, 2008; 2:11 AM
PYONGYANG (Reuters) - As the rest of the world groans under the strain of the spreading financial storm, life in the self-described paradise of North Korea remains blissfully untouched.
"We know many countries are struggling due to the financial crisis ... we have no problem here," said a North Korean guide working with a visiting aid group from the South, whose economy has been among the hardest hit as financial markets tumble around the world.
By Yoo Choonsik
Thursday, October 30, 2008; 2:11 AM
PYONGYANG (Reuters) - As the rest of the world groans under the strain of the spreading financial storm, life in the self-described paradise of North Korea remains blissfully untouched.
"We know many countries are struggling due to the financial crisis ... we have no problem here," said a North Korean guide working with a visiting aid group from the South, whose economy has been among the hardest hit as financial markets tumble around the world.
Inter-Korean Business Procedures Simplified
By Kim Sue-young
The government Tuesday abolished a system under which companies here must receive a permit to do business in North Korea.
As a result, companies which have been seeking to operate in the reclusive state would see simplified procedures when they start inter-Korean projects.
Back on Track
What we witnessed during the past weekend was a groundbreaking moment for all of us doing business, or interested in doing business, in the DPRK. Saturday 11th Octobers announcement from the United States on the removal of the DPRK from the list of states sponsoring terrorism has a major impact on all aspects of dealing with the DPRK.
It will enable loans for the DPRK government to rebuild infrastructure, it will enable easier access to development aid, and very importantly, it will enable the successful pursuit of a wide range of business opportunities.
This is a significant time for action by those who can see the opportunity which lies directly ahead, the opportunity to help the DPRK rebuild its economy and its country and help its people rejoin the community of peoples of North East Asia. The process has already begun. Strategic investors have recognized the DPRK as the resource-rich geographic pivot of Northeast Asia. The DRPK sits in the centre of an economic bloc which stretches from Sakhalin in the Russian Far East, through Japan, through Northeast China into Central Asia and encompasses over 600 million people. This emerging economic bloc will be one of the powerhouses of the 21st century. Those with vision and a desire to build the new world for the people of the 21st century will be setting sail for the DPRK now.
Joint branding planned for Kaesong industries
Posted Date : 2008-10-16 (08-10-16-1)
The South Korean Ministry of Unification, in order to foster small and mid-sized industries in the Kaesong Industrial Complex, has launched a special enterprise to jointly develop brands for companies that have technical and productive capacity, but are lacking original branding and face growth and marketing limitations.
The ministry will continue the brand development project until December, after which time, trademark applications, selection of participating enterprises, etc. will be announced, and these jointly branded goods would be available for sale in the spring of next year
Ground-Breaking Ceremony for Reconstruction of Rajin-Khasan Railways and Rajin Port Held
Pyongyang, October 4 (KCNA) -- A ground-breaking ceremony for the reconstruction of Rajin-Khasan Railways and Rajin Port took place in front of the DPRK-Russia Friendship House in the area of Tumangang Railway Station in Rason City Saturday.
Attending it were Minister of Railways Jon Kil Su, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Kung Sok Ung, Vice-Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Myong San and others, officials in the field of railways, working people in the city, a delegation of the "Russian Railways" Company headed by its President V.I. Yakunin, Governor of the Administration of Maritime Territory of the Russian Federation Sergei Darkin, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Aleksei Borodavkin, officials concerned with railways and other Russian guests, Russian Ambassador to the DPRK Valery Sukhinin and diplomatic envoys of different countries here.
DPRK steps up efforts to improve power plants
Posted Date : 2008-09-30 (NK Brief No. 08-9-30-1)
North Korea is accelerating projects to repair and upgrade power plants throughout the country in order to resolve its electrical shortage problems. According to the (North) Korean Central Broadcasting Station on September 25, oil pressure regulators on generators 1 and 2 at the Soopoong Power Plant on the Yalu River were replaced with more efficient digital regulators in order to increase power production capabilities. The broadcasters also announced on the 22nd that the Number 3 Boiler at the East Pyongyang Steam Power Plant, which supplies electricity to the Pyongyang area, is undergoing a major overhaul, just as its Number 1 Boiler did in July.
Chosun International Development Trust Company handling overseas business for DPRK
Posted Date : 2008-09-23 (NK Brief No. 08-9-23-1)
North Koreas Chosun International Development Trust Company, founded less than four years ago, is quickly emerging as the center for all of North Koreas overseas business transactions. This was made public in an article published in the September 18 edition of the Chosun Sinbo, the newspaper of the Jochongryeon, an organization representing the North Korean diaspora in Japan.
The newspaper introduced the trust as being involved in business and trade dealings with other countries, investment trust activities, financial services and other activities, while raising the credit rating of related domestic enterprises through solid business practices and broadly and continuously expanding business transactions with foreign enterprises.
The trust seeks capital, particularly Chinese capital in Beijing and Jilin,
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North Korea in the midst of a mysterious building boom
Who's paying for the major face lift underway in Pyongyang? The impoverished nation says it is, but analysts are skeptical.
By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 27, 2008
PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA -- It has been so long since the sound has been heard in the North Korean capital that at first it seems an illusion, a buzzing in the ear perhaps. But no, that really is a power saw, and that pounding really is a hammer at work at a construction site.
By the dizzying standards of Asia's exploding mega-cities, the construction here is nothing you could call a real estate boom. But it is a remarkable -- and somewhat mysterious -- development in a city that looks like it was frozen in time, with its Stalinist slabs of concrete from the 1950s and '60s.
Yet these days, high-rise apartments in shades of pink are taking shape near the Pueblo, the American spy ship captured in 1968 and still anchored in the river. A tangle of construction cranes juts into the skyline near Pothong Gate, a re-creation of the old city wall. About 100,000 units are to be built over the next four years.
4th Pyongyang Autumn International Trade Fair Opens
Pyongyang, September 22 (KCNA) -- The 4th Pyongyang Autumn International Trade Fair was opened with due ceremony at the Three-Revolution Exhibition on Monday.
Present there were Ro Tu Chol, vice-premier of the DPRK Cabinet, Ri Ryong Nam, minister of Foreign Trade, Kim Jong Sik, vice-chairman of the Pyongyang City People's Committee, Ri Hak Gwon, director of the DPRK Chamber of Commerce, officials in the field of foreign trade and delegations and delegates from different countries and regions.
Representatives and staff members of foreign embassies here were on hand.
4th Pyongyang Autumn International Trade Fair
Pyongyang, September 24 (KCNA) -- The 4th Pyongyang Autumn International Trade Fair is open at the Three-Revolution Exhibition in Pyongyang.
It has drawn over 150 companies and enterprises from different countries and regions including the DPRK, China, Russia, Cuba, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Singapore, Australia, United Kingdom and Italy
Public Presentation on Potato Farming Held
Pyongyang, September 20 (KCNA) -- A national public presentation of scientific and technological achievements in the field of potato farming was held in Taehongdan County, Ryanggang Province on Sept. 18 and 19 to mark the 10th anniversary of the policy for effecting a signal turn in potato farming set forth by the Workers' Party of Korea.
Present there were officials, scientists, technicians and teachers in the agricultural field across the country.
The public presentation was divided into the panel of seed potato cultivation, the panel of potato cultivation and comprehensive mechanization in alpine areas, the panel of potato cultivation in low land, the panel of fertilizers and agricultural chemicals and the panel of potato storing and processing.
Inter-Korean Projects 'to Cost W14 Trillion'
It will cost about W14.3 trillion (US$1=W1,153) to implement the projects agreed by former president Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il during the second inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang in 2007, the Unification Ministry said Thursday.
Will Inter-Korean Project in Gaeseong Survive?
Amid mounting worries about a possible labor shortage at the inter-Korean industrial complex in the North Korean border city of Gaeseong, trucks carrying workers who completed their duty at the site return to South Korea in this file photo taken on Aug. 28. / Korea Times
By Kim Suk-hi
The loss of allies in the early 1990s and numerous natural disasters in the mid-1990s caused the North Korean economy to shrink. Furthermore, the United States, its allies, and the United Nations increasingly imposed tougher economic sanctions against North Korea as the country developed more advanced weapons of mass destruction.
To overcome economic problems caused by declining humanitarian assistance, natural disasters, and economic sanctions, North Korea has taken a series of steps. It has carried out economic reform, established special economic zones, requested food aid from the U.N. and donor countries, and agreed to dismantle nuclear weapons in exchange for economic aid and a security assurance.
While North Korea had been gradually reforming its troubled economic system since the early 1990s, these measures were different from market-oriented reform.
On July 1, 2002, however, North Korea introduced the most significant liberalization measures since the start of communist rule in 1950. In addition, North Korea has recently established four special economic zones, including the Gaeseong Industrial Complex(GIC),as part of its economic reform.
Amazing Business Pioneer in North Korea (Felix Abt)
An Amazing Business Pioneer in North Korea is telling us the real reasons behind the sudden and surprising pull-out of a global engineering giant from this country
How a hopeless pharmaceutical joint venture was turned into a success story, why and how humanitarian aid and economic development mostly follow conflicting interests, how foreign business people challenge and survive an environment overshadowed by heavy geopolitical influences including arbitrary sanctions imposed by foreign powers, how North Korean managers prepare themselves to get fit for export and international competition, and what the dos and donts are for those who want to successfully start a business in this very special country.
[IJV] [FDI] [Opening] [Sanctions] [Training]
Production in inter-Korean business town tops $400 million
SEOUL, Sep 15, 2008 (Asia Pulse Data Source via COMTEX) --
The total output by South Korean factories operating in North Korea has exceeded US$400 million, Seoul's Unification Ministry said Monday.
Companies at the Kaesong industrial complex produced goods worth a total of US$410 million between January 2005, when the compound was opened, and July this year. One-fifth of all goods produced were exported, according to the ministry handling inter-Korean affairs.
The output in the first seven months of this year amounted to $140 million, up 51 percent from the same period last year
[Inter-Korean business] [Kaesong]
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DPRK's Efforts to Recycle Waste Materials
Pyongyang, August 22 (KCNA) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea has dynamically pushed ahead with the work to recycle waste materials for the protection of environment.
@The Institute of the Environmental Protection under the Ministry of Land and Environment Conservation has proved successful in researches into recycling the spent water and waste matters from foodstuff factories and paper mills.
Big Dreams for North Korean Industrial Park
By MARTIN FACKLER
Published: August 20, 2008
KAESONG, North Korea The Kaesong Industrial Park is worlds away from the North Korean city on whose outskirts it sits. While the South Korean-run industrial park has modern factories and motorists in sport utility vehicles, the city of Kaesong is straight out of the cold war. Long stretches of joyless gray apartment blocks loom above empty boulevards, and loud red signs proclaim the victory of the workers party.
Fences and vigilant soldiers separate the park from the rest of North Korea. That has not prevented South Koreans from dreaming of the industrial park as a capitalist foothold that might someday undermine this Stalinist state, making it the North Korean equivalent of Shenzhen, the special investment zone that helped begin Chinas free-market miracle nearly 20 years ago.
Wages for N.Korean Kaesong Workers to Rise
Wages for North Korean workers at the Kaesong Industrial Complex will rise by 5 percent in August. The council of South Korean companies in Kaesong on Wednesday said the Kaesong Industrial District Management Committee and North Korea's General Bureau for Central Guidance to the Development of the Special Zone agreed to raise wages for North Korean workers from August.
As a result of the latest measure, the monthly wage for North Korean workers will rise from a minimum US$52.5 to $55.125, valued at $63.375 if 15 percent social insurance cost is taken into consideration.
North Korea to Rent Rail Link to RZD
11 August 2008North Korea has agreed to rent out a 52-kilometer section of track to Russian Railways as part of a plan to link East Asia to Europe via the Trans-Siberian Railroad.
The 49-year lease was signed during talks Tuesday and Wednesday in Pyongyang, Russian Railways said Friday. Russian Railways will refurbish the line and build a container terminal at the North Korean port of Rajin.
Construction is expected to begin by the end of the year, Russian Railways said. North Korea and Russia also agreed to study the possibility of upgrading the rail link from Rajin to the Chinese border.
The venture is part of a plan that originated in 2001, when North Korean leader Kim Jong Il traveled by rail from Pyongyang to Moscow to visit then-President Vladimir Putin.
Russia is using the Rajin project as a first step to connect South Korea to Europe via the Trans-Siberian Railroad.
DPRK food production seen as a political issue
Posted Date : 2008-08-08 (NK Brief No. 08-8-8-1)
According to Choi Hyun-soo, vice director of the DPRK Department of Agriculture, The issue of increasing agricultural production is related to the serious political issue of the fate of the construction of a strong and prosperous socialist nation, and even moreso, the fate of our style of socialism, rather than simply an issue of economic affairs.
In an interview published in the latest issue (July 24) of the DPRK Cabinet publication, Democratic Chosun, Vice Director Choi stressed that several years of natural disasters had prevented last years grain production from reaching a satisfactory level, making increased grain production this year an even more important issue. While Choi recognized the impact of the natural disasters, he also blamed the villainous isolation and oppression machinations of the imperialists for causing the Norths scant grain production. He also pointed out that the sudden jump in rice, corn, wheat and other grain prices around the world has been cause for concern, and these days, there are no countries offering food or in a position to provide it.
Kim Jong Il Gives Field Guidance to Pig and Goat Farms
Pyongyang, August 7 (KCNA) -- General Secretary Kim Jong Il gave field guidance to the Hamju Pig Farm and the Hamju Phyongphungdok Goat Farm.
The first leg of his guidance was the newly built Hamju Pig Farm.
After being briefed on the farm before a big painting showing a panoramic view of the farm, he went round the exterior and interior of the farm to learn in detail about its construction and the pig breeding.
He highly appreciated the feats performed by the builders and their helpers, expressing great satisfaction over the fact that South Hamgyong Province has successfully built a modern pig farm with huge production capacity on its own.
Talks Held between DPRK, Russian Delegations over Railways
Pyongyang, August 7 (KCNA) -- Talks were held here on Wednesday between the delegations of the DPRK Ministry of Railways and the "Russian Railways" Company.
Present there from the DPRK side were Vice-Minister of Railways Kim Chol and officials concerned and from the opposite side were the delegation of the "Russian Railways" Company led by Vice-President Alexei Mersiyanov and Russian Charge d'Affaires ad Interim Alexander Matsegora.
Concluded at the talks was a contract on leasing the Rajin-Tumangang railways between the Rason Transnational Container Transport JVC and the Railway Transport Corporation (Tonghae) under the DPRK Ministry of Railways.
It was also agreed to have a ground-breaking ceremony for rebuilding the Rajin-Tumangang railways and building a container terminal in Rajin Port.
Both sides agreed to fix the date of the above-said ceremony within August this year.
Earlier, they formed a board of directors of the Rason Transnational Container Transport JVC before holding the first meeting of the board.
The meeting elected members of the board and appointed the president of the company. Then it decided on the immediate problems related to the operation of the company.
Activities for Expanding and Disseminating Agro-forestry in DPRK
Pyongyang, August 6 (KCNA) -- Activities for expanding and disseminating the agro-forestry are being conducted in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
The country has limited arable land and nearly 80 percent of its territory is mountainous. Under this condition, to expand and disseminate the agro-forestry is an important lever to guarantee the food safety, improve the people's living standard and achieve a comprehensive development of the countryside.
The basic environment has been made in the country to introduce and expand the agro-forestry, a sustainable land management system, which makes it possible to enhance the environmental protection function of the ecosystem and to get a maximum economic profit from it.
Trade gap with Japan shooting to record high
August 07, 2008
Koreas trade deficit with Japan is skyrocketing while its surplus with China is shrinking, according to a government report released yesterday.[Sandwich]
DPRK tightening the reigns in order to secure public finance
Posted Date : 2008-08-05 (NK Brief No. 08-8-5-1)
The latest edition (2008, no. 2) of North Koreas quarterly economic publication Economic Research urged for further regulation of public finance in order to ensure that the public finances necessary for the construction of an Economically Powerful State are available.
Top DPRK leader urges army to develop sideline economy
16:03, August 05, 2008
Kim Jong Il, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), called on the army to develop sideline economy, the official Rodong Sinmun daily newspaper reported Tuesday.
