Archive for the ‘GPI Consultancy’ Category

Some recent DPRK publications (UPDATED)

Monday, October 31st, 2011

“North Korea on the Cusp of Digital Transformation”
Nautilus Institute
Alexandre Mansurov

“North Korea: An Up-and-Coming IT-Outsourcing Destination”
38 North
Paul Tija, GPI Consulting

“NK People Speak, 2011″ (Interviews with North Koreans in China)
Daily NK (PDF)

“The Rise and Fall of Détente on the Korean Peninsula, 1970-1974″
Wilson Center NKIDP
Christian F. Ostermann and James Person
(Coverage of the report in the Donga Ilbo can be found here)

Don’t Expect a Pyongyang Spring Sometime Soon
Center for Strategic and International Studies (via CanKor)
Hazel Smith

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GPI launching November DPRK business delegation

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

In an email from Paul Tija:

In the current financial and economic situation, companies face many challenges. They must cut costs, develop new products and find new markets. In these fields, North-Korea could be an interesting option. It is opening its doors to foreign enterprises, its labor costs are the lowest of Asia, and its skilled labor is of high quality. It established free trade zones to attract foreign investors and there are several sectors, including textile industry, agro business, fishing, shipbuilding, logistics, mining/rare metals and Information Technology that can be considered for trade and investment. Most of the North-Korean trade is currently taking place with its neighbours and the amount of production of the South-Korean factories in North-Korea continues to increase. The trade between North-Korea and China jumped from US$1,97 billion in 2007 to $3,47 billion in 2010. A growing number of European firms are exploring the country as well – for example companies currently producing in China, and where the wages are rising fast.

In early November, I will lead a Dutch business mission to North-Korea (already fully booked), but a second mission will take place as well, from 13 – 19 November. Do you want to explore new business opportunities for your company? Then join me on this unique trade and investment mission. The program includes individual matchmaking, company visits, network receptions and dinners. Furthermore, we will meet European business people who are working and living in North-Korea. At the beginning of the tour, in Beijing, we will take part in the seminar: “Doing business with DPRK” (tentative). After the trip to Pyongyang, we will return to Beijing, where you can take a connecting flight or extend your stay in China.

The program of this mission has been attached. In case you are interested to participate: please contact us as soon as possible, so we can start the visa-application procedure. If you are not able to join, then it is also possible for us to do marketresearch and to take part in local meetings in Pyongyang on your behalf.

See the Brochure and itinerary here (PDF).

With best regards, Paul Tjia (director)
GPI Consultancy, P.O. Box 26151, 3002 ED Rotterdam, The Netherlands
E-mail: paul@gpic.nl
tel: +31-10-4254172
fax: +31-10-4254317
Website: www.gpic.nl
Twitter: twitter.com/PaulTjia
LinkedIn: nl.linkedin.com/pub/paul-tjia/1/445/958

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DPRK emerges as animation producer

Monday, November 1st, 2010

According to the Korea Times:

North Korea’s information technology (IT) industry, especially in the field of computer-based animation production, is well on its way to achieve success, according to a Dutch outsourcing specialist currently conducting IT business with North Korean companies.

Speaking to an audience in Seoul for the launch of a book, “Europe-North Korea, Between Humanitarianism and Business,” Paul Tjia said France and Italy are two big users of North Korean animators.

He said that his Dutch clients also outsource animation to North Korea. European cartoon versions of classic literature such as “Arabian Nights” and “Les Miserables,” which aired on European television, were animated partly in North Korea.

The ceremony was organized by the Hanns Seidel Foundation, a German organization.

Clients of animation produced in the isolated communist regime aren’t just Europeans.

In early 2000 when the inter-Korean relations were at a peak, even a few South Korean animations were made in North Korea.

“Pororo the Little Penguin,” an animated cartoon series, was an inter-Korean project completed in 2002. Also the same year, Akom, a South Korean company, also outsourced the production of “Empress Chung” to North Korea. The animation was released in 2005.

Tjia mentioned that some of the American Walt Disney animations were created by North Koreans, purely by accident. Politically North Korea and America have a thorny relationship and the American government prohibits the private sector from doing business with North Korean companies.

