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North Korea seeks German economic advice

Published: 05 Jan 2013 10:55 GMT+01:00

The secretive Communist dictatorship of North Korea is planning to open up its economy for foreign investment this year - with the help of German business experts and lawyers, according to a report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

"There's a master plan," one unnamed German business expert and university lecturer told the paper. "They want to open up this year."

The report says a team of German lawyers and economic experts are involved in concrete plans to alter North Korean law to welcome investors into the country, which has been isolated from the global community since the Second World War.

In his New Year address Kim Jong Un announced radical changes intended to transform the backward nation into an "economic giant" and raise living standards for the North Korean population, which frequently suffers severe food shortages and power outages.

The strategy is likely to be based on the Vietnamese model of selecting individual businesses to invest in the country, the expert told the paper, rather than the Chinese model of targeting specific economic zones for foreign investment.

The news that German advice is being sought in Pyongyang comes amid a row in the US over plans recently announced by Google's Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt to visit North Korea on what he claims is a private trip.

DPA/The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

12:28 January 5, 2013 by dogs
why not advise them and get in on the ground floor? the people of NKorea are the only ones that can change their government. if they grow as a capitalistic nation, then the government could change along with this growth.

However, never trust NKorea to keep their word on anything.
14:52 January 5, 2013 by Zubair Khan
It is never late if correct decisions are taken. Good news for Germany. In 1962 South Korea took the economic model of Pakistan which was then led by Mr MM Ahamd who later was appointed as Dy President of World Bank. Unfortunately Pakistan became the victim of religious extremism while South Korea became the economic giant. Germany has sound and successful economic policies and hopefully North Korea will soon benefit from it. Good wishes for both sides.
16:12 January 5, 2013 by catjones
The North Koreans aren't consulting with germany on foreign investment; they are seeking advice on integration with the South.
17:10 January 5, 2013 by realist1961
Perhaps one bit of advice may be to quit setting off nuclear bombs and launching rockets.
17:32 January 5, 2013 by Englishted
Advice from the two chancellor candidates is as follows.

She: austerity ,austerity ,austerity, tax cuts for the better off,oh and a inflation busting pay rise for politicians.

He : sorry I can't say unless you pay me a vast sum and then I'll put it in a speech for you, however I will say this much we should be paid in line with bankers because nobody ever question what they do to deserve their fantastic pay packets.
17:57 January 5, 2013 by raandy
Every picture of this guy looks like he is thinking ,"I am so far over my head"
20:23 January 5, 2013 by frankiep
In the words of Ronald Reagan: Trust....but verify. Hopefully, for the sake of the people of North Korea and the entire region, the boy dictator is not like his father and grandfather and is serious about reform.
02:18 January 6, 2013 by DOZ
Things are changing, while the USA and Canada stick their heels into the ground trying to keep their old realities alive.
07:33 January 6, 2013 by schneebeck
@ DOZ #8

Which "old" realities (plural) do the US and Canada have that they are trying to keep alive. Can you specify these?
12:07 January 7, 2013 by aidanfc
It's annoying that no link is provided to the original article - which, curiously, I can't find at all on FAZ's website (Searching 'Korea' yields a couple of NK stories, but not this. Does anyone have that link, please?
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