Archive for the ‘South-North Korean Economic Cooperation Forum’ Category

DPRK embraces comparative advantage to strenghten foreign economic relations

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES)
NK Brief No. 08-6-17-1
6/17/2008

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.”

This fundamental rule of strategic trade can also be seen in the July 2005 agreement reached at the 10th meeting of the South-North Economic Cooperation Promotion Committee. At the time, the two Koreas agreed to mobilize natural resources, funds, technology, and more as much possible, based on what was available in each state, in order to advance joint national projects.

The newspaper stressed that “not mobilizing domestic preparations and possibilities and relying entirely on outside [powers] to advance the economy is, in the end, putting the fate of the economy in someone else’s hands…by fully mobilizing in-country forces and potential as a base, resolving necessary issues through foreign economic relations is just secondary.” The article added that the country “must stand by this principle to build a strong economy with an independent strength that would not waver even if there were global economic waves,” and that this would, “increase and guarantee the physical livelihoods of the people.”

The article closed by noting, “the important, fundamental issue as [North Korea] maintains the basic path toward the construction of a powerful economic state…is keeping the economic structure’s distinctive qualities alive while technically reviving the people’s economy,” and furthering the development of heavy industries and national defense industrial sector.

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*North Korean Economy Watch: “This is not the definition of comparative advantage.  Click here for wikipedia.”

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S. Korean biz leaders to inaugurate body for inter-Korean economic cooperation

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Yonhap
11/1/2007

South Korean business leaders are set to inaugurate a forum next week to facilitate economic cooperation between the two Koreas’ private sectors, a South Korean business body said Thursday.

The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), which has spearheaded the the forum’s establishment, said about 70 business and financial figures, including KCCI chief Sohn Kyung-shik, and Unification Minister Lee Jae-joung, will get together on Monday to launch the private forum for inter-Korean economic cooperation.

Sohn will take the helm of the 60-member forum that will include representatives of the South’s leading conglomerates that have taken part in inter-Korean economic projects — Samsung Electronics Co., Hyundai Motor Co. and Hyundai Asan Corp.

The forum’s inauguration comes on the heels of the Oct. 2-4 inter-Korean summit. At the close of the summit, South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il issued a joint declaration calling for massive investment from the South in the North’s key industrial sectors, including shipbuilding and tourism.

The forum plans to serve as a mediator for exchanges and cooperation between the two Koreas’ private firms. After receiving information and feedback from South Korean firms on their investments in the North, the forum also plans to make recommendations to the two governments on inter-Korean economic projects.

In addition, the forum envisions the dispatch of a delegation to the North, which will examine the investment climate in the communist country and establish a dialogue channel for inter-Korean economic cooperation in the private sector.

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DPRK Chamber of Commerce

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

The DPRK Chamber of Commerce was inaugurated on August 25, 2004 with the purpose of developing economic and trade relations with different countries over the world.

The Pyongyang Chamber of Commerce (PCC), the predecessor of the DPRK Chamber of Commerce, had been established on March 1, 2000 and granted an associate membership of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) at its 33rd World Congress held in Budapest, Hungary in May, 2000.

The PCC had conducted such service activities as trade, finance, arbitration and consultation helpful to the domestic and foreign trade and economic organizations in close relations with the ICC, national chambers of commerce and world trade and economic centres.

It was registered in the directory of addresses published by the ICC, the International Trade Centre and other international economic organizations.

With a view to expanding exchange and cooperation with foreign countries in all fields of the economy, the PCC was developed into the Chamber of Commerce of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

At present, it is extensively carrying on its commercial business in closer ties with the ICC and national chambers of commerce around the world.

The DPRK Chamber of Commerce makes efforts to promote bilateral and multinational exchange and investment with Korean joint venture and individual enterprises in foreign countries as its full members and with foreign individual enterprises and entrepreneurs residing in Korea, overseas compatriots and foreign enterprises who hope to have business transactions with Korean partners as its associate members.

It has an organizational structure consisting of secretariat, trade information committee, trade arbitration committee and exhibition committee as well as non-permanent credentials committee for full members or associate members.

The trade information committee engages in such business as collection and distribution of information data on world economy and trade, international commodity and financial markets.

The trade arbitration committee handles correct examination and settlement of disputes relating to economy and trade.

The exhibition committee organizes the opening of national trade fairs at home and abroad and provides every convenience for the participation of its members in the fairs.

The DPRK Chamber of Commerce will make a positive contribution to the promotion of foreign trade, invitation of investment and economic exchange with other countries.

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The DPRK Chamber is headed by Ri Hak Gwon.  I have been unnable to determine any other posts he might have held in the past.

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The Chamber has two addresses on line:

DPRK Chamber of Commerce
c/o Ministry of Foreign Trade
Central District
Pyongyang
D.P.R. of Korea
E-Mail: micom@co.chesin.com
(This address seems to indicate it is an office within the Ministry of Foreign Trade)

DPRK Chamber of Commerce
Jungsong-dong, Central District,
Pyongyang, DPR Korea
P.O.Box 89
Tel: 850-2-3815926
Fax: 850-2-3815827
E-mail: micom@co.chesin.com

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Externally, the DPRK Chamber liases with numerous external business organizations to promote DPRK exports and foreign direct investment (FDI):