The Korean People's Army should "actively develop the sideline economy to provide the soldiers with better living conditions," said Kim, while inspecting KPA units.
He also urged the KPA to "thoroughly establish revolutionary military discipline," in order to "boost combat capability."
Kim has made several inspections on KPA units since the beginning of August.
Muddling through or a North Korean model of economic reform?
Posted Date : 2008-07-08 (ICNK Forum No. 08-7-8-1)
by Sandip Kumar Mishra (Department of East Asian Studies, University of Delhi)
On January 19, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il was quoted in the Rodong Sinmun saying that the most important and urgent issue for us now is to bring about a turnabout in the building of the economy and in the lives of the people. Facing another looming food crisis in North Korea this year after two successive years of negative economic growth in 2006 and 2007, there have been few indications that the North Korean regime would consider few reform (readjustment) measures to cope with the growing economic crisis. According to a report released on June 18 by the Bank of Korea, North Koreas actual Gross Domestic Product (GPD) showed a second consecutive year of decline in 2007. There has been a 2.3 percent drop in North Korean GDP in 2007. There are also prescriptions or suggestions about probable models of economic reform North Korea would or should follow. It has been suggested that the Chinese or Vietnamese economic reform models could be apposite to North Korean requirements. However, the North Korean regime is still reluctant to take any decisive steps toward economic reform. It appears that North Korea has been muddling through rather than reforming basic economic fundamentals of the country. The current phase of North Korean reluctance to commence a process of economic reform brings up a variety of complex issues. The peculiarity of these issues involved, such as the issue of the legitimacy of North Korea, ideology of Juché and external context, make North Korea think thrice before taking any substantial measures toward economic reform. Thus, it is more probable that the nature, scope and pace of North Korean economic reform would take a unique course rather than following any readymade model.
[Economic reform] [China model]
National Workshop on Agro-forestry Held
Pyongyang, July 31 (KCNA) -- A national workshop on Agro-forestry was held at the People's Palace of Culture from July 29 to 31.
It was attended by officials of the Ministry of Land and Environment Preservation, the Ministry of Agriculture, universities and scientific research units.
Present there were also resident representatives of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and various cooperation organizations of the European Union.
Addressing the workshop, Choe Sang Ho, a department director of the Ministry of Land and Environment Preservation, noted that a brisk campaign is launched in the DPRK to solve the national, regional and global environmental issues and ensure the food safety for the present and thus to better the people's living standard.
He elaborated on successes and experience made in the course of developing the agro-forestry technology which is economically profitable and environmentally safe on sloping lands and beneficial in society.
Kathi Zellweger, representative of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, in the DPRK hoped in her congratulatory speech that the workshop would be conducive to developing the agro-forestry in the country.
The workshop discussed a number of issues including the concept and actual necessity of the agro-forestry, government's policies on general utilization of mountains and greening of the whole country, possible form of the agro-forestry on sloping lands and scientific research, education and training for developing, extending and disseminating the agro-forestry technology.
It also dealt with various issues such as building well the demonstration sites for the agro-forestry and expanding them according to ecological regions, increasing organizational capacity for extending and disseminating the agro-forestry and strengthening international intercourse and cooperation.
On July 30 the participants in the workshop visited Suan County, North Hwanghae Province, a demonstration site of the agro-forestry.
How Not to Enter Korean Market (Part II)
This is the second and last part of Tom Coyner's column about how to steer one's way through Korea's labyrinthine market practices. ? ED.
By Tom Coyner
President of Soft Landing Consulting
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Kim Jong Il steps up economic activities
Posted Date : 2008-07-29 (NK Brief No. 08-7-29-1)
Of North Korean leader Kim Jong Ils public appearances during the first half of the year, fully half of them were to military installations or other defense-related sites, making it the most frequented sector, but compared to previous years, the number of visits to sites related to the economy rose considerably.
According to North Korean media sources, from January through June, Kim Jong Il made a total of 49 public visits. Of these, 25 (51%) were to military facilities, while 15 (31%) were to factories, cooperative farms, and other sites related to the nations economy. 3 (6%) public appearances were meetings with foreign dignitaries, and 6 (12%) were to public performances and other events.
This year, Kim Jong Ils on-site instructions at facilities related to building the economy and improving the lives of the people appear to be focused on stressing the need to resolve food shortages and ensure that everyone is fed.
North Korea's Olympic outfitter hopes for publicity gold
Tue Jul 29, 2008 2:10am EDT
By Melanie Lee
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Hoping to achieve what Michael Jordan did for Nike, a little-known Chinese sportswear brand is banking on the North Korean Olympic team for publicity.
Top global labels may not be tripping over each to sponsor an isolated country once termed by U.S. President George W. Bush as part of an 'axis of evil', but China Hongxing is hoping for some North Korean gold medals to impress its domestic audience.
"The relationship between North Korea and the Chinese is actually very strong," said Jenny Yeo, spokeswoman for Singapore-listed China Hongxing.
"They tend to watch the North Koreans compete in the events that the Chinese are also strong in, so sponsoring North Korea will get a lot more eyeballs," she said.
North Korean athletes in the Beijing Games will be sporting a stylized swan logo from China Hongxing's "Erke" brand, which means "you conquer" in Mandarin.
Islamic Finance offers ample funding
July 28, 2008
Islamic finance, epitomized by its principle that limits the use of interest, is a safe financing that could help protect the world from a financial crisis, such as the ongoing U.S. subprime meltdown, according to the head of the Middle Easts fastest growing bank.
Raghavan Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank, said a broad understanding of Islamic finance could help Korea tap into an ample source of funding from the oil-rich region.
Firm signs with expert in Shariah
Korea Investment & Securities aims to mobilize an Islamic bond
July 28, 2008
Korea Investment & Securities signed a contract with a world-renowned expert in Shariah, the body of Islamic religious law, late last Friday.
The contracting party made in this country where Islam is considered a rarity is Dr. Mohammed Daud Bakar, member of the Central Shariah Advisory Council of the Central Bank of Malaysia and Securities Commission of Malaysia.
Korean Researcher Investigates Beauty and Buying Patterns
When placing a new product on store shelves, what's the most effective way to encourage consumers to buy it -- displaying just the new product, or displaying it alongside older or inferior products? According to a recent study, it's the latter.
The study, by professors Yoon Song-oh of Korea University Business School and Itamar Simonson of Stanford University and published in the August edition of the Journal of Consumer Research, says the reason for this is the so-called "attraction effect." This is the same phenomenon in which a beautiful girl looks more attractive when she's among ugly girls than when she's with other beautiful girls
How Not to Enter Korean Market (I)
By Tom Coyner
Soft Landing Consulting
While it may be wonderful to use a case study as a tool of how to do something well, in business school we also studied case studies of failures. Recently I came across a Western company who seems to be willing to fail in Korea to fulfill other more important objectives. This company, like any other, wishes to succeed, but apparently other priorities weigh in making it likely they will fail in Korea. I am focusing on this particular corporation because they have made a series of classic errors from which many other companies may learn.
Inter-Korean trade volume in the first half of 2008 increased by 23% year-on-year
Date: July 14, 2008
Source: Ministry of Unification
? Inter-Korean trade volume in the first half of 2008 stood at 880.7 million dollars, up 23% year-on-year from 718.1 million dollars.
° Gaeseong Industrial Complex(GIC)-related trade such as carrying in products and transfer of factory equipment increased by 88% to 365.5 million dollars and processing-on-commission trade of clothes or TV, etc rose by 42% to 171 million dollars
Office of Inter-Korean Exchanges & Cooperation in Gaeseong held a business consultation session from June 5 to 20 on processing-on-commission trade of clothes for fall and winter of 2008 and had consultations about an estimated 6.92 million pieces of clothes worth 13.24 million dollars.
° The major factor behind the increase in inter-Korean trade is the growth of commercial trade, which accounts for 94% of inter-Korea trade. Commercial trade grew 47% year-on-year from 558.7 million dollars to 823.6 million dollars.
Despite recent developments in inter-Korean relations, the total volume of private-level economic cooperation is expected to continuously expand during the second half of'08 thanks to the increase in processing-on-commission trade and GIC production activities
DPRK cabinet adopts border region management provision
Posted Date : 2008-07-22 (NK Brief No. 08-7-22-1)
On July 18, the North Korean Cabinet publication, Democratic Choson, revealed that the cabinet had recently adopted the Border Bridge Trade Complex Management Activities Provision.
According to the newspaper, the provision spells out to whom the rules and regulations must be applied regarding the orders and management activities of the border bridge trade complex. In addition, by being adopted, the provision firmly creates regulations on foreign economic activities that cross over border bridges and has prepared the legal support for unceasing improvements of the border bridge trade complexs management activities.
North Korea relies on border trade with Chinese areas such as the city of Dandong, in Liaoning Province, and the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, as cross-border trade shot up to over 200 million USD last year.
[China-NK relations] [Trade]
Will Korea Head Off Deflation?
By Kim Jae-kyoung
Amid growing concerns over asset deflation, a noted global economist said that Korea should transform its economy into a service-based one to weather the current difficulties and head off a Japan-style deflation
Economic Mission to North-Korea 27 September 4 October 2008
For the past decades, the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) also known as North-Korea has been one of the most isolated countries in the world. Until recently, foreign companies could hardly enter this country. Inspired by the economic successes of its neighbouring country China, North-Korea has since a few years opened its doors for foreign enterprises. The DPRK established several free trade zones to attract foreign investors. In 2002 North Korea started to experiment with the Kaesong Industrial Region, near the South-Korean border. Moreover, other areas were designated as Special Administrative Regions, such as Sinuiju near the border with China.
Currently, China and South-Korea are the most important trade partners of North-Korea; their mutual trade is growing fast. Also for European companies there are many opportunities to trade with North-Korea. During the recent seminar: Doing Business with North-Korea (The Hague, 30 May) the representative from North-Korea highlighted that there are business opportunities in several fields, including Textile Industry, Shipbuilding, Agro Business, Logistics and Information Technology.
DPRK finds itself at the beginning of a new era of openness. In North-Korea there is a need for many foreign products and investments. The Chamber of Commerce Amsterdam, GPI Consultancy and the Netherlands Council for Trade Promotion are organizing an economic mission to investigate the business opportunities for foreign companies in this country. This unique economic mission to North-Korea will take place from 27 September to 4 October 2008. Our partner in North-Korea is the Pyongyang Chamber of Commerce
[Opening] [IT] [Offshoring]
Inter-Korea trade companies fall
Firms with ties to Hyundai Asan fall whether involved in tourism in North Korea or not
July 15, 2008
Shares in companies known to be related to inter-Korean economic exchange fell sharply yesterday after the death of a South Korean tourist during a trip to Mount Kumgang in North Korea on Friday.
Affiliates in the Hyundai Group sank, with Hyundai Merchant Marine falling 3.3 percent to 37,700 won ($37.5). Hyundai Group owns Hyundai Asan, the exclusive operator of tours from to the North. Hyundai Elevator dropped 3.5 percent, and Hyundai Securities lost 2.2 percent.
7 in 10 Foreign Investors Seek to Exit Korea
By Jane Han
Foreign investors were excited early this year, optimistic that President Lee Myung-bak would present radical deregulation plans to accommodate their needs. Even his special economic advisor Sakong Il fanned these expectations by promising one of the largest foreign business groups here that they'll see changes. But nearly a half a year later, what's left are disappointed foreigners getting ready to channel money elsewhere.
Korean Investment at Risk as Vietnam Crisis Looms
Korea is now the largest investor in Vietnam, a fact which could spell trouble amid reports of a looming economic crisis in the Southeast Asian nation. The Strategy and Finance Ministry says Korea's cumulative investment in the country since 1988 stands at US$13.5 billion, the highest in the world. An economic crisis in Vietnam could lead to immense investment losses for Korea.
Last year Korea invested $4.58 billion in Vietnam, the largest amount of any foreign country for a second year in a row.
4h Pyongyang Autumn International Trade Fair 22 - 25 September 2008
The European Business Association (EBA) in Pyongyang issues this bulletin in order to
inform about special conditions for participation by European businesses in the upcoming
international trade fair in Pyongyang.
EBA Pyongyang and Korea International Exhibition Corporation (KIEC) will co-organise a
special collective booth to host European businesses for the third time.
European companies interested in taking advantage of this opportunity are invited to visit the
EBA website www.eba-pyongyang.org to see reports about the EBA booths in October 2007
and May 2008, which both were very successfull. Please also click through to membership
and consider becoming a member of EBA.
DPRK Chamber of Commerce provision adopted
Posted Date : 2008-07-10 (NK Brief No. 08-7-10-1)
(North) Korean Central Broadcasting reported on the 7th that the North Korean cabinet recently adopted a provision on a North Korean Chamber of Commerce.
The broadcaster quoted the Democratic Chosun, a publication of the DPRK cabinet, reporting that the provision included the Chamber of Commerces tasks and overseas economic activities, the provisions targets, and various issues regarding the Chamber of Commerces organization and operations, but the report did not cover any of the provisions specific details.
It stated, By adopting this provision, a legal guarantee has been prepared so that exchange and cooperation with international and foreign countries national Chambers of Commerce and trade promotion agencies can be realized and overseas economic activity can be further promoted.
Burger Chain 'Rebuffed N.Korean Overtures'
Influential North Koreans tried to bring McDonalds into the country, but the fast-food chain declined citing lack of profitability, Radio Free Asia reported Wednesday. RFA quoted Nancy Mazeska at MacDonalds International Franchise Division as saying the person who contacted the chain probably had political connections and a history of success in North Korea. But due to the poor infrastructure and distribution network and probable lack of demand, McDonalds decided to take a rain check.
McDonalds at one point thought about letting its franchise in South Korea handle North Korean operations, she said. She did not comment further on who the businessman was and when he contacted the company. According to North Korean press, mass-produced hamburgers were distributed in universities in Pyongyang in September 2000 at the orders of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.
Kim Jong Il Gives Field Guidance to Agricultural Field in North Phyongan Province
Pyongyang, July 9 (KCNA) -- General Secretary Kim Jong Il gave field guidance to the agricultural field in North Phyongan Province.
The first leg of his guidance was the Unhung Co-op Farm in Thaechon County where Handre Plain, one of the nine scenic spots of Songun, is located.
Feasting his eyes on the modern cozy houses standing in rows at the foot of a mountain, the hill at the back of the village clad in the thick verdure of fruit trees of various species and the vast expanse of fertile fields of standardized shapes, he said that he could not find any traces of patches of paddy fields and peasant houses that stood here and there among dry fields. He expressed great satisfaction over the fact that the appearance of the village changed beyond recognition in less than a decade.
The officials and working people of the farm overfulfilled their production plan every year and, at the same time, completed so vast construction project by their own efforts, turning the village into a paradise and a socialist land of bliss in the era of the WPK, he noted, highly appreciating this as an admirable success and extending warm greetings to them.
After learning in detail about the farm work this year, he instructed the Unhung Co-op Farm to set an example to be followed by all other farms of the country in grain production by thoroughly meeting the requirements of the Juche methods of farming and set forth the tasks to be fulfilled by the farm and ways to do so.
He met with farmer Om Jong Sil in a field of the farm and had a cordial talk with her.
Increased Economic Independence Called for
Pyongyang, July 6 (KCNA) -- Each country and nation can achieve full independence only when their independence is backed by the solid material foundation, ie by their own strong economic potential, self-supporting national economy, says Rodong Sinmun on Sunday in a signed article.
It goes on:
Economic independence provides a material foundation for sovereignty. It is impossible to achieve and uphold the sovereignty of the country and the nation without a material guarantee.
Economic independence makes it possible for each country and nation to independently shape line and policies in conformity with their actual conditions and implement them by their own efforts.
Only when a country builds an independent national economy and achieves economic self-reliance can it develop relations with other countries on the principle of independence and equality and mutual respect and benefit and settle all issues related to international relations according to its own judgement and faith. It is possible to fully ensure the authority and political independence as a sovereign independent state only when they are materially guaranteed by economic self-reliance.
In order to achieve economic self-reliance it is necessary to adhere to the principle of self-reliance, train native cadres and scientific and technological intellectuals, develop science and technology and boost economic and technological cooperation with those countries desirous of economic independence and the developing countries and strengthen south-south cooperation.
