Foreign Business Begins Entry Into KIC

Institute for Far Eastern Studies
NK Brief No. 07-8-29-1

A Chinese manufacturer of artificial fingernails has become the first non-Korean business to set up shop in the Kaesong Industrial Complex. The (South) Korea Land Corporation announced that on August 27, a contract for entry into the Kaesong Industrial Complex was concluded with Dashing Diva, the South Korean subsidiary of Tianjin Jci Cosmetic, which had applied for a plot in the 1st stage of the KIC. Another firm, a plywood manufacturer located in Linyi, a city in China’s Shandong province and the hub of the country’s lumber industry, is preparing to close a contract for a 2000 square meter plot by the end of August.

In order to enhance the global image of the KIC, six plots in the first stage of the complex, designed to house small and medium-sized manufacturers, have been slated specifically for foreign manufacturers. In the event a foreign enterprise wishes to do business in the KIC, it must have a South Korean subsidiary with which a land development contract can be drawn. However, when applications were solicited last June, not a single company showed interest, so the lots were offered contract ad libitum beginning at the end of July.

In addition to these Chinese companies, representatives of the Kimberly-Clark Corporation, a U.S.-based global leader in health and hygiene products, met with KIC officials at the ROK Ministry of Unification on August 14 in order to reach an understanding on investment issues. Yuhan-Kimberly Ltd., Kimberly-Clark Corporation’s Seoul-based subsidiary, oversees all of the corporation’s Northeast Asian branches. Yuhan-Kimberly Ltd. CEO Moon Kook-hyun stated that the corporation’s Beijing plant was interested in a lot in the KIC, after Kimberly-Clark Corp. CEO Thomas Falk visited the complex earlier in the year.

Investment by foreign companies has special meaning for the inter-Korean joint project, as it reflects international confidence in the complex. In particular, when taking into account the importance of U.S.-DPRK relations, investment by the multinational Kimberly-Clark Corp. could have even greater meaning.


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