“There was a time when Walt Disney outsourced their animation production to countries in Asia like Vietnam or the Philippines. But the company didn’t have complete control over exactly which country the work was created, and found out later that some was produced in North Korea,” he said, adding that this was discovered after the animations had aired on TV.

An official at the Seoul Animation Center verified some of what the Dutchman said, confirming that Walt Disney’s outsourcing to Asia was true, and that’s precisely how South Korea’s animation industry took off.

The news of a burgeoning animation industry in North Korea comes as a surprise to many who are used to hearing mainly about food scarcity, human rights violations and the regime’s nuclear ambitions.

People in the North Korean IT industry are given far more freedom than regular people in traveling abroad. They freely travel to “learn new skills,” Tjia said, showing a group photo with North Korean IT engineers in Europe.

Apart from animations, he added, North Korea is also keen on developing computer games, cell phone applications and banking systems for clients from the Middle East.

Cell phone applications, in particular, were devised even though not a single cell phone was available in Pyongyang.

“They made them to target European clients,” he said.

Yet for some the emergence of North Korea as an animation producer isn’t without alarm.

One European diplomat at the venue expressed concern over security, raising the possibility that the IT business with Europe could empower North Korea to become a cyber attacker.

North Korea already has a record of carrying out cyber attacks against South Korean websites, the most recent of which took place last July.

“They (North Koreans) say they are capable of producing computer viruses,” Tjia said, and he has seen anti-virus programs made by the North. The chief of the South’s National Intelligence Service was quoted last year as saying that North Korea had a force of 1,000 hackers who could engage in cyber warfare. He also said the North had “remarkable” cyber skills to carry out a massive attack on the South.

Read the full story here:
North Korea emerges as animation producer
Korea Times
Kim Se-jeong
11/1/2010

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DPRK software exports

Monday, September 6th, 2010

According to Bloomberg:

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has found an unlikely ally to help raise cash for his impoverished regime: The Dude, the pot-smoking underachiever played by Jeff Bridges in the movie “The Big Lebowski.”

Programmers from North Korea’s General Federation of Science and Technology developed a 2007 mobile-phone bowling game based on the 1998 film, as well as “Men in Black: Alien Assault,” according to two executives at Nosotek Joint Venture Company, which markets software from North Korea for foreign clients. Both games were published by a unit of News Corp., the New York-based media company, a spokeswoman for the unit said.

They represent a growing software industry championed by Kim that is boosting the economy of one of the poorest countries in the world and raising the technological skills of workers. Contracting with North Korean companies is legal under United Nations sanctions unless they are linked to the arms trade.

“From the government’s point of view, foreign currency is the main reason to nurture and support these activities,” said Andrei Lankov, an academic specializing in North Korea at Seoul- based Kookmin University. “These activities help to fund the regime, but at the same time they bring knowledge of the outside world to people who could effect change.”

The technological education of graduates from North Korean universities has “become significantly better,” Volker Eloesser, a founder of Pyongyang-based Nosotek, said in an e- mail. Companies with “hundreds or even thousands of staff each” operate in North Korea, he said.

Double-Edged Sword

Better trained programmers may also bolster the regime’s cyberwarfare capabilities, said Kim Heung Kwang, who taught computer science at universities in the north for 19 years before defecting to South Korea in 2004. South Korea’s presidential office said July 28 the nation had received intelligence that North Korea may plan an Internet-based attack.

Won Sei Hoon, director of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service, told lawmakers last October that North Korea’s postal ministry was responsible for cyber attacks in July 2009 on dozens of websites in South Korea and the U.S.

President Barack Obama widened U.S. financial sanctions on North Korea on Aug. 30, freezing assets of North Korean officials, companies and government agencies suspected of “illicit and deceptive activities” that support the regime’s weapons industry.

Seeking Capability

“Any sort of transaction that gives cash to the North Korean government works against U.S. policy,” said James Lewis, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based policy group. “The coding skills people would acquire in outsourcing activities could easily strengthen cyberwar cyber-espionage capabilities. Mobile devices are the new frontier of hacking.”