The struggle of the developing countries to protect their sovereignty and achieve economic self-reliance is gaining in scope and strength as the days go by and many successes have been made in this respect.
The article calls on these countries to achieve economic self-reliance on the basis of the achievements already made and carry on their strenuous struggle to promote independent development and social progress.
Foreign Concerns Mount Over Korean Economy
Amid worries about stagflation and weak government leadership in the wake of the anti-U.S. beef candlelight vigils, there are signs of foreign investors giving low evaluations to the South Korean economy and of the country's credit standing falling. The spread on the government's foreign exchange stabilization bond -- an indicator that gauges the government's debt repayment capacity -- has been rising rapidly. Wall Street and other international financial experts have begun voicing concerns about the South Korean economy.
Gaeseong Complex Lacks in Lodgings for N. Korean Workers
By Kim Sue-young
Despite the growing number of North Korean workers in this joint industrial complex in the Stalinist state, lodgings for workers is lacking due to suspended dialogue between the two Koreas.
Officials at the complex expressed concerns that South Korean companies intending to set up operations there may be unable to do so as a lack of housing will likely see manpower shortages.
According to the Gaesong Industrial District Management Committee, the number of North Korean workers at 72 companies operating in the site totals 30,084 and the figure could reach 40,000 by late this year.
Besides, approximately 80,000 to 100,000 workers would be needed by 2010 when 450 companies are expected to settle in the industrial park.
30,000 from North work at Kaesong
July 09, 2008
The number of North Koreans working at the South Korea-funded joint industrial complex in the communist state surpassed 30,000 last weekend despite ongoing political tension between the two Koreas.
Seventy-two South Korean firms were operating in Kaesong, a North Korean town just north of the border with the South, and employing 30,084 North Korean workers as of July 4, the Souths civilian body overseeing the complex said yesterday.
The complex had only 225 North Korean workers in 2004. Relations have been frozen since South Koreas President Lee Myung-bak took office in late February, vowing to link cross-border ties to North Koreas nuclear disarmament efforts. Pyongyang cut off government-level dialogue with Seoul in retaliation, but civilian exchanges have continued unhindered. Yonhap
Inter-Korean trade surges in H1 despite political chill
15:17, July 07, 2008
Inter-Korean trade went up sharply in the first half of 2008 year-on-year despite the frozen relationship between the two Koreas after President Lee Myung-bak took office in late February thanks to the increase of commercial trade, the South Korean Unification Ministry said Monday.
The volume of trade amounted to 880 million U.S. dollars, up 23percent in the first half mainly due to a high increase in the commercial sector, according to the ministry.
DPRK small-scale private commerce and industry growing
Posted Date : 2008-07-04 (NK Brief No. 08-7-4-1)
It appears that the number of people involved in handmade goods manufacturing, trading, and other small-scale, individual businesses is steadily increasing among North Korean citizens.
According to a source inside North Korea on June 30, ever since North Korean authorities announced the Market Stimulation Measure in March 2003, the number of small-scale private businesses employing between 1~8 people has continued to grow as citizens in the North have taken to markets aggressively in order to earn money,
DPRK economy: two straight years of negative growth
Posted Date : 2008-06-19 (NK Brief No. 08-6-19-1)
On June 18, the Bank of Korea released the GDP of North Korea in 2007 report. According to the banks calculations, North Koreas actual Gross Domestic Product last year recorded a second straight year of decline. In addition, North Koreas economy last year was 1/36th the size of South Koreas, compared to 1/35th the size of the Souths in the previous year as the gap between the economies of the two countries continues to grow. Per Capital Gross National Income remained the same, at 1/17th that of South Korean GNI.
Govt Adrift as Economy Hurtles Toward Crisis
The government is running on empty while the Korean economy hurtles toward crisis. An impending Cabinet reshuffle has paralyzed ministries in charge of economic affairs at a time when they need to curb inflation. Cheong Wa Dae is adrift as massive protests against the import of U.S. beef continue to undermine confidence in the Lee Myung-bak administration and its will to implement promised economic reforms. A boycott of the National Assembly by opposition lawmakers, meanwhile, is delaying urgent bills that would scrap regulations and mitigate economic hardship.
Small businesses thriving in N. Korea
SEOUL June 30
Small-scale private businesses are quickly spreading in North Korea with the tacit approval of authorities unable to supply sufficient food and consumer goods for its residents, sources well-informed on the communist country said Monday.
"Private startups with less than eight workers have been on the increase, with North Korean residents trying to make the utmost use of the government's measure to partially introduce a market economy in March 2003," one of the sources said.
North Korea has expanded farmers' markets across the country to also cover industrial products because of a crippling state rationing system, and levied a kind of income tax and other fees on sellers.
The thriving businesses are mostly household manufacturers of groceries and consumer goods, restaurants and automobile repair services, and some residents are even engaging in trade leasing rights from state-run trade agencies or firms to import commodities from foreign countries, the sources said.
Pyongyang has given tacit approval to those businesses for their role in supplying badly needed consumer goods as well as for their contribution to state coffers, but is watchful for further spread of a market economy, they said.
June 30, 2008
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North Koreas Credit Rating to Go Up
JUNE 27, 2008 03:14
After its declaration of nuclear programs, North Korea will be freed from two sorts of sanctions. First, it will be removed from the list of terrorism supporting countries. Second, the U.S. government will put an end to its application to the Trading with the Enemy Act. Such conditions were agreed by Washington and Pyongyang when they announced an agreement on Feb. 13 and a joint statement on Oct. 3 last year. North Korea has a high expectation for the fact that it will be removed from the list of terrorism supporting countries since it can then be freed from a variety of regulations such as the Export Administration Act, the Arms Export Control Act and the Foreign Assistance Act. Accordingly, it is expected that North Koreas sovereign credit rating will increase and its economic conditions will improve.
US concessions unlikely to bring any immediate economic benefits to NKorea
The Associated Press
Published: June 26, 2008
SEOUL, South Korea: The North Korean people are told to remain on constant vigil against American attack, and that the food shortages and constant blackouts they suffer are caused by U.S. sanctions.
Better relations with Washington, signaled by the latest progress in their nuclear standoff, could eventually lead to an improvement in the dire economic situation for the country's 23 million people. But with many steps to go in the North's disarmament, analysts say that is unlikely to happen anytime soon.
The United States announced Thursday it would lift key trade sanctions against the North and remove it from a U.S. terrorism blacklist as a reward for Pyongyang submitting a long-awaited list of its nuclear programs.
The concessions have been among the North's long-coveted goals on the way to its No. 1 foreign policy objective: full diplomatic ties with Washington.
"North Korea is likely to use the rapid progress as propaganda to its people, saying: 'We won a diplomatic victory,'" said Kim Yong-hyun, a North Korea expert at Seoul's Dongguk University. "That would give North Korean people expectations for a better life."
The North's removal from the terror list, which will happen 45 days later, would theoretically clear the way for the impoverished nation to seek low-interest development loans from U.S.-controlled international lenders, such as the International Monetary Fund.
But such loans are not possible unless Pyongyang makes significant progress in dismantling its nuclear programs and opening up to the outside world. Washington's easing of trade sanctions under the an act limiting trade with enemy countries will also have little effect on the North's economy as the communist nation remains subject to a host of other sanctions.
The actions "won't bring any immediate benefits to the North's economy," said Yang Moo-jin, a professor at Seoul's University of North Korean Studies. "They're only meaningful in that they symbolize a shift in the U.S. hostile policy toward the North."
Posco looks to iron ore stocks in the North
June 26, 2008
South Koreas top steelmaker Posco is hoping to purchase iron ore from North Korea as well as increase its purchase of anthracite coal from the country.
The president of Posco-China Holding Corporation, Kim Dong-jin, visited Pyongyang on Tuesday and talked to North Korean officials about buying more coal.
Kim was invited to the North by the National Economic Cooperation Federation, a North Korean agency for international economic cooperation.
Last year, Posco bought 200,000 metric tons of coal. If the deals go through, this amount is expected to double to 400,000 metric tones this year.
Nuclear Declaration to Help N. Korea Expand Trade
By Na Jeong-ju
North Korea's planned declaration of its nuclear programs will prompt the United States to ease rules on trade and financial transactions with the communist state, but it will still be monitored and regulated in a strict manner, officials in Seoul said Wednesday.
Lotte Caught Between Rock and Hard Place
By Jane Han
An executive of an overseas human resources consulting firm, who asked not to be named, says in weighing between Lotte and Hyatt for its corporate hotel in Seoul his company recently decided to turn down the Korean lodging giant. The reason for the rejection went back to the struggling business's same old problems.
A weak brand image, almost non-existent global recognition and aging facilities are factors that had Lotte Hotel lose again, all of which are pushing the country's biggest lodging unit further into the red.
Inter-Korean trade rises in May despite political chills
SEOUL, Jun 23, 2008 (Asia Pulse Data Source via COMTEX) --
South Korea's trade with North Korea in May surged 14 percent on-year thanks to brisk industrial exchanges that offset a sharp drop in humanitarian aid, the Unification Ministry said Sunday.
Inter-Korean trade volume increased to US$172.7 million in the past month, up from US$151.9 million in May last year, according to the ministry data. The increase was notable in the commercial sector, which posted US$153.1 million worth of trade last month, up 46 percent from US$104.8 million on the same month last year.
Samsung Shapes Korea's Image
By Michael Ha
For many foreign nationals, it's not Korean culture or history, but rather Samsung's latest electronic products that define Korea.
A new survey shows that top corporate brands including Samsung and LG Electronics have become the dominant images that shape how other countries understand Korea.
The survey asked 139 foreign ``opinion leaders'' including diplomats, journalists, academics and businesspeople who have visited Korea or are currently staying in the country.
Solar Energy Park Planned in DMZ
By Na Jeong-ju
Gangwon Province is seeking permission from the central government to launch an inter-Korean project to set up a large park in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that will include facilities for solar energy research and resort areas for tourists.
According to the draft plan, the province will spend some 12 billion won ($11.5 million) to build the park, dubbed ``Joint Sunshine Area (JSA),'' which will span a 16,000-square-meter zone near an overland route connecting Goseong in Gangwon Province and the Mt. Geumgan tourism complex in the North.
The ideal location for the park is the 4-kilometer-wide military buffer zone between immigration offices set up by the two Koreas at the southern and northern ends of the DMZ, Gangwon officials said.
N. Korea has second year of negative growth
North lags far behind South in agricultural production and other industries
» The Chairman of the North Korean National Defense Commission Kim Jung-il and Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping pose for a photo in Pyongyang on June 18.
North Korea experienced negative growth in 2007, for the second year in a row, according to a Bank of Korea report issued June 18.
South Koreas central bank also said the Norths economy is 1/36th the size of that of South Korea, while its gross national income is 1/17th of that of South Korean citizens.
According to the report, titled "Estimated Results of North Koreas Economic Growth Rate in 2007," the Norths gross domestic product was 21.2161 trillion South Korean won (US$20.6583 billion) in 2007, 2.3 percent smaller than it was in 2006. The North experienced negative growth in 2006 as well, shrinking 1.1 percent compared to 2005.
North Koreas economic slide picks up speed
June 19, 2008
North Koreas economy shrank 2.3 percent in 2007 from a year earlier, its second straight year of contraction as devastating floods hit harvests, the South Korean central bank said yesterday.
Gross Domestic Product of North Korea in 2007
North Korea's real annual GDP decreased 2.3% in 2007, a larger scale decline than in the previous year. This was mainly attributable to decreased agricultural production due to bad weather conditions.
It was assumed that the North Korean economy as a whole have faced persistently difficult circumstances in 2007 due to its lack of food resources brought about by a rapid decrease in agricultural production.
Bank of Korea press release
DPRK embraces comparative advantage to strengthen foreign economic relations
Posted Date : 2008-06-17 (NK Brief No. 08-6-17-1)
According to an article run in the June 10 issue of the Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the North Korean Workers Party, economic independence is not closing the doors and solving everything 100 percent on our own, and stressed the fundamental rule of selling what is present and buying what is missing, otherwise known as comparative advantage, as the key to advancing overseas foreign economic relations.
The newspaper article, titled, The Main Principle for Maintaining the Basic Path Toward Construction of a Powerful Economic State, explained, In every country there are limited resources, and at the level of advancement of the economy as well as science and technology, and on the principle of trading based on what is available and what is necessary in each sector, it is normal to give what one has and receive what one does not in order to advance the economy.
Korea Faces Specter of Multi-Nation Financial Meltdown
There are warning signs of a synchronous financial crisis that could affect about a dozen countries, including the Baltic states, Vietnam, India, the Philippines, Indonesia and Argentina. These nations are seen as on the verge of slipping into a foreign currency crisis, with their economic indices worse than Korea's when it was socked by the financial crisis of 1997.
India is also groaning under a pile of debt. India's total debts amount to 78 percent of its GDP; it is spending 30 percent of government revenue just to pay interest.
Food Revolution That Starts With Rice
By WILLIAM J. BROAD
Published: June 17, 2008
ITHACA, N.Y. Many a professor dreams of revolution. But Norman T. Uphoff, working in a leafy corner of the Cornell University campus, is leading an inconspicuous one centered on solving the global food crisis. The secret, he says, is a new way of growing rice.
Rejecting old customs as well as the modern reliance on genetic engineering, Dr. Uphoff, 67, an emeritus professor of government and international agriculture with a trim white beard and a tidy office, advocates a management revolt.
Harvests typically double, he says, if farmers plant early, give seedlings more room to grow and stop flooding fields. That cuts water and seed costs while promoting root and leaf growth.
interactive feature explores the main Islamic financial instruments, the key players and where the industry is heading.
Worries Mount Over Korea Becoming Debtor Nation
With the nation's foreign debt increasing rapidly, worries are mounting that Korea may soon become a net debtor nation for the first time in eight years.
The Bank of Korea says this is only a temporary accounting phenomenon resulting from massive hedging of foreign exchange risks by export-rich shipbuilders, and that Korea is not facing a foreign exchange liquidity crisis. But experts point out that such a crisis cannot be ruled out if foreign banks begin to dump Korean bonds en masse.
In North Korea, signs of recovery
June 16, 2008
By Kang Jung-hyun
North Korea's economy has been gradually recovering from the country's worst economic troubles since the mid-1990s. A JoongAng Ilbo special reporting team visited the North from May 8 to 13 and took a tour around the country.
Pyongyang's electricity supply seemed to have stabilized and passersby on the streets looked livelier compared to observations made during the team's first visit in 2006.
In Pyongyang, the capital, red banners were hanging all over the city, exhorting citizens with slogans such as "Enhance agricultural production, the foundation of a great, strong country" and "Bring a new wave of improvement in the production of consumer products."
In a joint editorial of the country's three newspapers published early this year, the North Korean government claimed that the nation will soon be opening to the outside world.
"Opening the door of a great, strong country in 2012 means that we will satisfy the basic needs of the people for food, clothing and shelter and produce 5.5 to 6 million tons of food per year," said a North Korean official who refused to be named.
The country's economy collapsed in the mid-90s and hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have died of starvation.
"At the time, all the factories in the county were dying and we lived in a situation that can't be imagined by anyone who did not experience it. Now we see hope," said another unamed official.
In a recent closed-door seminar, a Japanese expert on North Korea said that Pyongyang's budget this year amounted to 101 percent of the year 1989 when the country's economy reached its peak.
Experts say the recent revival of the North's economy resulted from efforts of the regime.
"For the past decade, North Korea concentrated its human and natural resources on producing electricity, increasing food productivity and modernizing plants," said Kim Yeon-chul, a research professor at Korea University in Seoul.
During that time, North Korea built two power plants, modernized a thermal power station and constructed several small and mid-sized hydropower plants, easing the electricity shortage, according to Kim.
A North Korean official of the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation who was guiding the reporters proudly asked the team, "Have you experienced blackouts in Pyongyang lately?"
The JoongAng Ilbo's special reporting team visited a beer factory, a breadmaking factory, a clothing factory and a construction material plant in Pyongyang and a ship repair yard in Nampo. All were in active operation. Still, it is too early to expect significant progress in the economy. "Most plants in North Korea have old facilities, built in the '60s or '70s," said an official.
