Mapping out where the North Koreans will go and what they will do will not be easy. Unlike Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi has a very dispersed urban landscape. There is a central government complex which will definitely host a state visit for Kim Jong Un. This is centered around Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum (see map). The Pullman Hotel is nearby. The Opera House is beautiful, and the new parliament building is impressive too. You can find the DPRK embassy nearby in the embassy district. The Metropole Hotel is swanky and President Trump stayed here for his last visit to Hanoi.
It has been announced that the next US-DPRK Summit between President Donald J. Trump and Chairman Kim Jong UN will take place in Vietnam - our internal betting pool still points to Danang with Chairman Kim visiting Hanoi separately. This is great news to us. Since 2014, we organize training workshops on economic policy, entrepreneurship and women in business in Hanoi, Halong Bay and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam for DPR Koreans, and established an office in Vietnam in 2016. We also advised the Danang local government on the development of a public-private partnership: the Da Nang Business Incubator, or DNES.
Given our observations, we believe that Vietnam’s development experience is highly relevant to North Korea. We hope this short primer will give some insight to the visiting media covering this Summit.
Held from 20th to 27th April this year, the DPRK Economic Forum will include three days of interactive business trainings where workshop leaders will not only teach but also interact with locals whose entrepreneurialism have left an indelible impression on past workshop leaders like Julian Rossy and Laura Ashton.
Recalling how his paper plane challenge took flight with a flurry of ideas, Julian Rossy shares with us his thoughts and experiences during his visit to the DPRK as a workshop leader for our November 2018 Pyongsong Startup Festival. He expresses optimism and hope for the country’s future, and looks forward to returning with a new batch of workshop leaders in the near future.
With a revised format and a record number of workshop leaders, our inaugural Pyongsong Startup Festival was a successful first step towards creating bigger and better initiatives with an emphasis on peer - to - peer learning. A success we owe, in huge part, to our distinguished workshop leaders and volunteers.
From everyday sights and sounds in Pyongyang to curious conversations with the locals, Don Duncan sends us a vivid account of his experiences during his visit to the DPRK as a volunteer trainer for our May 2018 workshop. He sends his postcard from Pyongyang, hoping others will embark on the same extraordinary journey.
On 16 October 2018, South Korean newspaper The Korea Herald published an article that reiterated our confidence in ASEAN’s role in fostering not only the growth of local entrepreneurship in the DPRK, but also building stronger inter-Korean economic ties in a pragmatic and consistent manner.
As the 33rd ASEAN Summit draws nearer, we look at how Singapore and ASEAN have contributed to the economic “normalisation” of the DPRK, and how they can continue to positively influence the country.
Who is Dr Kwon, the new head of President Moon’s committee on Northern Economic Cooperation? We first came across him in 2009, when he wrote this Goldman Sachs research briefing on the economic potential of a unified Korean economy. 2009 was an interesting time to write this, given that it was at the start of the end of the sunshine years, close to a year into President Lee Myung Bak’s term.