North Korea’s information technology push began in the 1980s as the government sought to bolster the faltering economy, said defector Kim. That drive also led to the creation of a cyber-military unit in the late 1990s, he said. He runs North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity, a group composed of defectors who have graduated from North Korean universities.

Nosotek’s Eloesser disputed any connection between programming for games and cyber-espionage.

“Who could train them, as neither me nor the Chinese engineers who are cooperating with the Koreans have those skills ourselves?” he asked in an e-mail. “Training them to do games can’t bring any harm.”

Joint Venture

Nosotek is a joint venture between the science and technology federation and foreign investors, company vice president Ju Jong Chol said in an e-mail. He said federation members developed both “Big Lebowski Bowling,” set in a rendition of the bowling alley where The Dude spent much of the movie drinking White Russians, and “Men in Black,” in which players battle invading aliens. Eloesser confirmed his comments.

Both games were published by Ojom GmbH, a unit of a company called Jamba that was bought by News Corp. and later renamed Fox Mobile, according to Fox Mobile spokeswoman Juliane Walther in Berlin. They came out after News Corp. took a controlling interest in Jamba in January 2007 and before it bought the remainder in October 2008. Ojom was eliminated in a May 2008 reorganization, Walther said.

When asked whether Fox Mobile distributes games developed in North Korea, Walther said that the unit “has extensive partnerships with content producers in all areas, with operators, and with the biggest media companies worldwide, including various Asian companies.”

No More Details

She said the company could not provide more details on where partners are based or confirm “if and how” North Korean companies were involved in development for Ojom. Dan Berger, a News Corp. spokesman in Los Angeles, declined to comment further. News Corp. is controlled by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch, 79.

Eloesser founded Elocom Mobile Entertainment GmbH in 2003, which later became a subsidiary of Ojom. He said he first visited North Korea in 2005 and helped found Nosotek in 2007.

Nosotek offers clients billing through either a Hong Kong or Chinese company, according to its website, which promises “skills, secrecy, dedication.”

Such practices allow the funds to flow to North Korea, said Paul Tjia, director of Rotterdam, Netherlands-based GPI Consultancy, which helps companies outsource overseas, including to North Korea. Other companies contract with Chinese firms that then subcontract to North Korean companies, he said.

It is “impossible to estimate” how much revenue North Korea earns through software development, he said.

Nosotek’s wares are “of similar good quality to those from other companies in Europe or America,” according to Marc Busse, digital distribution manager at Potsdam, Germany-based Exozet Games GmbH, which has distributed games for Nosotek.

Foreign companies that are reluctant to do business in North Korea need to understand that investment there can help the country modernize and reduce its isolation, Tjia said.

“Most companies are still reluctant, which we think is unfortunate,” he said. North Koreans “need investment, like China in the 1970s.”

Read the full story here
Kim Jong Il Bowls for Murdoch’s Dollars With Korean Video Games
Bloomberg
Matthew Campbell and Bomi Lim
9/6/2010

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GPI September business delegation to DPRK

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

According to the GPI web page (PDF):

Exploring new business opportunities
European trade & investment mission to North-Korea
(11 – 18 September 2010)

Rotterdam, 29 June 2010
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, also known as North-Korea) finds itself at a new era of international economic cooperation, and it especially welcomes business with Europe. The DPRK is offering various products and services to export markets, while the country is also in need for many foreign products and investments.

In the current financial and economic situation, European companies face many challenges. They must cut costs, develop new products and find new markets.

In these fields, North-Korea is an interesting option.

It established several free trade zones to attract foreign investors and there are several sectors, including renewable energy, textile, shipbuilding, agro business, fishing, horticulture, logistics, mining, stone processing, restaurants and Information Technology, that can be considered for trade and investment. DPRK is competing with other Asian countries by offering skilled labour for very low monthly wages. In particular companies with production facilities in China, where the wages are rising fast, are currently investigating alternative options in North-Korea.

Do you want to explore new business opportunities for your company? From 11 to 18 September 2010, GPI Consultancy will organize again a trade & investment mission in order to investigate these business opportunities. This tour is open for business participants from all European countries. Note: in case this date is not convenient for you, other trade missions will take place in 2011.