"Until May, we received food without a problem," said an employee at a restaurant that the reporters visited. "But due to last year's massive floods, it is likely that we will have a shortage of food in June or July."
By Special Reporting Team JoongAng Ilbo [email@example.com]
Kim Jong Il Provides Field Guidance to Pukjung Machine Complex
Pyongyang, June 14 (KCNA) -- General Secretary Kim Jong Il provided field guidance to the Pukjung Machine Complex.
He acquainted himself in detail with the technological updating and production at the complex, making the rounds of its various production processes.
He highly appreciated the feats performed by the workers of the complex, noting that they have greatly contributed to the development of the nation's shipbuilding industry by devoting all their wisdom and energies to the sacred struggle for the building of a rich and powerful nation and sharply boosted the production by making signal technological progress in recent years, in particular.
Kim Jong Il Provides Field Guidance to September General Iron Enterprise
Pyongyang, June 15 (KCNA) -- General Secretary Kim Jong Il provided field guidance to the September General Iron Enterprise.
Looking back on the path covered by the enterprise before the monument to the on-the-spot guidance given by President Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il heard an explanation about how it has implemented the on-the-spot instructions given by the President.
He acquainted himself in detail with the technical equipment and production, going round various production processes including the steel shop where the tapping operation was under way and the newly built Juche iron process.
Korea's Image, Brand in Trouble
Chairman of McKinsey & Company Asia
'Seoul Is One of the Best Cities in Asia but It Underplays'
This is the first in a series of interviews with the heads of the top five global consulting firms doing business in Korea ? McKinsey & Company, Bain & Company, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), AT Kearney and Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH). The Korea Times will look into a wide variety of issues regarding the leadership of President Lee Myung-bak, his economic policies, the Korean economy and financial markets through the eyes of leading global consultants. ? ED
By Kim Jae-kyoung
President Lee Myung-bak and his top policymakers may have sleepless nights nowadays with hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets day after day to vocalize their discontent of the government's administrative mismanagement.
This massive, unceasing protest came as a result of the Lee administration's mishandling of the resumption of U.S. beef imports and coincided with the economy sinking into deep mire amid skyrocketing oil prices.
Crisis Looms in Vietnamese Economy
Fears of a crisis in the Vietnamese economy triggered by high inflation and trade deficit
are growing. Japan's Daiwa Securities warns the country may need an International Monetary
Fund bailout, while Morgan Stanley predicts a plunge in the value of the Vietnamese dong.
Global credit rating agencies Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings have also downgraded
Hanoi's sovereign rating.
The biggest problem is inflation.
Kim Jong Il Provides Field Guidance to Tideland Reclamation Site and Sinam Co-op Farm
Pyongyang, June 13 (KCNA) -- General Secretary Kim Jong Il provided field guidance to the tideland reclamation site on Taegye Islet and the Sinam Co-op Farm in Ryongchon County of North Phyongan Province.
The first leg of his guidance was the tideland reclamation site on Taegye Islet.
He went round the monument to the on-the-spot guidance of President Kim Il Sung standing at the entrance of the tideland.
'Fan-Focused' Marketing Targets Brand Loyalists
Rod Copes, Harley-Davidson's Asia-Pacific vice president, waves from a Harley before making a journey to Sokcho, Gangwon Province, with loyal customers on May 2. More than a thousand Harley fans from across Asia took part in the event, held to thank members of the Harley-Davidson Owners Group.
On the afternoon of May 23, some 60 maniacally loyal Nike fans, most in their 20s or 30s, queued in front of the Nike shop in the COEX branch of Hyundai Department Store, flocked there to buy a pair of special edition Air Jordan sneakers. Online communities of Nike buffs were on fire as rumors of the arrival of the shoes had spread weeks earlier. The shoe fanatics had heard that 200 pairs of the special edition sneakers, named for basketball great Michael Jordan, had been imported into the country, 50 of which would be sold at Hyundai's COEX branch. The 50 pairs sold out within 15 minutes of the store's opening at 10:30 the next morning.
Hyundai Aims for Slice of Russia's Booming Car Market
Russia's automobile market is growing fast, with some 3.19 million cars expected to be sold there this year, up from one million in 2002 -- more than three-fold growth in just six years. In fact Russia has become the world's fifth largest auto market, after the U.S., China, Japan and Germany.
DPRK Strives to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Pyongyang, June 5 (KCNA) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is taking an active part in the international activity for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The DPRK government, regarding environmental protection as a key work for the future of the nation, has done this work vigorously as a member nation of the "United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change" (UNFCCC).
Departmental strategies for greenhouse gas relaxation have been made public and the first national report according to the UNFCCC has been worked out.
In accordance with them, efforts are being made to raise energy efficiency and use natural energies.
The thermal power plants have taken a series of measures for minimizing energy consumption by introducing clean combustion technology and cyclic fluidized-bed combustion (CFBC) boiler.
Samsung Elec. Sprouting Green Initiatives, Products
Samsung Electronics plans to strengthen its "green management" and introduce eco-friendly cell phones ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in August.
With Beijing adopting environmental protection as the theme of the 2008 Olympics, Samsung Electronics said Wednesday that it is preparing an environmentally-friendly cell phone for the Chinese market.
Hyundai Looks to Be No.1 Foreign Brand in Russia
A Russian customer checks a Sonata sedan from Hyundai Motor at a dealership in Rolf Altufijevo, 15 kilometers north of Moscow, Wednesday.
/ Courtesy of Hyundai Motor
By Kim Hyun-cheol
Hyundai Motor announced Wednesday it has plans to become the biggest foreign automaker in Russia following construction of its first plant in the country.
The biggest South Korean automaker will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the factory Thursday in St. Petersburg.
It plans to spend $400 million on the plant, to be built by 2010, with a capacity of 100,000 vehicles a year.
East European countries, including Russia, are rapidly emerging as a golden goose for South Korean automakers, as exports to the region have surpassed those to Western Europe.
How the other 0.0000001% live
May 29th 2008 | PYONGYANG
The hermit kingdom's elite spend, spend, spend
EVERY developing country worth its salt has a bustling middle class that is transforming the country and thrilling the markets. So does Stalinist North Korea. Oblivious of rumours that famine is gathering again and that the state's food-distribution system is breaking down, the country's pampered elite went on a shopping spree at the Pyongyang Spring International Trade Fair, held on May 12th-15th.
Originally designed to promote business-to-business contacts, the trade fair, along with a companion event in the autumn, has become one of the few opportunities for North Koreansor, more accurately, a few thousand residents of the capitalto buy, or gawk at, foreign merchandise. More than 100 Chinese companies, together with some from Taiwan, Indonesia, Britain and North Korea itself, offered up everything from T-shirts to heavy machinery. Cutting-edge technology it wasn't. Duvets, refrigerators, flat-screen televisions, DVD players, cooking pots and cosmetics were the most popular items. More than 15 units of one of the show's most expensive items, a $1,200 refrigerator from Haier, a Chinese company, were snapped up. Counterfeit iPods were also popular, even if downloading is illegal.
[Economic reform] [Black]
Kim Jong Il Gives On-the-Spot Guidance to Hungnam Smeltery
Pyongyang, May 31 (KCNA) -- General Secretary Kim Jong Il gave on-the-spot guidance to the Hungnam Smeltery.
He went round the room devoted to the education in the revolutionary history, conducted by senior officials of the smeltery.
He looked back with deep emotion on the glorious history of the smeltery in which it advanced along the road of prosperity under the care of President Kim Il Sung. Noting that the smeltery turned into the nation's reliable nonferrous metal production centre under his wise leadership and meticulous care, Kim Jong Il stressed that the undying revolutionary exploits of the President would always remain shining in the history of the country
Language Barrier Stifles Financial Hub Plan
president of Institute
for Global Economics
By Yoon Ja-young
Korea must overcome the language barrier in order to become a financial powerhouse like Luxembourg or Hong Kong, Lee Young-tak, president of the Institute for Global Economics, said.
Lee, who served as a vice minister at the Ministry of Education, emphasized the importance of foreign languages for the financial industry. He said a friendly atmosphere should be created for foreign nationals. ``It's something that should be accomplished on a long-term perspective,'' he said in an interview with The Korea Times. Lee gave some tips regarding how Korea could rise to become a financial powerhouse.
Korean Economy Facing 'Triple Whammy'
By Kim Jae-kyoung
The Korean economy has been sinking deeper into the mire with current account deficits hitting a record high for the year until April since the 1997-1998 financial crisis.
Widening current account deficits can add up to the worst-case scenario ? lower growth, higher inflation and chronic current account deficits ? for the world's 13th largest economy, already battling skyrocketing oil prices.
Kim Jong Il Gives On-the-Spot Guidance to Recreation Ground in Mt. Paekun
Pyongyang, May 30 (KCNA) -- General Secretary Kim Jong Il gave on-the-spot guidance to the recreation ground in Mt. Paekun now being turned into a ground for people's cultural rest.
He acquainted himself with the construction of the recreation ground, going round the newly built cultural and welfare service facilities and tourist courses.
After seeing the welfare service facilities built in such a peculiar style as to make them match the natural scenery of Mt. Paekun, he expressed great satisfaction over the fact that another recreation ground for citizens in Hamhung is now under construction. He highly praised people in Yonggwang County for having done something great without being known to others.
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Kim Jong Il Gives On-the-Spot Guidance to February 8 Vinalon Complex
Pyongyang, May 28 (KCNA) -- General Secretary Kim Jong Il gave on-the-spot guidance to the February 8 Vinalon Complex.
He first went round the Revolutionary Museum of the February 8 Vinalon Complex.
Noting that the undying revolutionary exploits of President Kim Il Sung, founder and pioneer of the Juche-oriented vinalon industry, would remain brilliantly recorded
DPRK Haekumgang Patent & Trademark Agency
Pyongyang, May 26 (KCNA) -- The Haekumgang Patent & Trademark Agency is one of the law firms specializing in legal services for protecting the intellectual property rights in the DPR of Korea.
@Its services cover the protection of patent, trademark, industrial design and other intellectual property rights.
@The agency renders creditable services to law firms and clients at home and abroad, on the basis of long-standing legal experience and deep knowledge on science and technology.
@Corporate bodies and individuals desirous of their patents and trademarks being protected in the DPR of Korea should contact with the agency through the following fax and e-mail: Fax: 850-2-381-2421/E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
South Korea to ease regulations on DPRK ventures
Posted Date : 2008-05-22 (NK Brief No. 08-5-22-1)
Earlier this month, the South Korean government announced that it would seek to relax regulations concerning cooperative ventures and exchanges with North Korea. Currently, South Korean companies, organizations or individuals wishing to enter into business agreements with North Korean partners were required to get government permission not only for the project, but for the individuals involved in the project.
On May 8, the Ministry of Unification announced plans to abolish the system granting (or denying) permission to individuals involved in these ventures, and to maintain only the system through which it grants authority to carry out specific projects.
[Inter-Korean business] [Sanctions]
North Koreans extend interest in U.K. English
May 24, 2008
The British Council will extend its English teaching program in North Korea until 2010 to help more elite citizens in the isolated communist country speak English, a news report said yesterday.
The program was originally set to finish this year, but the council decided to extend at the Norths request, Washington-based Radio Free Asia reported, quoting James Rowe, council spokesperson.
Three native English instructors currently teach about 450 professors and students at Pyongyangs colleges under the program that began in 2002, the report said.
The council wants to hire four new native-speaker instructors on one-year contracts from September under an agreement with North Korean authorities, it added.
North Korean professors English ability is rated intermediate or upper-intermediate by teachers who have worked there, the report said, quoting other officials with the council.
Consumer Goods Makers Targeting Late 30s Single Men
Marketers have found a new target: single, professional men aged between 36 and 42 who are graduates of prestigious universities and earn an average of W70 million a year (US$1=W1,042). These determined bachelors are seen as a prime marketing target by the makers of consumer goods.
These men are not ashamed to buy cosmetics - and not just a bottle of aftershave, but also functional products like eye cream, whitening care, cleansing foam and even botox cream. Cosmetics brand Biotherm has seen its whitening and essence products for men sell out earlier than expected, and the same goes for Amore Pacifics male cosmetics line, Hera Homme, which is promoted by actor Jang Dong-kun. The Hera Homme protection lip balm sold out as soon as it arrived in the market, and the company had to scramble to produce more. An Amore Pacific spokesman says men in their 20s usually purchase only basic care products. But older single men with spending money seek out functional products, and they are emerging as the most influential consumer group for mens cosmetics.
Samsung Takes Over 20% of Global TV Market
Samsung Electronics maintained its global lead in television sales in the first quarter. The Korean company's global sales topped the 20 percent mark for the first time in the global TV market in the January-March period, market researcher DisplaySearch said on Wednesday.
Samsung was trailed by Sony (13.2 percent market share), LG Electronics (11.6 percent), Sharp (7.3 percent), and Panasonic (7.0 percent). This marks the ninth consecutive quarter that Samsung has been the world's top TV seller
You can't beat a nice glass of Chateau Ginola
Thursday May 22, 2008
David Ginola at the London International Wine Fair. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA
Retired footballers used to open pubs. Now they create award-winning wines. With his silky touch and even silkier tresses, David Ginola was never likely to become landlord of the Dog and Duck. Instead, he invested in a vineyard on his home turf - Provence - and this week won a silver award in his debut season for his Coste Brulade rosé at the International Wine Challenge, the world cup of wine-tasting events.
Other award-winners at the biggest blind tasting in the world included Cliff Richard, Ernie Els, Francis Ford Coppola and Quentin Willson, prompting the shocking question - are celebrity wines really quite delicious?
"You can't say a particular country's wines are always good, and celebrity wines are like that - they vary," says Charles Metcalfe, critic and International Wine Challenge co-founder. He is too tactful to name a bad celebrity bottle but admits that the degree of involvement differs: some are mere investors who lend their public profile to the wine.
DPRK, Tax-free Country
Pyongyang, May 21 (KCNA) -- More than three decades have elapsed since the tax system was abolished in the DPRK.
The word "tax" has faded out of the minds of the Korean people and the younger generation knows nothing of the word itself.
After the liberation of the country (August 15, 1945) the depredatory tax system of the Japanese imperialists was abolished and a popular and democratic tax system was established in the DPRK, thus putting an end to over 50 kinds of miscellaneous taxes and turning the taxation into a single one.
In Juche 44 (1955) the government of the country again cut the income tax of the workers and office employees by 30 percent, sharply reduced the tax burden of the handicraftsmen, entrepreneurs and merchants and decreased the agricultural tax in kind from 25 percent of the grain output to 20.1 percent on an average. From 1959 it reduced the agricultural tax in kind to 8.4 percent.
Calvin Klein Sees More Growth in Korea
Tom Murry, president and chief operating officer of Calvin Klein Inc., talks to The Korea Times about the prospects of the Calvin Klein brands in Korea.
By Cathy Rose A. Garcia
The Calvin Klein brand is a household name around the world, especially in Korea where it is one of the most popular designer brands.
The high-end line Calvin Klein Collection, bridge line ck Calvin Klein and casual wear Calvin Klein Jeans are all enjoying success in the Korean market.
Clothing labels will go green
May 21, 2008
Hyundai Department Store will be selling men s suit with greenhouse gas emission labels starting this month. The company said yesterday that this new label project is a collaboration with Cheil Industries and Kolon. Men s suits by both companies, including the Galaxy and Rogatis brands, will have the labels starting with 32 suit jackets this month.
For example, a jacket label will read greenhouse gas emission: 12.5 kilograms, indicating the volume of greenhouse gases emitted during the making of the garment. The companies said this will raise environmental awareness. The project was modeled after similar labeling systems in other countries and is expected to improve the clothing companies brand image.
DPRK holds its largest ever Pyongyang International Product Exhibition
Posted Date : 2008-05-19 (NK Brief No. 08-5-19-1)
From May 12th to the 15th, North Korea held the eleventh annual Pyongyang International Summer Product Exhibition in the Three-Revolution Exhibition Center. The trade show hosted over 180 foreign businesses, making it the largest convention to date.
