A private association composed of South Korea’s major software developers plans to establish software centers in Pyongyang and Gaeseong late this year.
The Korea Software Financial Cooperative (KSFC) said Wednesday that it aims to sign a contract on the centers with its northern counterpart, Samcholli General Corp., this summer.
Such high-profile software companies as Samsung SDI, LG CNS, SK C&C and PosData are members of the Seoul-based association together with about 1,000 other outfits.
“We visited Pyongyang last week and agreed in principle to set up software centers in the capital city and Gaeseong Industrial Park,” KSFC official Kim Seok-hyun said.
“We are now ironing out details. The best scenario is that we ink an agreement in July or August to open the centers late this year,” said Kim who heads the North Korean project.
The envisioned centers will hire North Korean technicians and will come up with various computer programs demanded by 1,000-plus members of the KSFC.
“High-tech employees at the centers will develop software that will be used in the South or shipped out of the country,” Kim said. “The facilities are not symbolic ones aimed at improving the South-North relationship.”
Kim added the contract will be a win-win for the two Koreas that have been divided over the past half-century.
“We will be able to create software at much lower prices thanks to the cheap but experienced work force of the North rather than finding a low-wage platform in other countries,” Kim said.
“In comparison, the North will earn dollars through the partnership as well as give its engineers an opportunity to learn advanced technology,” he said.
In the long run, Kim said the software centers will roll out products, which were ordered by foreign companies to South Korean firms.
This is not the first time that a South Korean company attempted to take advantage of software-producing skills and know-how of the Northern engineers.
KT, the South’s top fixed-line telecom operator, started developing sophisticated software via an outsourcing contract with Samcholli General Corp. in 2005.