Our previous economic missions to Pyongyang were informative and successful. The participants found the program, with tailor made business meetings and company visits, interesting and well-varied. In addition, there were many opportunities for informal meetings. A report of such a mission can be found at: www.gpic.nl/NK-report2009.pdf

During our upcoming trip in September, the annual Autumn International Trade Fair in Pyongyang will be held. A visit to this interesting trade fair will be included; participation with a booth is also possible.

Business mission September 2010: short overview
Members of our business delegation will be able to discuss trade opportunities in several areas, including light industry (e.g. textiles, garments, ceramics), agribusiness, fishing, mining, energy and Information Technology / Business Process Outsourcing. We will also receive information about investment opportunities in a number of sectors, and several projects will be offered.

Taking part in a business mission is a very informative way to explore business opportunities in DPRK in detail, and to meet new potential business partners. Participation is also useful for those European companies already doing business with DPRK, since it gives them an easy option to meet their Korean trade partners personally.

Itinerary
Saturday 11 September: Departure of European participants to Beijing (note: departure at an earlier date is possible).

Sunday 12 September: The participants will meet; informal welcome reception and dinner at a local restaurant. Introduction to the studytour.

Monday 13 September: In the morning: visa collection at the DPRK Embassy in Beijing. Receiving Air Koryo airplane tickets. Afternoon: available for individual program. Tentative: the seminar: “Doing business with DPRK” takes place. The event, with several speakers, will address various aspects of doing business in DPRK.

Tuesday 14 September: Transport from the hotel to the airport will be provided. Departure from Beijing to Pyongyang, using the national airline Air Koryo. Upon arrival, we meet representatives of the DPRK Chamber of Commerce. Transport will be arranged to the hotel. Schedules of business meetings will be handed out to the participants, after which a welcome dinner will take place.

Wednesday 15 – Friday 17 September: In the mornings, business meetings with representatives of North-Korean companies will commence in the hotel. These meetings will be arranged, on request by the participants, by the DPRK Chamber of Commerce. In the afternoons, the delegates can visit firms in and around Pyongyang from a range of sectors, including agriculture, textiles and garments, ceramics, computer software, art, animation and cartoons.

A visit to the 6th Pyongyang Autumn International Trade Fair is included. This fair takes place from 13 – 16 September and is organized by the Korea International Exhibition Corporation. In addition, we meet members of EBA (European Business Association): European business people working and living in DPRK.  There is also some time available for informal activities, such as a citytour in and around Pyongyang, a visit to an art gallery and the spectacular Arirang Massgame.

Saturday 18 September: In the morning, departure from Pyongyang to Beijing. Upon arrival, participants can take a connecting flight to Europe, or decide to spent more time in China.

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The DPRK’s internet, business, and radio wars

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Martyn Williams releases three DPRK stories this week all covering interesting issues…


North Korea Moves Quietly onto the Internet

North Korea, one of the world’s few remaining information black holes, has taken the first step toward a fully fledged connection to the Internet. But a connection, if it comes, is unlikely to mean freedom of information for North Korea’s citizens.

In the past few months, a block of 1,024 Internet addresses, reserved for many years for North Korea but never touched, has been registered to a company with links to the government in Pyongyang.

The numeric IP addresses lie at the heart of communication on the Internet. Every computer connected to the network needs its own address so that data can be sent and received by the correct servers and computers. Without them, communication would fall apart.

It is unclear how the country’s secretive leadership plans to make use of the addresses. It seems likely they will be assigned for military or government use, but experts say it is impossible to know for sure.

North Korea’s move toward the Internet comes as it finds itself increasingly isolated on the world stage. The recent sinking of a South Korean warship has been blamed on the insular country. As a result, there are calls for tougher sanctions that would isolate North Korea further.

“There is no place for the Internet in contemporary DPRK,” said Leonid A. Petrov, a lecturer in Korean studies at The University of Sydney, referring to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. “If the people of North Korea were to have open access to the World Wide Web, they would start learning the truth that has been concealed from them for the last six decades.”

“Unless Kim Jong-Il or his successors feel suicidal, the Internet, like any other free media, will never be allowed in North Korea,” he said.