Companies from North Korea, China, Taiwan, Russia, the Netherlands, Germany, Syria, Switzerland, Australia, England, Italy, Spain, Vietnam, Thailand, France, Finland, and several other countries participated in the show, displaying a wide range of manufacturing machinery, electrical and electronic equipment, conveyor systems, petrochemical materials, medical supplies, daily necessities, foodstuffs, and other goods.
With more than 120 Chinese companies and more than 30 vendors from Taiwan, North Koreas largest-ever convention was host to over 50 vendors more this year than the previous record of over 130, set last year.
With a large-screen television positioned at the entrance of the hall displaying multimedia advertisements and a range of large-scale billboards and advertising displays for North Koreas domestic companies set up around the exhibition center, there was also a distinct sense of commercialism in the air.
In particular, there were several booths selling the wares of large Chinese industries, as well as several affiliates of the Haier Group Co. Ltd., representatives from TCL Electronics Co. Ltd. , sales staff from China Hong Kong Manufacturers Co. Ltd. and other main offices directly participating in the event.
The Pyongyang International Product Exhibition has been held in the summer annually since 1998, and since 2005, a convention has also been held each fall.
New Legislature to Act on Pro-Chabol Bills
By Kim Yon-se
President Lee Myung-bak has reiterated that he expects a variety of revisions on the deregulation of business groups to be passed at the 18th-term National Assembly whose four-year term begins May 30.
Following the inauguration of the unicameral legislature, the Lee administration will likely begin to implement its pro-chaebol policies.
Lee insists that easing regulations and cutting corporate taxes will be one of the cornerstones of his economic policy.
NK Seeks Textile Exports to Wal-Mart
By Michael Ha
American consumers could shop for their favorite pair of jeans or T-shirts with ``Made in North Korea" labels at Wal-Mart stores in a few years, if North Korean officials get their wish.
But there are several hurdles, including complete and verifiable denuclearization, that Pyongyang would have to clear before the Stalinist state can develop business ties with America.
North Korean officials are reportedly interested in signing a deal to export textile products to Wal-Mart, a U.S. corporation that runs a chain of large, discount department stores, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported Friday.
Wal-Mart is one of the largest retailers in the world, with an estimated 20 percent market share of the retail grocery and consumables business in the United States. The company relies on an extensive overseas outsourcing and subcontracting system, particularly with Chinese manufacturers.
Tony Namkung, senior advisor to New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, recently returned from his trip to North Korea where he met with senior North Korean officials, the report said.
Global goods displayed in North
Products signify country¡¯s growing interest in imports, tech
May 16, 2008
Left: A North Korean guide explains the Pyeonghwa Hwiparam sedan to a foreign visitor at the 11th Pyongyang Spring International Trade Fair in the North Korean capital on Wednesday. Right: Foreign buyers view North Korean products at the international trade exhibition. By Kang Jung-hyun
PYONGYANG The presence of goods ranging from Indonesian computer tables and Austrian cosmetics at an international trade exhibition here Wednesday may signal that North Koreans are showing a growing interest in new technology and imports.
A team of 25 South Korean businessmen and researchers, organized by the JoongAng Ilbo, visited the 11th Pyongyang Spring International Trade Fair on Wednesday, though relations between authorities from the South and North have been tense recently. The exhibition continued through yesterday at the New Technology and Innovation Hall of the Three Revolution Exhibition Center in the North Korean capital city.
Led by JoongAng Ilbo editor Kim Su-gil, the team included other reporters from the newspaper, North Korea experts from the LG Economic Research Institute, Hyundai Research Institute, Korea Energy Economic Institute and representatives from KT, Woori Bank, Posco and STX. The newspaper also visited the exhibition in 2006, a first among Korean media.
¡°If any South Korean company applies to participate in the fair through the National Economic Cooperation Federation [a North Korean agency that deals with South Korean business and investment in the North], we have every intention to offer them a booth next time,¡± said Kim Myeong-cheol, vice president of the Korean International Exhibition Corporation, the North Korean agency in charge of the fair.
About 200 companies from 14 countries, including China, Russia and the United Kingdom, participated in the 11th exhibition.
When South Korean visitors entered the exhibition hall, which is about 59,500 square meters (640,400 square feet) wide, the first thing that caught their eye was a large sign for Chinese electronics maker Haier. The firm also does business in South Korea and Haier had the biggest booth in the Pyongyang exhibition hall, with displays that included air conditioners and refrigerators. Also displayed were passenger cars and mini buses from Pyeonghwa Motors
Spring International Trade Fair in Pyongyang
Pyongyang, May 14 (KCNA) -- The Eleventh Pyongyang Spring International Trade Fair opened at the Three Revolution Exhibition on May 12 amid deep interest of people. It will remain open till May 15.
@Participating in the fair are more than 220 companies from various countries and regions around the world including the DPRK, China, Russia, Germany, Syria, Switzerland, Australia, UK, Italy, Indonesia, Vietnam and Poland.
@On display there are tens of thousands of items of goods. They include machine tools, electric and electronic equipment, petrochemicals, rolling stocks, medicines, daily necessities, foodstuffs and light industrial products.
@The trade fair is held in Pyongyang annually in spring and autumn, which provides a good opportunity for developing many-sided economic exchange, cooperation and trade relations among different nations.
Foreign Adviser Urges Lee to Foster National Brand
President Lee Myung-bak, left, shakes hands with Guy Sorman, a French economist and philosopher, at Cheong Wa Dae, Wednesday.
/ Korea Times
By Park Hyong-ki
A French economist advised the Korean government to improve its national brand as part of efforts to boost its economic growth.
In a meeting Wednesday with President Lee Myung-bak, Guy Sorman said, ``Korea needs to foster national and cultural brands to boost its economic competitiveness globally.''
Sorman came to Korea at the invitation of President Lee to give members of the presidential office's future planning commission economic advice at its inaugural meeting. Sorman was appointed as one of the commission's global advisors.
[Country image] [Brand] [IM]
Chinese businesses want DPRK labor
Posted Date : 2008-05-13 (NK Brief No. 08-5-13-1)
Small and mid-sized Chinese companies are now looking toward North Korea. The Chinese press reported on May 5 that the industrial union of Dungta, a small city of just over 500,000 located south of Sunyang in Liaoning Province, recently spent seven days looking into opportunities in the North on the invitation of the Choson Bongwha Company.
The purpose of this recent invitation appears to be that North Korea is looking to improve small and mid-sized industrial activity by allowing foreign entities to set up shop. The North was seeking investment for an oil paint factory, a textile factory, and a rolling mill. The Chairija factory in Chinas Dungta City is planning to invest three million euros (aprox. 470 million won) to set up a paint manufacturing facility in the DPRK.
The reason Chinese businesses are looking toward North Korea is that even in China wages have been growing sharply, and as labor laws are amended it has become more difficult to hire employees, driving up production costs and lowering the competitiveness of exports. Cheap and easy labor in North Korea is turning the eyes of many Chinese companies.
[FDI] [China NK] [Labour]
Kim Jong Il Provides Field Guidance to Goat Farm and Plastic Tube Factory
Pyongyang, May 12 (KCNA) -- General Secretary Kim Jong Il gave field guidance to the Chongjin Goat Farm and the Chongjin Plastic Tube Factory. The first leg of his guidance was the Chongjin Goat Farm.
Workers and people of other strata in Chongjin City have built a large modern farm in a matter of a few years by building dozens of km-long roads along a vast area of mountain ridges on the outskirts of the city and creating pasture on either sides and successfully constructing barns, feed processing room, milk processing room and other production facilities and modern dwelling houses and entertainment and welfare service facilities.
11th Pyongyang Spring International Trade Fair Opens
Pyongyang, May 12 (KCNA) -- The 11th Pyongyang Spring International Trade Fair was opened with due ceremony at the Three-Revolution Exhibition on May 12.
Present there were Ro Tu Chol, vice-premier of the DPRK Cabinet, Ri Ryong Nam, minister of Foreign Trade, Kim Jong Sik, vice-chairman of the Pyongyang City People's Committee, and officials concerned, delegations and delegates from different countries and regions and diplomatic envoys and staff members of foreign embassies here.
Kim Tong Myong, vice-minister of Foreign Trade of the DPRK, made a congratulatory speech at the ceremony before an opening address by O Il Hun, vice-president of the Korean International Exhibition Corporation.
Seoul Ambivalent Over Foreign Investors
By Kim Jae-kyoung
Foreign private equity funds (PEFs), such as Lone Star and Carlyle Group, are not considered as a friendly investor, as they don't seek win-win gains together with the Korean economy, according to a ranking economic policymaker.
``Theoretically, there is a wide spectrum between a friendly investor and an unfriendly investor. If friendly and unfriendly investors are located at the far right and far left side, (foreign) PEFs are right in the middle,'' Strategy and Finance Vice Minister Choi Joong-kyung told The Korea Times.
``Survey evidence suggests that international business leaders regard policy uncertainty and the bureaucratic implementation of regulations as the biggest obstacle to doing business in Korea,'' Marcus Noland, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, told The Korea Times.
``Moreover, in a whole series of high profile cases, the Korean political system appears to have acted with hostility toward foreign investors or potential investors,'' he added.
Mauro F. Guillen, director of the Lauder Institute at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, also said, ``Foreign firms continue to view Korea as a country that discriminates against foreign investors and does not welcome them.
``In addition, Korea has not been aggressive enough in privatizing service and infrastructure industries.'
``Before attracting inbound investment, Korea must repair Korea's reputation for xenophobia,'' Noland of the Peterson Institute said.
``This will only change over time as more foreign firms have positive experiences in the Korean market, and the stories in the world financial press revolve around their successes,'' he added.
[FDI] [Juche] [Japan model] [Parallels] [Globalisation]
Builders Globalize Brands for Overseas Expansion
By Jane Han
Korean builders aren't just building plants and paving roads overseas, but they're starting to hammer their way into the Southeast Asian residential development business with their star-studded apartment brands.
GS Engineering & Construction is set to break ground this summer on its major Vietnamese project, housing some 17,000 units of new apartments, villas and townhouses. Investments are huge, but the builder says it is confident that its brand ``Xi'' and actress Lee Young-ae will help make a soft landing.
``Similar to Korea, branding is important in other emerging Asian markets,'' said a GS official, adding that no matter how good a product is, it must be strategically boosted with an attractive marketing strategy.
Foreign Investors Turn Away From Korea
Net Foreign Direct Investment Falls for First Time in One and a Half Years
By Kim Jae-kyoung
Despite all the slogans and gestures by the government to attract foreign investment, foreigners have turned their backs on Korea as the world's 13th largest economy has become increasingly less friendly to foreign investment.
The view, which has long been denied by ranking government officials, has been backed by the latest report on foreign direct investment (FDI) into Korea.
``Korea's development model is based on developing indigenous firms to conquer foreign markets, very similar to the Japanese model,'' he added. ``The opening to FDI during and after the crisis was out of necessity. Korea was down and needed the money. When Korea recovered, it reverted.''
[FDI] [Juche] [Japan model] [Parallels] [Globalisation]
Kim Jong Il Gives Field Guidance to Kosan Fruit Farm
Pyongyang, May 4 (KCNA) -- General Secretary Kim Jong Il gave field guidance to the Kosan Fruit Farm.
After being briefed on the farm before a huge painting showing its panoramic view, he mounted the observation platform and commanded a bird's-eye view of the orchard where fruit trees of various species are in full bloom.
He said that the farm built in 1947 under a long-term plan of President Kim Il Sung is one of the nation's leading fruit production bases.
He acquainted himself in detail with the fruit production and the mechanization of the fruit growing on the farm and highly appreciated the fighting spirit displayed by its officials and working people and extended warm greetings to them, saying that they did a lot of work to put fruit culture on a modern and scientific basis even during so difficult period of "the Arduous March", the forced march.
11th Pyongyang Spring International Trade Fair to Be Held
Pyongyang, May 3 (KCNA) -- The 11th Pyongyang Spring International Trade Fair will be held at the Three-Revolution Exhibition from May 12 to 15.
It will bring together companies from the DPRK, China, Russia, Netherlands, Germany, Syria, Switzerland, Australia, Britain, Italy, Indonesia, Spain, Vietnam, Thailand, France, Finland, Poland and Taipei of China.
Exhibited at the fair will be machine tools, electric and electronic appliances, vehicles, petrochemical goods, medicines, daily necessities, foodstuffs, etc.
North Korea minister praises agreement to set up JVC with Russian Railways Company
PYONGYANG, April 28 (Itar-Tass) -- North Korean Railways Minister Kim Yong Sam praised highly the Moscow agreement signed last Thursday to set up a joint venture company with the Russian Railways Company (RZD). The sides agreed to reconstruct the Khasan-Rajin railway line. The countries will build jointly a container terminal at the port Rajin. The interlocutors also agreed on further operation of this infrastructure.
The signed documents showed that the Russian-North Korean relations based on the principles of equity, friendship and mutual profits raised on a very high level, Kim Yong Sam said upon return to Pyongyang on Sunday.
Under the bilateral agreement a joint venture company established for 49 years will attract investments for the funding of the project and will hire subcontractors for the railway reconstruction. The sides also agreed to facilitate customs and border controls for free freight border transhipments. Meanwhile, the signatories decided to establish a consultative committee, which will coordinate the implementation of the project.
DPRK Delegate on Economic Cooperation and Exchange with All Countries
Pyongyang, April 29 (KCNA) -- The DPRK government will expand and develop multifarious economic cooperation and exchange with all countries of the world desirous of building a peaceful and fair new world on the principle of independence, equality and reciprocity in the future, too.
Ri Myong San, vice-minister of Foreign Trade who is heading the DPRK delegation, said this, addressing the 12th meeting of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) held in Ghana from April 20 to 25.
The DPRK government is expanding and developing foreign trade in a multifaceted manner and channeling great efforts into the development of IT, while making a maximum use of the existing production foundation. It is, at the same time, promoting cooperation in development through international organizations.
[NK policy] [Opening] [Trade]
President Backs Chaebol for Growth
By Kim Yon-se
President Lee Myung-bak committed himself to becoming a strong supporter of chaebol, Korea's ubiquitous family-owned conglomerates.
In his meeting with leaders of major business groups at Cheong Wa Dae Monday, Lee reiterated that easing regulations and cutting corporate taxes will be one of the cornerstones of his economic policy.
Lee also said the government has already asked the National Assembly to ease or scrap rules forbidding conglomerates from owning banks.
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World IP Day Observed
Pyongyang, April 26 (KCNA) -- Minju Joson today dedicates a signed article to World Intellectual Property Day (World IP Day).
The article says:
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) was founded to boost international cooperation in the field of intellectual property. In view of increasing concern over the intellectual property the 35th meeting of the WIPO held in 2000 set April 26 as World IP Day. To mark this day every year a theme is chosen to hold colorful events.
In August 1974, the DPRK became a member state of the WIPO which groups at least 180 countries.
Now intellectual property is gaining in scope as science and technology make progress worldwide and researches are being intensified to protect and develop it.
The Socialist Constitution in the DPRK clearly stipulates the legal protection of copy and patent rights. On this basis state laws and regulations specifically provide for the legal protection of intellectual property.
DPRK, Russia Cooperate in Railways
Pyongyang, April 26 (KCNA) -- An agreement on cooperation between the DPRK Ministry of Railways and the Russian Railway Company and a contract on setting up a joint venture enterprise between Rajin Port and the Russian Railway Trading Co., Ltd. were signed in Moscow on April 24.
Present at the signing ceremony were members of the delegation of the Ministry of Railways headed by Minister Kim Yong Sam, Kim Yong Jae, DPRK ambassador to Russia, and staff members of his embassy from the DPRK side and V. I. Yakunin, president of the Russian Railway Company, Anatoli Volojin, president of the Russian Railway Trading Co., Ltd., and personages concerned from the Russian side.
National Seminar on Protection of Intellectual Property Held
Pyongyang, April 25 (KCNA) -- The National Seminar on the Protection of Intellectual Property was held at the People's Palace of Culture on April 23 and 24.
Present there were officials in the fields of science, education, culture, arts, media, etc. and members of a delegation of the World Intellectual Property Organization.
Opening addresses were made there
U.S. to begin imports of North Korean soju
April 25, 2008
Americans will soon be able to drink a North Korean liquor known as Pyongyang Soju following a landmark export deal that has dragged on for almost half a decade.
