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.
At Choson Exchange, we are excited when we work with motivated entrepreneurs in North Korea with great ideas they would like to see become startups someday. Our programs all educate and support local entrepreneurs, but it is the coming-together of ideas, pitches and products at our Pyongsong Startup Bootcamp that brings out this excitement and sense of accomplishment.
We plan to take that sense of accomplishment a notch higher by transforming our upcoming November workshop into the inaugural Pyongsong Startup Festival. This isn’t just a branding exercise — we expect a bigger, better and more exciting workshop experience this year.
During the 5th Inter-Korean Summit, which was held from 18th to 20th September in the DPRK capital of Pyongyang, the scope of issues discussed and agreed upon between South Korea and North Korea had noticeably expanded beyond familiar humanitarian and security concerns to include bilateral and regional projects intended to foster stronger inter-Korean economic and business links.
Our colleague Tian Wen provides the following analysis of potential avenues for economic and business collaboration between the two Koreas.
Earlier in August, Choson Exchange was invited to participate in the 2018 Future City Summit held in Hong Kong and Guangzhou.
Together with our associate, Calvin, 3 participants from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) — notably Mr Kwak, a chief city planner in Pyongyang, and Ms Hwang, a senior architect responsible for the design of the Mirae Scientist Street — took part in the summit. Calvin provides the following summary of the delegation’s experience.
On 12th July, Choson Exchange was invited by Singaporean President Halimah Yacob to a State Dinner hosted for the visiting President of South Korea Moon Jae-In at the Istana. As the only NGO present at the event, we were honored and excited to have an opportunity to meet the man and his team that have been one of a small number of key figures central to changes in the geopolitical dynamics of northeast Asia.
Our colleague Tian Wen has put together the following summary of President Moon’s speech on the day after the State Dinner.