The North Korean addresses were recently put under the control of Star Joint Venture, a Pyongyang-based company that is partly controlled by Thailand’s Loxley Pacific. The Thai company has experience working with North Korea on high-tech projects, having built North Korea’s first cellular telephone network, Sunnet, in 2002.

Loxley acknowledged that it is working on a project with Pyongyang, but Sahayod Chiradejsakulwong, a manager at the company, wouldn’t elaborate on plans for the addresses.

“This is a part of our business that we do no want to provide information about at the moment,” he said.

A connection to the Internet would represent a significant upgrade of the North’s place in cyberspace, but it’s starting from a very low base.

At present the country relies on servers in other countries to disseminate information. The Web site of the Korea Central News Agency, the North’s official mouthpiece, runs on a server in Japan, while Uriminzokkiri, the closest thing the country has to an official Web site, runs from a server in China.

North Korean citizens have access to a nationwide intranet system called Kwangmyong, which was established around 2000 by the Pyongyang-based Korea Computer Center. It connects universities, libraries, cybercafes and other institutions with Web sites and e-mail, but offers no links to the outside world.

Connections to the actual Internet are severely limited to the most elite members of society. Estimates suggest no more than a few thousand North Koreans have access to the Internet, via a cross-border hook-up to China Netcom. A second connection exists, via satellite to Germany, and is used by diplomats and companies.

For normal citizens of North Korea, the idea of an Internet hook-up is unimaginable, Petrov said.

Kim Jong-Il, the de-facto leader of the country, appears all too aware of the destructive power that freedom of information would have to his regime.

While boasting of his own prowess online at an inter-Korean summit meeting in 2007, he reportedly rejected an Internet connection to the Kaesong Industrial Park, the jointly run complex that sits just north of the border, and said that “many problems would arise if the Internet at the Kaesong Park is connected to other parts of North Korea.”

Kim himself has made no secret of the Internet access that he enjoys, and famously asked then-U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright for her e-mail address during a meeting in 2000.

The government’s total control over information extends even as far as requiring radios be fixed on domestic stations so foreign voices cannot be heard.

The policy shows no signs of changing, so any expansion of the Internet into North Korea would likely be used by the government, military or major corporations.

The World’s Most Unusual Outsourcing Destination

Think of North Korea, and repression, starvation and military provocation are probably the first things that come to mind. But beyond the geopolitical posturing, North Korea has also been quietly building up its IT industry.

Universities have been graduating computer engineers and scientists for several years, and companies have recently sprung up to pair the local talent with foreign needs, making the country perhaps the world’s most unusual place for IT outsourcing.

With a few exceptions, such as in India, outsourcing companies in developing nations tend to be small, with fewer than 100 employees, said Paul Tija, a Rotterdam-based consultant on offshoring and outsourcing. But North Korea already has several outsourcers with more then 1,000 employees.

“The government is putting an emphasis on building the IT industry,” he said. “The availability of staff is quite large.”

At present, the country’s outsourcers appear to be targeting several niche areas, including computer animation, data input and software design for mobile phones. U.S. government restrictions prevent American companies from working with North Korean companies, but most other nations don’t have such restrictions.

The path to IT modernization began in the 1990s but was cemented in the early 2000s when Kim Jong Il, the de-facto leader of the country, declared people who couldn’t use computers to be one of the three fools of the 21st century. (The others, he said, are smokers and those ignorant of music.)

But outsourcing in North Korea isn’t always easy.

Language can be a problem, and a lack of experience dealing with foreign companies can sometimes slow business dealings, said Tija. But the country has one big advantage.

“It is one of the most competitive places in the world. There are not many other countries where you can find the same level of knowledge for the price,” said Tija.

The outsourcer with the highest profile is probably Nosotek. The company, established in 2007, is also one of the few Western IT ventures in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.

“I understood that the North Korean IT industry had good potential because of their skilled software engineers, but due to the lack of communication it was almost impossible to work with them productively from outside,” said Volker Eloesser, president of Nosotek. “So I took the next logical step and started a company here.”

Nosotek uses foreign expats as project managers to provide an interface between customers and local workers. In doing so it can deliver the level of communication and service its customers expect, Eloesser said.

On its Web site the company boasts access to the best programmers in Pyongyang.

