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Title International Conference on Doing Business in North Korea: Modernization and New Consumerism
Date 2017.05.26
Type [Event]
  Wednesday, June 14, 2017
  1:00 p.m. ~ 5:45 p.m.
  Jungsan Hall, IFES/UNKS, Seoul, Korea
  Organized by IFES, FNF
  Sponsored by UNKS

When the global media focuses on North Korea, the tendency is to view the country from the angle of security. This has especially been the case since January 2016 when North Korea tested a nuclear device for the fourth time. Indeed, North Korea’s nuclear and missile advancements warrant our watchful eye. But a focus on security issues alone cannot solve the larger problem of North Korea, nor sufficiently inform us on how we may adjust our approach, or paradigm of engagement, fundamentally and sustainably, in order to work to improve the lives of the North Korean people and craft a stable peace on the Korean peninsula.
In fact, if we look beyond the security-related developments, significant socioeconomic transformations are occurring in North Korea. Investigating them is equally important. With this in mind, the Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES) of Kyungnam University and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) Korea are holding an international conference on Doing Business in North Korea: Modernization and New Consumerism. This half-day conference—the third in our so named conference series—brings together an eclectic group of international businesspeople, nonprofit personnel, consultants, newsmen, and scholars to share their on-the-ground experience and diverse insights on the socioeconomic developments unfolding in today’s North Korea. Within the context of the government’s drive for economic modernization and the country’s reportedly growing consumerism, we will look at the current business and investment activities inside the DPRK, as well as the burgeoning entrepreneurship, service industries, enterprise management, product advertising, consumer trends, domestic banking, and the government’s emphasis on localization (rather than globalization). These and other topics we hope to explore through informative presentations and in depth discussions.
We welcome your presence and participation and look forward to seeing you at the conference.

Dae-Kyu Yoon Director, IFES, Kyungnam University
Lars-André Richter Head of Office, FNF Korea


13:00~13:30 Registration

13:30~13:50 Opening Session
* Opening Remarks:  Dae-Kyu Yoon (Director, IFES, Kyungnam University)
* Welcoming Remarks:  Lars-André Richter (Head of Office, FNF Korea)
* Congratulatory Remarks: Hae Sung Chun (Vice Minister of Unification, Ministry of Unification, ROK)

14:00~15:45 Panel I: Modernization in North Korea’s Business Development  

* Panel Chair: Dean Ouellette (Associate Professor, Kyungnam University)

1. North Korea’s Modernization Online: Observations, Insights, and Prospects
Chad O’Carroll (Managing Director, NK News)
2. Burgeoning Entrepreneurship and Service Industries in North Korea
Andray Abrahamian (Director of Research, Choson Exchange)
3. Current Business Activities and Investment Opportunities in DPRK: A Dutch Perspective
Paul Tjia (Director, GPI Consultancy)

16:00~17:45 Panel II: Modernization in North Korea: Banking, Consumerism, and Localization

* Panel Chair: Tony Michell (Managing Director, Korea Associates Business Consultancy)

1. North Korea’s New Consumerism: Products, Packaging, and Creation of Markets
Michael Spavor (Director, Paektu Cultural Exchange)
2. Relationship between Domestic Banking and Modernization in the DPRK
Wen Cui (Professor, Yanbian University)
3. Wave of Change: Localization and Modernization Drive in North Korea and Its Impact
Eul-chul Lim (Professor, Kyungnam University)