I met with some very helpful people at the UN last week. Being well-versed in the European experience of dialogue with transitional economies, they pointed out one problem we face in building an effective training program. If we think of knowledge as standing on the shoulders of giants, there are building blocks of knowledge that has to be in place in order for advanced training in economics to be delivered. And this knowledge is also dependent on context - how do we transmit theories from one system to a vastly different economic and political system in a convincing fashion? We believe that our recent additions to our team goes some way towards helping us address this issue. Ruediger Frank is an experienced lecturer in Pyongyang. However, in the longer-term, the only real way we can tackle this is challenge is to devote resources to studying what they know about economics and to have lecturers who return frequently to build up relationships and in-depth understanding of their trainees. To do so, we need to meet fundraising goals in order to ensure that the travel costs do not impose too much of a burden on our trainers.
One of the UN staff we met also suggested international internships as a possible program for North Koreans. Not only do we meet our objectives of providing international experiences and learning, we can also obtain corporate sponsorship for this. I know this has been done before under other arrangements and hence is feasible. If you know any company willing to sponsor such a learning opportunity, do contact us at CEteam@chosonexchange.org.