“You find experts in all major programming languages, 3D software development, 3D modelling and design, various kind of server technologies, Linux, Windows and Mac,” he said.

Nosotek’s main work revolves around development of Flash games and games for mobile phones. It’s had some success and claims that one iPhone title made the Apple Store Germany’s top 10 for at least a week, though it wouldn’t say which one.

Several Nosotek-developed games are distributed by Germany’s Exonet Games, including one block-based game called “Bobby’s Blocks.”

“They did a great job with their latest games and the communication was always smooth,” said Marc Busse, manager of digital distribution at the Leipzig-based company. “There’s no doubt I would recommend Nosotek if someone wants to outsource their game development to them.”

Eloesser admits there are some challenges to doing business from North Korea.

“The normal engineer has no direct access to the Internet due to government restrictions. This is one of the main obstacles when doing IT business here,” he said. Development work that requires an Internet connection is transferred across the border to China.

But perhaps the biggest problem faced by North Korea’s nascent outsourcing industry is politics.

Sanctions imposed on the country by the United States make it all but impossible for American companies to trade with North Korea.

“I know several American companies that would love to start doing IT outsourcing in North Korea, but because of political reasons and trade embargoes they can’t,” Tija said.

Things aren’t so strict for companies based elsewhere, including those in the European Union, but the possible stigma of being linked to North Korea and its ruling regime is enough to make some companies think twice.

The North Korean government routinely practices arbitrary arrest, detention, torture and ill treatment of detainees, and allows no political opposition, free media or religious freedom, according to the most recent annual report from Human Rights Watch. Hundreds of thousands of citizens are kept in political prison camps, and the country carries out public executions, the organization said.

With this reputation some companies might shy away from doing business with the country, but Exonet Games didn’t have any such qualms, said Busse.

“It’s not like we worked with the government,” he said. “We just worked with great people who have nothing to do with the dictatorship.”

Radio Wars Between North and South Korea (YouTube Video)

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GPI hosting May DPRK business delegation

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

According to GPI:

In the current financial and economic situation, companies face many challenges. They must cut costs, develop new products and find new markets. In these fields, North-Korea might be an interesting option. Since a few years, it is opening its doors to foreign enterprises. The labor costs are the lowest of Asia, and its skilled labor is of a high quality. It established free trade zones to attract foreign investors and there are several sectors, including textile industry, agro business, shipbuilding, logistics, mining and Information Technology that can be considered for trade and investment.
  
European Business Mission to Pyongyang: May 2010
In order to explore these business opportunities, we will organize again a business mission to North-Korea (15-22 May). We will also visit the annual Pyongyang Spring International Trade Fair (see photo). This fair can be used by European companies to come in contact with potential buyers and suppliers in North-Korea. Information abouth both events has been attached. In case this date is not convenient for you, individual business trips are possible as well. Later this year, another trade mission will visit Pyongyang from 11-18 September. 
       
With best regards, Paul Tjia (director)  
GPI Consultancy, P.O. Box 26151, 3002 ED Rotterdam, The Netherlands
E-mail: paul@gpic.nl
Tel: +31-10-4254172 
Fax: +31-10-4254317
Website: www.gpic.nl

Here is the program flyer (PDF) 

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GPI 2010 business delegations to DPRK

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

From GPI:

In the current financial and economic situation, companies face many challenges. They must cut costs, develop new products and find new markets. In these fields, North-Korea might be an interesting option. Since a few years, it is opening its doors to foreign enterprises. The labor costs are the lowest of Asia, and its skilled labor is of a high quality. It established free trade zones to attract foreign investors and there are several sectors, including textile industry, shipbuilding, agro business, logistics, mining and Information Technology that can be considered for trade and investment.
 
European Business Mission (May 2010) & Pyongyang Spring International Trade Fair
Information Flyer Here(PDF)

In order to explore these business opportunities, we are organizing again a business mission to North-Korea (15 – 22 May). We will also visit the annual Pyongyang Spring International Trade Fair. This fair can be used by European companies to come in contact with potential buyers and suppliers in North-Korea. Information abouth both events has been attached.
 