European Business Association

The EBA cooperates with the DPRK Chamber of Commerce and supports it as well as the Korea International Exhibition Corporation under the Ministry of Foreign Trade to help European companies participate [in the Pyongyang International Trade Fair].  European companies participating at the European booth [in the most recent fair] said they were very satisfied. European businesses that would like to participate at the European booth during the next trade fairs (11th PYONGYANG SPRING INTERNATIONAL TRADE FAIR, May 12 – 15, 2008 and the and the 4th PYONGYANG AUTUMN INTERNATIONAL TRADE FAIR, September 22 – 25, 2008) are welcome to contact EBA from now on. Details on these fairs will also be given shortly on the EBA-website under “Services”

Friedrich Nauman Foundation

“It is a great honour and a token of both appreciation and trust” , said Mr. Kim Myeong-ho, Deputy Director of the Department of International Relations of the Korean Workers’ Party welcoming two representatives of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation at the Headquarters of the Korean Workers’ Party (KWP) in Pyongyang. Since their meeting at the beginning of February this year the international political situation has changed dramatically: the February 13 Agreement on the Denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula was signed between the six parties DPR Korea, USA, China, Republic of Korea, Japan and Russia. Meanwhile, the parties have taken necessary steps to ease the tensions on the Korean Peninsula and to move towards denuclearization. Both the U.S. and the DPR Korea have started negotiations on the normalisation of bilateral relations within the framework of the Six-Party Talks. Finally, both Koreas agreed to hold a second summit on 2-4 October.

Mr. Kim Myeong-ho expressed his appreciation of the training activities of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in the DPR Korea. Referring to the New Year’s editorial of the Rodong Shinmun, the KWP’s newspaper, he mentioned the priority of modernizing the economy in the sectors of agriculture, light industry, IT and banking. According to him, of particular interest are methods of farm management, renewable energy and food security but also city management.

The representatives of the KWP accepted FNF’s offer of having a study tour to Germany for party officials in 2008 presuming further progress in the Six-Party Talks. The members of the delegation would have “fresh ideas” after being back in the DPR Korea, FNF was told.

Walter Klitz, Resident Representative of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in Korea, also had meetings with representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the DPRK’s Chamber of Commerce. In cooperation with the European Union, FNF will hold the 3rd EU-DPRK Economic Workshop in October, its fourth seminar this year.

Here is the agenda for a training seminr held last April. Here is their summary of the event.

New Clients:

South-North Korean Economic Cooperation Forum

A major South Korean business organization said Thursday (Sept. 27) it plans to form a civilian body for economic cooperation with North Korea on the occasion of the 2007 South-North Korean Summit next week.

The envisioned body, tentatively named the South-North Korean Economic Cooperation Forum, is to be set up in October and have 50 members, including 35 entrepreneurs, the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) said.

It would be the first non-governmental channel for inter-Korean economic cooperation. Currently, the South’s Ministry of Unification and the North’s National Economic Cooperation Federation are the sole channels for inter-Korean economic cooperation.

“The establishment of the body is designed to further promote inter-Korean economic cooperation on a civilian level,” said Kim Sang-yeol, vice chairman of the KCCI.

The planned group will conduct economic cooperation projects with the North and help improve North Korea’s investment environment, the KCCI said.

To that end, the chamber will try to sign a deal with its counterpart, the DPRK Chamber of Commerce, and send an investment inspection team to the North after the end of the summit. DPRK is the acronym for the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Established in March 2000, the chamber of commerce, which includes members of 100 major companies, has carried out external economic exchanges and attracted foreign investment in the North, according to the KCCI.     

South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun is scheduled to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-il from Oct. 2-4 in Pyongyang. Seoul has hinted that the promotion of economic cooperation will be high on the agenda of the 2007 South-North Korean summit, as it was in the first summit in 2000.

Alejandro Cao de Benos

In his own words: “[The KFA is] looking into development of new areas to expand into, especially those related to economy that are critical also for the development and life improvement of the DPRK. Since KFA has played an important role in building friendship, now we also can play our part in building business.

For accomplishing this goal, I announce the creation of the IKBC (International Korea Business Center).  As a sister organization of the KFA, the IKBC will strictly take care of business issues, facilitate business information to private investors and companies around the world.

In close collaboration with the DPRK Chamber of Commerce, IKBC will become the reference link between the DPRK and foreign businessmen. The spirit is to build a DPRK Chamber of Commerce outside the DPRK that will approach the countless possibilities in trading that will benefit all sides involved.

Alejandro’s involvement raises questions about the relationship between the DPRK’s cultural diplomatic efforts (since he is a client of the Committe for Cultural Relations with Foreign countries) and its business outreach efforts auspiciously under the Ministry of Foreign Trade.  I suspect that various DPRK agencies have been blurring the boundries between the two activities for fiscal reasons.  As access to hard currency comes to play a greater role in the DPRK system, I predict that we will see more of this kind of mission creep on the DPRK side.

They also undertake external activities:

A delegation of the DPRK Chamber of Commerce (KCC) took part in the 5th China International Equipment Manufacturing Exposition on Aug. 29, 2006 and the 2nd China Jilin Northeast Asia Investment & Trade Exposition on Sep. 2, 2006.

During its participation in the expositions, the delegation held an interview on investment and discussed matters of investment in the development of a vanadium mine, stone dressing, the production of agrochemicals and calcium carbonate, seafood breeding and processing and so on.

The KCC secretary-general made an introductory speech entitled “On the trade and investment policy of the DPR Korea”.

At the interview, a series of technical matters on joint ventures and processing trade as well as investment guaranty were discussed and agreed between traders.

A trade and investment seminar for European businessmen was held in Pyongyang under the sponsorship of the KCC on October 30, 2006.

There was the general explanation on the DPRK trade and investment policy and the investment environment.

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