Steve Park, also known as Park Il-woo, a Korean-American who runs Korea PyongYang Trading U.S.A., said 1,660 boxes of Pyongyang Soju arrived Tuesday in Port Elizabeth, New Jersey, according to the Yonhap News Agency. One box contains 24 364-milliliter bottles.
Cigarette Joint Venture Company Commissioned
Pyongyang, April 24 (KCNA) -- A ceremony of commissioning the Pyongyang Paeksan Cigarette Joint Venture Company was held on the spot on April 23.
Present there were Jo Jong Ung, vice-minister of Light Industry, Pak Pyong Jong, first vice-chairman of the Pyongyang City People's Committee, officials concerned and employees of the company.
On hand were Chinese Ambassador to the DPRK Liu Xiaoming and staff members of his embassy, a delegation of the Jilin Provincial People's Government of China headed by Vice-Governor Wang Zuji, Zhang Benfu, president of a tobacco company of China, and other Chinese guests.
Speaking at the ceremony Tong Myong Chol, manager of the Pyongyang Paeksan Cigarette Joint Venture Company, said that the company commissioned at a time when the DPRK-China friendship is growing stronger day by day will ensure the quality of products on a high level as required by the developing reality.
Activities for Environmental Protection in DPRK
Pyongyang, April 22 (KCNA) -- Colorful activities for the environmental protection have been waged in the DPRK as part of the global work.
The government launches the work for protecting land and environment as a nation-wide campaign in every spring and autumn so as to make people understand the importance of the environmental protection through practice.
Besides, greater attention is being directed to education, training and enlightenment of the masses for environmental protection.
All the universities of the country give basic scientific and technological knowledge on climatic changes.
The First Meeting of
Gaeseong Industrial Complex Cooperation Sub-committee
Explanatory Report on Agreements
Korea's Brand Value Tumbles
Korea's brand value is estimated at US$504.3 billion, one-sixth that of Japan. In a report titled "Korea's National Brand in the Era of $20,000 Per-Capita Income" released on Wednesday, the Hyundai Research Institute says Japans brand value was $3,225.9 billion, and that of the U.S. $13.01 trillion as of 2006, 26 times Koreas .
In the same year, Korea's GDP was one-fifth Japans and 1/14 that of the U.S. This suggests Korea's brand value does not match its economic capacity. National brand reflects the image and standing of a country as seen by other countries.
Socialist Neo-Conservatism in North Korea? A Return to Old Principles in the 2008 New Year Joint Editorial
By Rudiger Frank
April 22nd, 2008
Rudiger Frank, Professor of East Asian Economy and Society at the University of Vienna, writes, In comparison with the 2007 issue, the return to old postures (socialism, Party, domestic
resources) is the most striking difference. IT, standing at the core of the 2007 editorial, has not been mentioned in 2008; neither has the status as a nuclear power. Improving the standard of living is again an issue, but its coverage was less intense in 2008."
N. Korea, Russia to set up joint venture: report
SEOUL, April 20 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's railway minister arrived in Moscow Sunday to sign an agreement on setting up a joint venture company with Russia, the Russian news agency Itar-Tass reported.
The joint venture between North Korea's Ministry of Railways and Russia's Railways Company will undertake the modernization of the railway line linking Russia's border station of Khasan to the eastern North Korean port of Rajin, the report said.
Market activity flourishes in the DPRK
Posted Date : 2008-04-21 (NK Brief No. 08-4-21-1)
The March issue of Rimjingang, a magazine publishing stories on life inside North Korea as reported by defectors and those still inside the DPRK, contains an eye-opening report on activities in North Koreas markets.
Since 2003, North Korean authorities have legalized DPRK markets throughout the country. The previously existing farmers markets were remodeled into combined general markets and all traders were permitted to sell their wares. After the legislation was passed, even in Pyongyang general markets emerged in each neighborhood.
According to the magazine, more than 60 markets have been set up, with each market housing around 50 traders. The use of mannequins at clothing stores and attractive price tags used to catch the eye of the shopper are in force. These days, it is not even surprising to hear cassette players extolling the virtues of a particular vendors goods. Sellers here do not speak abruptly to customers as they might in a State-run store. In markets, one can hear respectful language used even to children. These are not ideas taught by the labor bureau, but rather independent ideas put to use by the sellers.
[Economic reforms] [Marketisation]
North Korea Residents Estimated to Circulate 0.5 Billion USD
By Kim So Yeul
[2008-04-18 16:22 ]
The total amount of U.S. dollars circulated and amassed by North Korean people was estimated 500 to 600 million dollars (100 per each household), a South Korean scholar suggested.
Kim Kwang Jin, a senior fellow from Institute for National Security Strategy, argued, U.S. dollar bills are the most popular currency in North Korea, at a policy forum held by Korean Sharing Movement on the 15th.
$USD in North Korea
The Daily NK, reports on a interesting claim by Kim Kwang Jin, senior fellow at the Institute for National Security Strategy:
In his article The Dollarization of North Korean Economy and Dependence on Foreign Currency by the Residents, [Kim Kwang Jin] analyzed dollarization of North Korean economy is a result of the disintegration of the official economy and the subsequent spread of foreign currency rather than the governments foreign currency policy.
Methodologically, I am not sure how valuable we should find the claim that the North Korean economy is dollarized to the tune of $100 per household (max of 6,000,000 households).
A Security and Peace Mechanism for Northeast Asia: The Economic Dimension
By Stephan Haggard and Marcus Noland
April 15th, 2008
Stephan Haggard, Lawrence and Sallye Krause Professor of Korea-Pacific Studies and Director of the Korea-Pacific Program (KPP) at the University of California, San Diego School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, and Marcus Noland, Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, writes, A primary, though not exclusive, objective of NEAPSM should be the integration of North Korea into the Asian and global economies. Such an opening is a prerequisite to the countrys economic renewal and resolution of its chronic humanitarian problems. Deepened economic interdependence would also embed North Korea in relations that could reduce the likelihood of disruptive behavior."
[Opening] [Inversion] [US NK policy]
Report on DPRK Cabinet's Work Last Year and Its Tasks for This Year
Pyongyang, April 9 (KCNA) -- Premier of the Cabinet Kim Yong Il, deputy to the Supreme People's Assembly, delivered a report on the work done by the DPRK Cabinet in Juche 96 (2007) and its tasks for Juche 97 (2008) at the 6th session of the 11th SPA held Wednesday.
Report on Implementation of State Budget for Last Year and State Budget for 2008
Pyongyang, April 9 (KCNA) -- Vice-Premier of the DPRK Cabinet Ro Tu Chol, deputy to the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA), delivered a report on the results of the implementation of the DPRK state budget for Juche 96 (2007) and its state budget for Juche 97 (2008) at the sixth session of the 11th SPA held on Wednesday. According to the report, the last year's plan for state budgetary revenue was carried out at 100.2 per cent, a 6.1 per cent increase in revenue over the previous year.
Banks to Tap Lucrative Islamic World
By Yoon Ja-young
Regulators plan to revise laws to help banks advance into Islamic countries and run businesses according to unique Islamic law. They will be allowed to provide financial advice on commission to diversify their income portfolios.
[Finance] [Islam] [Halal]
N.Koreas Businesses Thriving in Russia
APRIL 04, 2008 03:46
Mos Film Street, southwest of Moscow, Russia, Wednesday afternoon.
A black Benz with the red license plate of 087 passed by quickly. 087 is a number used exclusively for the sedans of North Korean diplomats. It was easy to tell that the North Korean embassy located on this street recently purchased the luxurious sedan.
A stylish Asian woman wearing black sunglasses and a shiny leather jacket was riding on its backseat.
Beautiful women, who were not seen in the past, frequent the North Korea embassy. High ranking officials of the embassy seemed to have become richer, said a Russian resident living near the embassy.
The North Korean embassy has been full of life since the latter half of 2006 because of the increased number of North Korean workers sent to Russia, diversified businesses and growing efforts to secure energy supplies, said North Korean defectors that the Dong-A Ilbo report team met in Moscow.
? North Korean Businesses to Expand From Primorsky to Moscow
The North Korean leaderships determination to expand businesses can also been seen from the Primorsky region which shares the border with North Korea.
In an annual report in February, Sergei Darkin, governor of the Primorsky region, said, The state government has decided to invite working officials this year for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit to be held in Vladivostok in 2012. North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has also promised to dispatch working-level officials.
[ODI] [Foreign business activity]
Cash-strapped N. Korea to open hotel in Berlin
(The Yomiuri Shimbun) By Kazuyoshi Nakaya, The Yomiuri ShimbunMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Apr. 2--BERLIN --North Korea is planning to open a hotel in Berlin by converting a building that previously formed part of its embassy, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.
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DPRK promotes multifaceted trade to boost exports
Posted Date : 2008-03-27 (NK Brief No. 08-3-27-1)
The latest issue of the North Korean publication Economic Research (2008, issue no. 1) highlights the need to restructure North Koreas trade system in order to meet the demands of the capitalist market. The journal quotes Kim Jong Il as saying, [We] need fresh improvement, in our own manner, of the basic Socialist economys trade system of yesterday, meeting the current demands being faced due to the capitalist market.
Therefore, the journal stresses, As the socialist market crumbles, and given the demands of the capitalist market as [our] focus shifts to overseas economic relations, what is currently needed for the development of overseas trade is improvement of our own style to the trade system that can ensure large profits.
The journal goes on to recommend that, in order to meet these new demands of the international capitalist market, the most important thing is improving the import-export system based on the foundation of an self-reliant national economy. It states that raw materials should not be sold as-is, but rather should be turned into processed goods and then sold, that goods popular on the international market should be manufactured for export, and that niches should be chosen in which North Korean goods can dominate the international market.
S.Korean Firms in Kaesong Complex Carry On as Normal
South Korean firms operating in the Kaesong Industrial Complex said the expulsion of 11 South Korean officials by the North will have no immediate significant effects on the project itself. But they expressed concern that inter-Korean conflict could further deepen and inter-Korean economic cooperation suffer as a result.
Escalating tensions led to N. Koreas expulsion of S. Korean officials
Deterioration in inter-Korean relations could cause trouble for S. Korean companies operating in Gaeseong
The first time that North Korea demanded that South Korean government officials stationed at an office inside the Gaeseong (Kaesong) Industrial Complex leave was early in the morning on March 24. However, tensions began to rise on the afternoon of March 26, after the North learned the contents of a South Korean Unification Ministry policy briefing to President Lee Myung-bak that had taken place earlier in the day. With reports that inter-Korean relations could continue to deteriorate, South Korean companies engaged in inter-Korean economic cooperation projects are expressing their concerns and keeping tabs on any potential consequences.
Koreas Bulldozer must clean up the chaebol
By Anna Fifield
Published: March 26 2008 18:36 | Last updated: March 26 2008 18:36
In South Korea, you can be born in a Samsung hospital and end up in a Samsung mortuary.
Koreans say this to illustrate how ubiquitous the chaebol conglomerates are in their daily lives. From home appliances and insurance to apartment towers and baseball, Samsung, the biggest chaebol, has almost every area of life covered.
But, increasingly, such jokes are changing from metaphors for South Koreas rapid industrialisation to half-bitter sneers about the control that a few companies or, more to the point, a few families exert in Asias third-largest economy.
N.K. expels S. Korean officials from Kaesong park: source
North Korea expelled all South Korean government officials from their joint office in the inter-Korean Kaesong industrial complex Thursday, the Unification Ministry said, in an apparent sign of strained ties after the launch of the conservative Lee Myung-bak administration.
Lee convenes meeting to discuss Kaesong crisis
President Lee Myung-bak Thursday convened an emergency meeting of security-related ministers and aides to discuss North Korea's expulsion of South Korean officials from an inter-Korean industrial park in the North, an aide to Lee said.
Earlier in the day, North Korea expelled all South Korean government officials from their joint office in Kaesong in apparent protest at the Lee government's hard-line stance on its nuclear weapons program.
N.K. news media call for aggressive outreach to capitalist world
Tuesday, March 25, 2008; Posted: 12:29 AM
SEOUL, Mar 25, 2008 (Asia Pulse Data Source via COMTEX) -- NO MATCHES FOUND. | news | PowerRating | PR Charts -- North Korea needs to aggressively open trade with the capitalist world in a measure to end "the U.S. imperialists' scheme to oppress" the communist state, a North Korean news magazine claimed in a recent edition.
"We must aggressively advance to the capitalist market in a way to shatter the ever-increasing scheme by the imperialists, including those in the United States, to suppress us," the quarterly economic magazine said in the January issue which was acquired recently by Yonhap News Agency.
The "Economic Research" magazine cited North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's remarks that his country is now under increasing pressure to renovate its method of doing trade in a largely capitalism-dominated world. It, however, did not mention when and where the leader made the remarks.
"The main object of external economic relations has changed to the capitalist market since the collapse of the socialist market. It is the demand of the times to change the method of doing trade in our own way to ensure the utmost practical interests in trade with capitalist countries," the magazine claimed.
Stressing that expanding trade with capitalist nations does not necessarily mean undermining the fundamental basis for the socialist economy, the magazine said the North can effectively use economic deals with capitalist countries in consolidating its "self-reliant economy" as much as it can.
[Opening] [Trade] [Sanctions]
Rodong Sinmun Calls for Accelerating Building of Economic Power
Pyongyang, March 24 (KCNA) -- Rodong Sinmun today editorially calls upon all the people to make a new leaping advance in building a socialist economic power with the vim and vigor with which they brought about the great Chollima upswing and thus glorify this significant year as a year of historic turn which will go down in the history of the country.
The era of Chollima (the latter half of the 1950s) in the history of the Workers' Party of Korea and the revolution shines as the stirring era from which a great revolutionary surge originated and the era of epoch-making miracles and feats, the editorial says, and goes on:
It was the Chollima era when the whole country was pervaded with the revolutionary traits of devotedly implementing the intention of the party and the leader by going through thick and thin, the heroic spirit of valiantly pulling through any ordeal and difficulty and militant stamina of making uninterrupted innovations and advances, not permitting even a moment's indolence and relaxation.
The speed campaign which was vigorously waged in every grand socialist construction site in the 1970s and 1980s represented a strong wave of uninterrupted advance spurred on by Chollima, and the spirit of Kanggye, which was created in the forced march for the final victory, meant a successful inheritance of the Chollima spirit
Business trip/ IT Study tour to the "11th International Trade Fair"
Business trip to the "11th International Trade Fair" (Pyongyang, May 2008)
North-Korea is slowly opening up to the outside world. The trade with neighboring China and South-Korea is already growing fast, and also several European companies are conducting business. An excellent way to collect information and to make new contacts is by visiting the annual "International Trade Fair", which takes place from 12-15 May in Pyongyang. European companies interested in exploring business opportunities in North-Korea are invited to join our 10-17 May IT-business mission. The participants will be offered a tailormade program, with a focus on the International Trade Fair.
For European companies, it is possible to make use of the collective European stand: for only 600 Euro, they can present their products or services to the public (or have them presented by local staff).
Offshore IT- and multimedia studytour to China and North-Korea (10-17 May)
The main focus of the business mission is to explore IT opportunities in North Korea. The goal of this studytour is to give the participants detailed information about offshoring. The IT-participants will visit firms in Pyongyang in the field of IT, animation, 2D and 3d design, cartoons, computer games, mobile games, and BPO. The business mission will have an informal character, with some attention to cultural or touristic elements. The trip will start in Beijing, and after returning from North Korea, an extension of the stay in China is possible in order to visit additional firms. The program of the tour has been added, and can also be found at: ,A HREF=www.gpic.nl/NK-IT-tour.pdf> www.gpic.nl/NK-IT-tour.pdf [Offshoring] [ICT] [Animation]
DPRK citizens turn to batteries, bicycles to solve energy shortages
Posted Date : 2008-03-24 (NK Brief No. 08-3-24-1)
North Koreans, long suffering from a chronic energy shortage, are now putting forth efforts to solve even this electrical issue on their own.
The Daily NK, a South Korean-based human rights organization, has learned from interviews with North Korean residents that these days, even in farming villages, families with regular incomes are relying on batteries to light their houses and power their televisions.
Local firm to use N.K. ship repair yard
A South Korean company has obtained the exclusive right to use a ship repair yard in North Korea, company officials said Sunday.