North-Korean investment mission to visit The Netherlands (February)
There are investment opportunities in several areas, such as textiles; agro business (e.g. export of vegetables, fruit and flowers to South-Korea); mining (e.g. zinc, mica, tungsten, rare metals); real estate (e.g. office buildings); renewable energy (e.g. windenergy, batteries); Information Technology; electronics; chemicals and tourism. A high-ranking delegation from North-Korea will visit The Netherlands at the end of February, in order to discuss these opportunities in detail and to present specific investment projects. We can be contacted for further details.
 
New book on European – North Korean relations
Information Flyer Here (PDF)
This spring, the Hanns Seidel Foundation (Germany) will publish a new book about the relations between Europe and North-Korea. The publication: “Europe – North Korea: Between Humanitarianism and Business?” also contains two chapters about trade development and business issues – including my article on IT-cooperation. Its Table Of Contents has been attached.     

With best regards, Paul Tjia (director) 
GPI Consultancy, P.O. Box 26151, 3002 ED Rotterdam, The Netherlands
E-mail: paul@gpic.nl tel: +31-10-4254172  fax: +31-10-4254317 Website: www.gpic.nl

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GPI business delegation to DPRK

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

From GPI:

PDF Brochure here.

In the current financial and economic situation, companies face many challenges. They must cut costs, develop new products and find new markets. In these fields, North-Korea might be an interesting option. Since a few years, it is opening its doors to foreign enterprises. The labor costs are the lowest of Asia, and its skilled labor is of a high quality. It established free trade zones to attract foreign investors and there are several sectors, including textile industry, shipbuilding, agro business, logistics, mining and Information Technology (computer games, animation) that can be considered for trade and investment. Heineken is an example of a  Dutch company, active in North-Korea. Its beer is now widely available (see photo).

In order to explore these business opportunities, a Dutch trade delegation visited North-Korea in September. See a report of this mission here. Are you interested as well? Then join our upcoming mission in May 2010, when we will also visit the annual Pyongyang Spring International Trade Fair. This fair can also be used by European companies to come in contact with potential buyers and suppliers in North-Korea, by using a booth. It is also possible for us to organize individual business tours, for participants from a single company.

With best regards,

Paul Tjia (director)
GPI Consultancy
P.O. Box 26151
3002 ED Rotterdam, The Netherlands
E-mail: paul@gpic.nl
tel: +31-10-4254172
fax: +31-10-4254317
Web: www.gpic.nl

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DPRK IT investment seminar in Beijing

Saturday, September 5th, 2009

GPI Consultancy
PDF marketing brochure here

One of the results of the recent visit of former US President Bill Clinton to Pyongyang is a renewed interest to explore business opportunities with North-Korea. The current improvements in the relations between North- and South-Korea will fuel this growing interest as well.

North-Korea is now opening its doors to foreign enterprises. It is competing with other Asian countries by offering skilled labour for low wages. It established free trade zones and several sectors, such as renewable energy, shipbuilding, agro business, textile, tourism, logistics and mining, can be considered for trade and investment. In addition, the country is attractive in the field of Information Technology (see photo).

Do you want to be informed about these interesting business opportunities? Then join our  unique afternoon seminar on Monday 21 September 2009 in Beijing. Three speakers from Europe will address various aspects of doing business in North-Korea, and  they will also share their own experiences. The program of this informative seminar is as follows:

15:30-16:00 hours  Registration and welcome of attendees

16:00-16:30 hours  General introduction: the latest developments in doing business with North-Korea

16:30-17:00 hours  North-Korea: an upcoming IT-outsourcing destination

17:00-17:30 hours  Experiences of some large European companies, such as ING and Unilever, in North-Korea

17:30-17:45 hours  Questions and answers

17:45-18:15 hours  Informal meeting

Several short videos (e.g. on software development and the Kaesong Industrial Zone) will also be shown. Details of the program, including the location, can be found in the attached file. Please feel free to forward this mail to other interested persons.

With best regards, Paul Tjia (director)
GPI Consultancy, P.O. Box 26151, 3002 ED Rotterdam, The Netherlands
E-mail: paul@gpic.nl tel: +31-10-4254172  fax: +31-10-4254317 Website: www.gpic.nl

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