In Sanguine Environment, Chinese Entrepreneurs Are Anxious To Invest in North Korea
July 3, 2109 (EIRNS)—According to the Chinese daily Global Times of July 2, a growing number of Chinese entrepreneurs are traveling to North Korea and looking at the potential for investing in that country. This trend has been increasing over the past year, since the April 2018 speech by North Korea’s Chairman Kim Jong Un in which he indicated that economic development would be his government’s top priority.
On June 27, Global Times had a lengthy article also depicting the changes that have occurred in North Korea since Kim’s 2018 speech, largely seen in diversified economic activity, greater construction activity, new merchandise appearing on store shelves, and development of heavy and light industries.
According to one senior investor, after Kim had announced the policy shift last year, North Korea maximized the potential of its domestic market and comprehensively promoted the “socialist enterprise management responsibility system.” The government plans to attract more foreign funds by setting up more than 20 special economic zones. North Korean companies are anxious to partner with Chinese firms, as this allows them access to both capital and technology. And now, after the historic June 30 meeting between President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un, there is hope that peace on the Korean Peninsula is finally at hand, and that the potential for real economic development can be realized.
Chinese businessmen find North Korea a very attractive location for investment, given its rich mineral resources, and stable political and economic environment. Labor costs are low, the education level is relatively high, and the work ethic strong.
Global Times cites the case of a Chinese woman who organizes regular five-day tours for businessmen, usually to Pyongyang, who want to gain first-hand knowledge of investment policies, possible cooperation projects and the business environment. The woman reports that she organized tours every month this year, from February to May, with one planned for July and another for September. Last year, she organized only two all year.
As President Trump has often pointed out, North Korea’s geographical location is a real plus. It is close to China, South Korea, Japan, and the Russian Far East. There are 600 million people living near North Korea within a radius of 1,000 km and 1.5 billion people within a radius of 2,000 km. There’s no question that North Korea is a potential partner in China’s New Silk Road perspective.