The right to use Ryongnam Ship Repair Factory in the western port city of Nampo will enable Acheon Global Corp. to gain domestic and overseas investment in its ship repair and steel-structure manufacturing businesses in North Korea, Acheon officials said.
One-third of listed firms have substantial foreign ownership
Foreigners have substantially invested in more than three out of every 10 listed companies in South Korea, the country's financial regulator said Sunday.
Of the total 1,767 listed companies as of the end of 2007, 34.7
percent were found to have foreign ownership of 5 percent or more, according to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).
The number of companies with more than 5 percent foreign ownership, which stood at 440 as of the end of 2005, has been consistently increasing, rising to 555 in 2006.
Orascom scores North Korea mobile first
By Song Jung-a in Seoul
Published: January 31 2008 09:35 | Last updated: January 31 2008 09:35
Egypts Orascom Telecom said on Thursday it had won the right to provide wireless services to North Korea, which, as well as being one of the worlds most isolated countries, strictly controls information access for the general public.
The company, which operates throughout the Middle East and North Africa, said that its subsidiary CHEO Technology, a joint venture 75 per cent owned by Orascom and 25 per cent owned by North Koreas state-run Korea Post and Telecommunications, won the right to provide mobile phone services using 3G technology.
Orascom said the licence was valid for 25 years with an exclusive period of four years. It plans to invest up to $400m in network infrastructure and licence fees over the first three years with the aim of rapidly deploying a network and offer mobile phone services to North Koreans.
[ICT][ Telecom] FDI] [IJV]
Reconstruction Projects of Railways between Khasan and Rajin and Rajin Port to Be Implemented
Pyongyang, March 20 (KCNA) -- The delegation of the "Russian Railways" Company visited Pyongyang between March 11 and 15.
During the visit, the railway organs of the two countries held talks to agree upon legal and technical issues of building a container wharf at Rajin Port and reconstructing the railroad between Khasan and Rajin with a view to cooperating with each other in organizing international freight transit transport by trans-Siberian railway and setting up a joint venture enterprise which will undertake the projects.
The discussion of technical issues related to establishing the joint venture company will be rounded off in the near future and a contract on setting up the company be concluded according to the "DPRK Law on Joint Venture" and the railway organs of the two countries will provide a guarantee for cooperation in the projects.
They agreed to break the ground for the reconstruction of the railway and port at the earliest possible date and a trial freight transport from the port to Europe will start within this year.
Progress at Kaesong 'Depends on Denuclearization'
Unification Minister Kim Ha-joong on Wednesday warned there will be no expansion to the inter-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex if North Korea's nuclear issue remains unsolved. Kim made the remarks during a meeting at the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business in Seoul with about 20 CEOs of South Korean firms operating in the complex, which is located just north of the truce village of Panmunjom.
No Gaeseong expansion without progress in nuclear standoff
Unification Minister Kim Ha-joong said on March 19 that the Gaeseong (Kaesong) Industrial Complex will not be expanded until there is progress in the North Korean nuclear issue.
During a meeting with representatives of companies currently doing business in the industrial complex located in the North Korean city, Minister Kim said, "Unless North Koreas nuclear issue is resolved, it will be difficult to expand the (Gaeseong Industrial Complex)."
[Sanctions] [Inter-Korean business] [Kaesong]
Gov't to increase tax benefits for companies dealing with Kaesong
The government said Sunday that it plans to offer tax benefits to companies that order original equipment manufacturer (OEM) products from businesses operating at the Kaesong industrial complex in North Korea.
The Ministry of Strategy and Finance said the move is expected to provide the 50-plus companies currently based in the complex with more work and bolster local interest for the joint-venture project that aims to help both South Korean businesses and North Korean workers.
Sincere Assistance to Domain of Railways
Pyongyang, March 15 (KCNA) -- Officials and other working people across the country are rendering sincere assistance to the field of railway transport.
Those in Pyongyang and North Phyongan Province sent various kinds of bolts and nuts, sleepers and many other accessories and materials needed for railway repair and contributed to turning railways in various sections into standard ones in a short span of time.
Those in Kangwon, South Hwanghae, Jagang and South Phyongan provinces have also rendered sincere labor and material assistance to the above-said field. They reinforced railroads with hundreds of cubic meters of gravels and retaining walls with stones.
Brisk Creation of Mixed Forests
Pyongyang, March 17 (KCNA) -- A vigorous campaign for creating mixed forests has been launched in the DPRK in the current spring tree-planting season.
Various counties including Yonthan and Unpha Counties of North Hwanghae Province and Pyoksong County of South Hwanghae Province have chosen right soils and are creating a vast acreage of mixed forests by properly combining pine-nut trees and larch with acacia and other species.
Chosan County of Jagang Province has produced a lot of healthy saplings in nurseries for mixed forests.
159 CEOs Begin Trip to North Korea
By Kim Sue-young
A total of 159 chief executives of small- and medium-sized firms began a four-day trip to North Korea Wednesday to inspect industrial sites and weigh up investment opportunities in the communist state, the organizers said.
It is the first group of South Korean delegates to visit Pyongyang since conservative President Lee Myung-bak took office on Feb. 25.
The trip was co-organized by Acheon Global Corp. and Seoul-based tour agency Pacific Holiday Tour with permission from the Lee government.
Acheon, founded by former Vice Chairman Kim Yoon-kyu of Hyundai Asan, is involved in trading and other economic cooperation programs with Pyongyang. [Inter-Korean business]
Cultivation of Garden Fruit Trees Brisk
Pyongyang, March 11 (KCNA) -- Cultivation of garden fruit trees is well under way in the current tree-planting season in the DPRK.
One can see in all the farm villages people planting fruit trees suitable to the local soil and climatic conditions.
On his endless journey of on-the-spot guidance a few years ago, General Secretary Kim Jong Il was deeply pleased with the beautiful panoramic view of Undong-ri, Hamju County, where each house was nestling among apricot trees.
N. Korea's GDP estimated at $40 billion: CIA
North Korea's gross domestic product (GDP) remained unchanged at $40 billion for the third consecutive year in 2007, according to the latest report by the top U.S. intelligence agency.
But the North's per capita GDP rose by about 5 percent to $1,900 last year from $1,800 in 2006, the Central Intelligence Agency said in its World Factbook 2008, which is now available on its Website.
Hana Electronics JVC
Hana Electronics JVC is a 50/50 joint venture between Phoenix Commercial Ventures Ltd and the Trading Department of the DPRK Ministry of Culture, and the Korea Committee for the Promotion of External Economic Cooperation (CPEEC), which reports to directly to the Cabinet.
Nigel Cowie, a director of Phoenix Commercial Ventures Ltd, is Chairman of the board of Hana. Ken Frost and Thae Yong Nam, directors of Phoenix Commercial Ventures Ltd, are also directors of Hana Electronics JVC.
Hana was established in 2003; in 2004 it began manufacturing and selling DVD and VCD players, as well as pressing and selling CD's.
Hana have established a nationwide distribution network throughout the major cities in the DPRK. They have an exclusive long term contract with the Mansudae Arts Centre, which belongs to the Ministry of Culture, one of the partners in the JV, for 300 works including; movies, karaoke and other music.
Sales of discs and machines are increasing sharply, as word spreads about the quality of the products and company. Sales and profits are increasing rapidly.
Hana is proud to have introduced a number of firsts, which show the evolution of the DPRK to a market economy.
[Economic reforms] [Marketisation] [IJV]
Phoenix Commercial Ventures
Welcome to the homepage of Phoenix Commercial Ventures Ltd.
Phoenix Commercial Ventures Ltd offers investors business and investment opportunities in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), enabling them to take advantage of the economic reforms that are taking place there.
Phoenix Commercial Ventures Ltd is owned and run by four experienced professionals, who are based in London, Paris and the DPRK.
The Board has between them many years of international business experience, and an invaluable network of well placed contacts.
Phoenix Commercial Ventures Ltd offers a unique service, by being able to offer direct access to the DPRK.
Phoenix Commercial Ventures Ltd specialises in project finance in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). As is well known, the business environment is difficult, and the company targets very specific investment projects; these are small enough to manage and have the capacity to generate foreign currency, either through export or import substitution.
[Economic reforms] [Marketisation] [IJV]
Note of Optimism for the Future of Relations with North Korea
I would like to put my head above the parapet, so to speak, and make a radical suggestion; contrary to the pessimism in the Western media, there may be hope for better times ahead in respect of the West's (ie the USA's) relationship with North Korea.
The sour relationship between the USA and North Korea stems from the unresolved debris of the Korean war; which was fought in the 1950's between UN troops and the forces of North Korea, who were attempting to overthrow the pro Western regime in the South.
North Korea has had several crop failures, and its people are starving. However, this situation could be alleviated if it were allowed to trade freely with the world.
? The economic disparity between the North and the South is due, in no small part, to the fact that the North has endured an economic blockade for the past forty years. Free trade equates to prosperity, and greater understanding between countries and peoples. If you isolate a country, not only do you stifle its economic growth, you also stifle its intellectual and political development.
? Given the lack of trading partners, the economic blockade and the hostility of the USA; North Korea has been forced to adopt a siege mentality. It is highly likely that it genuinely believes that it may be invaded; it has taken the decision that the only way it can defend itself is to maintain a large army and indeed (as abhorrent and risky as it is), build up a stockpile of WMD.
German auto part maker to operate in Kaesong complex
SEOUL, March 5 (Yonhap) -- A German auto part maker will become the first foreign company to operate in the South Korea-funded industrial complex in the North Korean border city of Kaesong, the inter-Korean joint office managing the complex said Wednesday.
The Stuttgart-based Prettl, which has 16 branch offices worldwide, had a ceremony to mark the start of construction of its factory in Kaesong in the morning, the office said.
North Korea Far Poorer Than Reported: Expert
Published: March 7, 2008
Filed at 3:11 a.m. ET
SEOUL (Reuters) - Impoverished North Korea is far poorer than earlier estimates have shown with a per capita income that places it among the world's most destitute states, a former minister for managing relations with the North said on Friday.
The South's Bank of Korea said last August that the North's economy in 2006 stood at $22.8 billion but the survey from Lee Jong-seok said the figure was closer to $9 billion.
This means that the average North Korean makes the equivalent of about a dollar a day, which puts the North among the world's 25 poorest countries in terms of per capita income.
But the Bank of Korea's estimate put annual per capita income at closer to $1,100, about the same as Nepal.
Working People Plant Trees
Pyongyang, March 3 (KCNA) -- Working people and school youth and children in all parts of the country have turned out in the spring tree-planting on the occasion of the tree-planting day.
Meetings of working people, school youth and children, agricultural workers and members of the women's union were held on Sunday across the country at which the participants resolved to energetically do the work to turn the country into a thick woodland and greenery true to the far-reaching idea of land development of General Secretary Kim Jong Il.
The meetings stressed the need to plant trees of good species on the principle of the right tree on the right soil and tend trees well, highly aware that tree-planting is a work for the prosperity of the country and the happiness of the generations to come.
S. Korea to Help N. Korea Plant More Trees
By Kim Yon-se
South Korea will initiate a campaign to help North Korea plant more trees on the occasion of Arbor Day, which falls on April 5.
Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Lee Dong-kwan unveiled the plan after President Lee Myung-bak received a briefing from his secretary Wednesday.
The spokesman said helping North Korea to plant more trees is one of President Lee's campaign pledges.
He said the South will send seedlings to the North but no details were given as to whether or when the two Koreas will meet for the forestry project.
The spokesman said when the Kyoto Protocol takes effect, the South can buy the right to emit CO2 from North Korea.
[Inter-Korean business] [Media]
'China money' fills 'oil money' void
March 04, 2008
'Oil money' is retreating from local stock markets while 'China money' is flooding in, according to the local financial regulator yesterday.
The Financial Supervisory Service said in a report posted on its Web site that Chinese investors bought local stocks worth as much as 25.1 billion won ($26.5 million) in January.
Investors from the Middle East, on the other hand, sold more than they bought for the third consecutive month, selling 275 billion won worth in January, the watchdog said.
Samsung in Crisis
The Samsung Group is in crisis. A special counsel has already questioned top executives including Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hees son Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman Lee Hak-soo, and president Kim In-joo, and it is now only a matter of time before Lee Kun-hee himself is summoned. The conglomerate is apparently in management trouble, and there are signs that Samsung Electronics may be left out in the cold by its Japanese rivals.
North charges $100 annually per S. Korean at Kaesong
March 03, 2008
North Korea has demanded that every South Korean residing at the Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea pay an annual registration fee of $100, a Unification Ministry official said yesterday.
About 800 South Koreans, mostly government officials and businessmen from South Korean companies, work at the complex. One of the most conspicuous inter-Korean rapprochement projects, the complex is located just north of the Demilitarized Zone, which has divided the Korean Peninsula for the past half century.
¡°North Korea has informed us that they will block the entry of any South Koreans who fail to pay the registration fee from Feb. 11,¡± the official said. ¡°The North set the fee unilaterally, and we are negotiating to make it more reasonable, although the amount is not excessive.¡±
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New Joint Venture Company Starts Operation
Pyongyang, February 27 (KCNA) -- The Pyongyang Yaming Joint Venture Lighting Company started its operation under an agreement on joint venture between the Pyongyang Lighting Appliances Factory and the Shanghai Yaming Electric Lamp Co., Ltd. of China.
The company will produce compact lamps, high-tension natrium lamps and metal halogen lamps.
A commissioning ceremony was held at the factory on Wednesday.
Present there were O Su Yong, minister of Electronics Industry, officials concerned, Zhang Linjian, managing director of the Shanghai YiDian Holding (Group) Company, Liu Jingwei, general manager of the Shanghai Yaming Electric Lamp Co., Ltd., Liu Xiaoming, Chinese ambassador to the DPRK, and others.
A report was delivered there to be followed by speeches [FDI] [JV]
N. Korea Cashes In on Mineral Riches
Financial Need Trumps Longtime Aversion to Foreign Trade
By Blaine Harden and Ariana Eunjung Cha
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, February 24, 2008; Page A19
SEOUL -- North Korea's Kim Jong Il has a chronic cash-flow problem.
In the 1990s, his Stalinist state nearly capsized -- and millions starved -- for want of subsidies from China and the defunct Soviet Union. Since then, despite arms dealing and the receipt of international aid in return for talking about abandoning nuclear weapons, North Korea has often gone without rice, fuel and medicine.
In the past couple of years, though, Kim's government has quietly begun to milk a long-neglected cash cow: deposits of coal, minerals and precious metals that are among the largest in Asia.
DPRK light industrial production grows with ROK material aid
Posted Date : 2008-02-13 (NK Brief No. 08-2-13-1)
As South Korean materials used in light industry make their way to the North, some DPRK factories appear to returning to normal manufacturing operations. A source in North Korea recently reported, Raw rubber, talcum (used for soap), perfumes, textiles, and other ROK raw materials made their way to a Sinuiju shoe factory and cosmetics factory, and production has returned to normal.
Prime Minister Han, Duck Soo visits Gaeseong Industrial Complex on December 12
Prime Minister Han, Duck Soo and his 45-member delegation visited Gaeseong Industrial Complex on December 12. The delegation included Lee, Kwan-se, Vice Minister of Unification, and Kim, Yeong-tak, Head of the Office of Gaeseong Industrial Complex Project.
N.K. marks leader's birthday with calls for unity, economic revival
By Shim Sun-ah
SEOUL, Feb. 16 (Yonhap) -- North Korea marked the 66th birthday of its leader, Kim Jong-il,
on Saturday with calls for loyalty and the reconstruction of its sluggish economy, according
to North's state-run news media.
The Rodong Shinmun, the newspaper of the Workers' Party, claimed in a lengthy birthday
editorial that the North is already powerful politically and militarily, thanks to Kim's
"Defending the commanding post even at the cost of one's life is the core of our military
and people's mental power and the greatest act of patriotism," said the editorial carried by
the North's Central TV and Radio Pyongyang, both monitored here. "We must unite and unite
again around the commanding post of the revolution."
The editorial claimed that no country dares to provoke "the political and military power,"
and there is nothing it cannot do in the world.
