Why the DPRK? Are there any business opportunities at all?
There are many opportunities. In many aspects it is a relatively virgin market, with enormous potential – both short and long term.
There is currently a concentrated movement in the DPRK towards modern business principles. There has been a definite recognition within the DPRK government that they need the investment and knowledge that foreign businesses possess.
The DPRK is currently investing a lot of time and effort into the drafting and implementation of new laws, including those focused on investment that will make it easier and more attractive for foreign businesses to enter the market.
KBC offers an avenue to be directly involved with those working this field.
DPRK Market Conditions
- Cost-effective, well-educated & industrialised workforce high per-capita urbanisation.
99% literacy compulsory schooling + high degree of further education, technical + vocational training. Large numbers of English, French, German, Chinese and Russian speakers. North Korea businesses operate a six day week.
- Low levels of foreign business presence – early mover advantage – timing still a low level of foreign presence. Securing of business agreements and contract negotiation easier. With interest in DPRK increasing, and with the Geo-Political Issues out on the table, a significant improvement in the “Perceived Investment Climate” may follow soon.
- Little competition from domestic manufacturers. The general level of local manufacturing is low, and investment in almost every sector is welcome. This presents an excellent future branding opportunity for those who enter the market early. Market still underdeveloped – currently no need to pay listing fees – this may change in future. Entry of Foreign partner in key industries encouraged by ‘protection measures’ to stimulate market profitability. Can sell foreign goods in DPRK in local currency and convert to FC (new measure).
- Largely untapped natural resources and mineral deposits reserves of gold, diamonds and other precious metals. The majority of Korea’s mineral reserves are located in the northern part of the peninsula. To date there are proven reserves of precious metals and other fossil fuels.
- Well Organised Commercial & Government Interface – Result Oriented Mechanism for finding & meeting suitable commercial-sector partners is well established. The steady build up of diplomatic ties in 2000-2003.
- DPRK-ROK connection (combined population 70 million) Duty free “exports” from DPRK to ROK.
Direct air links + rail links + Direct shipping – Nampo (North) – Inchon (South) established Strategic Location in NE Asia Linking of Trans-Korean and Trans-Siberian Railways sometime in future = swift transport of goods Korea-Europe = commercial opportunity for railways + assoc. industrial devlopment. Additionally the oil and gas reserves of Pacific Russia offer encouragement and incentives in terms of energy and pipeline solutions for the Korean peninsula as a whole Normalization with Japan.