Last week, Institutional Investor magazine published an interview with Geoffrey, with the least click-baity headline ever: Geoffrey See is Training North Koreans to Become Entrepreneurs.
It is a thoughtful piece that begins by asking questions like "How do you explain concepts like transparency and corporate governance to the citizens of a famously secretive state?", then allows Geoffrey ample space to explain how we at CE think about some of these issues.
Some key points include the issue that while people understand North Korea as a state-run economy, but with a grassroots marketization, "what's understudied are the small and medium enterprises that in many ways resemble privately owned companies. The SMEs are affiliates of state-owned enterprises, and the managers of the affiliates have a huge degree of discretion about how they want to run the business."
However, "one of the key differences is the legal structure," which doesn't cover individual ownership and therefore encourages some decisions that damage the long-term prospects for many companies.
Geoffrey also touches on one of our most frequently cited challenges: the lack of communication and interaction with the outside world creating "a big gap between what they see as the challenges to pulling in investors" and the perceptions of investors themselves.