The North, however, called for all-out efforts to make a breakthrough in its struggling
economy by 2012, when the country honors the 100th birthday of former leader Kim Il-sung.
"It is the party's resolution and will to open up the door of a powerful country by 2012
by lifting the standards of the economy and the people's lives to a higher level," the
ROK businesses optimistic about inter-Korean cooperation after nuke resolution
South Korean businesses currently involved in inter-Korean economic cooperation are facing many difficulties, both due to and in spite of the system in place, so that at the moment, investment in North Korea does not look much more appealing than in Vietnam or China.
The Korea Chamber of Commerce carried out a survey, titled Business Perspective on the Direction of South-North Economic Cooperation Policy, targeting 300 successful businesses (170 companies responded) and 200 companies currently involved in inter-Korean economic cooperation (132 companies responded). According to the results of the survey, 79.4 percent of companies involved in inter-Korean cooperation responded that they are currently facing systemic and procedural difficulties.
When asked about the relative attractiveness of investment in North Korea if the current situation were maintained, as compared to Vietnam and China, only 27 percent responded, more attractive, while 53.7 percent, or twice as many companies, responded that investment was impossible.
However, 58 percent responded that, in the event the Norths nuclear issues were resolved, investment in North Korea would be more attractive than China and Vietnam, while only 21.7 percent responded that investment in the North would still be impossible. [Sanctions]
Investors could flock northward if nukes resolved
For now, companies find business a pain: survey
January 29, 2008
A majority of South Korean companies in a survey say that if North Korea is denuclearized and opened up to the outside world, it will become a more attractive investment destination than even China or Vietnam for firms here, according to a leading business lobby group.
But for now there are more South Korean companies that are unhappy doing business with the North than those that are satisfied, due to problems with infrastructure, transparency and a general lack of understanding about market economics.
The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry released the survey results yesterday. The poll was conducted earlier this month on 302 companies ? 132 firms now doing business in or with North Korea and another 170 large companies.
Eighty-four percent of those polled said inter-Korean economic cooperation would help South Koreas economy grow, while others said it would be of little help.
Given current conditions, 54 percent said North Korea is less attractive than China or Vietnam as an investment destination.
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Kim Jong Il Inspects Chicken and Pig Farms in Kanggye
Pyongyang, January 25 (KCNA) -- General Secretary Kim Jong Il gave field guidance to the Kanggye Chicken Farm and the Kanggye Pig Farm.
The first leg of his guidance was the Kanggye Chicken Farm.
He went round the room for education in revolutionary relics and the room for the study of President Kim Il Sung's reminiscences before being informed of the work done since the start of the farm's operation by its officials. Then, he dropped in at various production processes to acquaint himself in detail with the production and management of the farm
Opening up - doing business in North Korea
FT REPORT - FUND MANAGEMENT: By Andrew Wood, Financial Times
Published: Jan 21, 2008
North Korea presents a big challenge for fund managers: how to invest in the world's longest surviving Communist state? To many people, it is a bellicose, isolated Stalinist basket case. To a handful of investors, it is one of the purest, and perhaps most challenging, frontier markets on the planet.
There is, of course, no stock market, and the country issues no sovereign bonds after reneging on its debt more than 25 years ago. Even people who successfully did business with the Eastern Bloc in the years before and during glasnost and perestroika seem daunted.
[Debt] [FDI] [Media]
High tariffs limit export of Kaesong-made products: think tank
SEOUL, Jan. 20 (Yonhap) -- High tariffs limit the export of products made by South Korean companies in the joint industrial complex in the North's border town of Kaesong, a state-run think tank said Sunday.
The Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade (KIET) said in a report on the industrial complex just north the of demilitarized zone, that as of September 2007, only US$47.2 million worth of Kaesong goods were exported.
This is equivalent to 22.4 percent of $213.8 million worth of goods made by the complex so far. Most exports were parts needed to make machinery, chemical based products and electrical and electronic components.
The Kaesong complex is considered the crowning achievement of the June 2000 inter-Korean summit. Operations began in 2004, and there are currently more than 14,000 workers employed by about 60 South Korean firms that make garments, watches, kitchen utensils and machinery parts.
KIET said the low export figures are in contrast to a survey that showed 68 percent of all companies in Kaesong wanting to sell their products beyond South Korea.
"The main reason why Kaesong products are not exported is because countries including the United States and Japan slap high import duties on North Korean goods," a researcher said.
N.K. leader focuses on economy
By Shim Sun-ah
SEOUL, Jan. 23 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-il madeI visits to a power plant and a computer program exhibit in his first and third public appearances this year, apparently indicating a focus on the economy.
The North Korean leader's first public activities of a new year have usually indicated the North's policy goals for the year.
North suspends todays meeting between Koreas
Indefinitely delays talks on railway, saying it needs more time to prepare
January 22, 2008
With the inauguration of a conservative South Korean president just over a month away, North Korea has suspended inter-Korean talks scheduled for today and tomorrow, the Unification Ministry said yesterday.
North Korea said it needed more time to prepare for the talks about reconnecting and repairing railway routes between Kaesong and Shinuiju, the ministry said. However, the meetings were not rescheduled.
Inter-Korean Railway Talks Postponed
By Jung Sung-ki
The first inter-Korean dialogue on economic cooperation scheduled for this week has been postponed at the request of North Korea, the Ministry of Unification said Monday.
The North did not reveal the reasons for the request, only citing ``time constraints'' to prepare for the working-level talks, ministry officials said.
The two Koreas were scheduled to hold a working-level meeting in the North Korean border city of Gaeseong Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss railway cooperation projects based on agreements struck during cross-border talks to flesh out inter-Korean summit pacts.
Protecting the Good Name of Korea's Global Brands
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Japan's largest electric home appliance maker, last Thursday decided to abandon the name Matsushita, the name it has used since its founding 90 years ago, and replace it with its export brand name Panasonic. As a result, the company name and its export brand name will be the same. According to Japan's NHK news service, one of the reasons the company decided to change its name is because its brand power is weaker than Samsung's.
The idea of Matsushita changing its name to catch up with Samsung was unthinkable even just a decade ago. What kind of company is Matsushita? It was founded by the late Konosuke Matsushita, the "god of management," in 1917. It is beloved by the people of Japan as a national brand. The Japanese press once called Matsushita the "pride of Japan" and a "business that creates happiness like water running from a faucet."
Our global brands, such as Samsung, Hyundai Motor, LG, SK, and POSCO, are like the public face of Korea, representative of the 50-year history of Korea's economic growth. Wherever you go around the world, your heart will burn with patriotism when you find Korean brands or their signboards. You can feel as if your heart is too full for words when you see signboards for Hyundai Motor or Samsung Anycall mobile phones on the streets of Europe
Underground Economy Accounts for 30% of GDP
By Park Hyong-ki
The country's business interest group has called on the incoming administration to make efforts to reduce underground economic activities through deregulation and tax cuts.
The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) estimated that the underground economy accounts for about 30 percent of the GDP with the size of the market reaching nearly 250 trillion won.
To this end, the KCCI advised the incoming government to further cut taxes and its expenditure as well as deregulate laws and regulations concerning enterprises
N. Korea's shrinking oil imports reflect economic hardships
North Korea's crude oil imports in 2006 amounted to merely 3.8 million barrels, a steep fall from about 18 million barrels in the early 1990s, a South Korean government report disclosed on Sunday said, indicating the difficulties faced by the communist state in reviving its economy amid a prolonged nuclear stalemate.
According to the National Statistics Office's report, the 3.8 million barrel import marked the smallest amount of oil imported by the impoverished communist state in a five-year span ending in 2006.
Pyongyang has had its horns locked with Washington over its nuclear weapons programs, with its international reputation severely damaged by U.S. claims that it engaged in massive money-laundering and other illicit activities.
2007 biggest year yet for Inter-Korean exchange, at 1.79 billion USD
Posted Date : 2008-01-10 (NK Brief No. 08-1-10-1)
The net worth of inter-Korean exchanges totaled 1,797,890,000 USD in 2007, up 33% from the 1.35 billion USD in the previous year. Exchanges between the two Koreas began in 1989, and topped one billion dollars for the first time in 2005. The almost 1.8 billion dollars in trade recorded in 2007 is the highest to date, and is equal to 65 percent of North Koreas non-Korean trade volume of 2.996 billion USD in 2006.
Inter-Korean trade hit record high last year
Date: January 07, 2008
The two Koreas marked record cross-border trade in 2007 amid a growing mood for peace on the Korean Peninsula, the Unification Ministry said Monday (Jan. 7).
Bilateral trade jumped 33 percent to $1.79 billion last year from $1.35 billion a year earlier, according to the ministry.
"The rise mainly comes from a 52 percent increase in the trade of minerals and marine products," the ministry said in a press release.
It added the amount of raw materials and goods shipped into and from the Gaeseong industrial complex just north of the Inter-Korean border increased by 48 percent year-on-year.
Exchanges in non-commercial areas, however, dropped by 13 percent, according to the ministry.
Seoul hopes cross-border trade will continue to increase over the coming years as the sides are about to launch a second development plan to expand the Gaeseong industrial complex, where about two dozen South Korean companies are currently employing some 10,000 North Korean workers.
The joint industrial complex is expected to house over 2,000 South Koreans businesses and employ as many as 500,000 North Koreans when it is fully developed by a target year of 2012.
President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il have also agreed to develop the Norths western Haeju area as a special economic district in the second-ever inter-Korean summit held in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang in early October.
"We attribute the record-high trade to the ever-increasing peace mood between the two Koreas and the Norths increased efforts to secure foreign money," Koh Hwa-sop, an official at the ministrys inter-Korean economic cooperation headquarters, said.
Third Pyongyang Autumn International
The Third Pyongyang Autumn International Trade Fair took place at the Three-Revolution Exhibition in October last year.
It drew the DPRK, Russia, China, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Poland, the UK, the Netherlands, Finland, Australia, France, Czech, Canada, Mongolia and Chinese Taipei.
On display were machine tools, electric and electronic facilities, vehicles, petrochemical products, medicines, daily necessities, foodstuffs, which totaled over 10 000 pieces of 700-odd kinds.
Products exhibited by the Korea Machinery Trade General Corporation, the PyongSu Pharmaceutical Joint Venture Company and the European Business Association were the highlights of the exhibition.
And brisk multi-sided scientific and technological exchange took place and many contracts were signed between business companies from many countries.
Two Koreas should share management of Dancheon mine region: official
SEOUL, Jan 09, 2008 (Asia Pulse Data Source via COMTEX) --
The two Koreas should jointly manage the mines in North Korea's Dancheon region if it is developed for commercial mining, the head of a state-run resources development corporation said Tuesday.
Korea Resources Corp. (KORES) President Lee Han-ho said there would be a need for South Korean experts to influence everyday operations to prevent a repetition of complications that have developed over past inter-Korean cooperative projects.
"There have been no official discussions on the matter but it would be best if South Korea had a say in the running of the mine," the CEO said.
[FDI] [JV] [Inter-Korean business]
DPRK new years editorial lacks new economic development vision
Posted Date : 2008-01-08 (NK Brief No. 08-1-8-1)
Through the annual New Years Day Joint Editorial released on January 1, North Korea called for the full implementation of the October 4 North-South joint resolution, and on the domestic front, it stubbornly defended its system while calling for improvement of its citizens quality of life.
Kim Jong Il Visits Construction Site of Power Station
Pyongyang, January 6 (KCNA) -- General Secretary Kim Jong Il visited the construction site of the Ryesonggang Power Station to encourage the builders there in the new year's drive.
Kim Jong Il exchanged greetings with those present to receive him before mounting the observation platform to command a bird's eye-view of the power station and learn in detail about its construction.
He extended warm greetings to the builders and their helpers, highly praising them for having done a lot of work in a matter of just one year and working miracles and innovations everyday from the outset of the year.
He expressed great satisfaction over the fact that another structure of eternal value is now under construction in the country, noting that the power station located in a good place was designed in such a way as to ensure profitability and the quality of the construction is on a high level so that it can be built into a structure to be handed down to posterity.
Big-Ticket Inter-Korean Projects Put on Backburner
By Jung Sung-ki
The next administration will put big-budget cross-border economic cooperation projects on the backburner until substantial progress is made at the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear programs, the presidential transition committee said Monday.
``Humanitarian programs such as the reunion of displaced families should be implemented on schedule, but inter-Korean business projects should be linked to progress over the North's nuclear issue,'' a team official said.
President-elect's team tells Unification Ministry to slow inter-Korean economic projects
President-elect Lee Myung-bak's transition team Monday asked the Unification Ministry to link inter-Korean economic cooperation projects to nuclear disarmament negotiations, signaling a possible slow-down of major projects.
The Future of North Korea: System Conservation or Guided Market Economy?
The spectacular advancement in the peace process during 2007 (the six-party talks and the U.S.-DPRK talks as well as increasing North-South cooperation), progress in solving the nuclear issue (at least partly) and in normalization of the DPRKs relations with the West bring to the fore the question of the DPRKs future course. Provided hostility diminishes and its external security is guaranteed, will the country seize the chance to modernize and prosper, integrating into todays world?
The North Korean leadership seems to wish to use these opportunities, arguing that since DPRK statehood and defense are now firmly established, now is the time for economic progress.
Seoul aims to stave off credit crisis
By Song Jung-a and Anna Fifield in Seoul
Published: January 3 2008 18:48 | Last updated: January 3 2008 18:48
South Koreas incoming government is planning a huge bail-out covering 7.2m consumer debtors behind on loan repayments or with poor credit ratings in an effort to spur consumption and prevent a repeat of a 2004 consumer credit crisis.
President-elect Lee Myung-bak, an ex-Hyundai executive, promised help for consumer debtors during the campaign leading up to last months presidential election. Economists have warned that South Korean households and small companies are facing a growing risk of default amid rising interest rates and a credit squeeze at the countrys banks.
$40 Bil. Sought for N. Korea
The coming administration is considering allocating $40 billion for an international cooperative fund to support North Koreas economic growth, Lees transition team said Friday.
The budset is in line with Lees ambitious plan to help increase the impoverished Norths per capita income to $3,000 within a decade if it makes the bold decision to abandon its nuclear program and open its market, said the teams spokesman Lee Donggwan.
Is Trade Deficit a Sign of Worse to Come?
Korea posted a US$860 million trade deficit in December of last year, the first deficit in four years and nine months (US$1=W937). Exports in December rose 15.5 percent from a year ago to $33.25 billion, but the nation posted a trade deficit since imports rose 24 percent over the same period.
The main reason for the deficit is soaring crude prices.
Kaesong output increases 150 pct: Unification Ministry
SEOUL, Dec. 28 (Yonhap) -- The total output of a South Korea-built industrial complex in North Korea's border town of Kaesong totaled over US$180 million this year, shooting up 150 percent from a year ago, Seoul's Unification Ministry said on Friday.
"The total production by businesses at the Kaesong industrial complex recorded an estimated $185 million this year, up about 150 percent from $74 million last year," the ministry said in a press release.
S.Korea to develop two resource rich areas in N. Korea
Date: December 27, 2007
South Korea plans to develop two resource rich regions in North Korea that can benefit both countries and fuel cross-border economic cooperation, the government said Thursday (Dec. 27).
The blueprint calls for more funds to be funneled into North Korea so prospective developers can conduct geological surveys and compile detailed data for future reference, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said.
Resource-poor South Korea imports most raw materials to operate its heavy industry-centered economy. Lack of social infrastructure and mining knowhow have prevented North Korea from fully developing resources.
The ministry, meanwhile, said due to the importance placed on foreign resource development, the country plans to allocate about $1.0 billion in this effort next year. This is an increase from the $639.0 million that has been spent this year.
[FDI] [Inter-Korean business]
Lee Myung-baks economic policies face skepticism
Korea Development Institute president doubt feasibility of president-elects economic programs
Hyun Jung-taik, president of the Korea Development Institute, is skeptical about the realization of President-elect Lee Myung-baks pledge to revive the economy. He and a number of other economic experts have expressed doubt about the viability of the president-elects proposed programs, while economic indicators from major institutions forecast a low economic growth rate for the first half of the coming year.
The First Meeting of Gaeseong Industrial Complex Cooperation Sub-committee Explanatory Report on Agreements
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