Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Close  
  • share this

N. Korea invites Singapore firms to explore business opportunities

/ 05:04 PM June 20, 2018

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un (L) is welcomed by Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (R) during his visit to The Istana, the official residence of the prime minister, following Kim’s arrival in Singapore on June 10, 2018. AFP

SEOUL — North Korea has invited Singaporean companies to visit the country for future business opportunities, a Singaporean news outlet reported Tuesday.

The North’s Korea Committee for the Promotion of International Trade sent an invitation addressed to Michael Heng, a former associate professor at Nanyang Technological University who now heads a business consultancy firm, digital news provider Today.

ADVERTISEMENT

The invitation came on June 13, one day after the historic summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore.

Heng, director of People Worldwide Consulting who has personal ties with the North Korean Embassy staff in Singapore, has reached out to local businesses that might be interested in visiting the North.

The exploratory trip can take up to 18 participants, Heng said, adding that it will be “almost like a tour to North Korea,” and will not involve any Singaporean government agencies.

Four companies including VNT Global Consulting have said they will join the trip, while three others are considering, according to the report.

Velle Niqo Tay, founder of VNT Global Consulting, told Today that the mission to North Korea would be a relationship-building exercise and a “very good opportunity,” as the summit between Trump and Kim provided a “positive outlook” for a more open North Korea in the coming years.

She said she felt that it is a matter of time before United Nations sanctions against North Korea are lifted, and business deals can be struck between Singaporean and North Korean firms.

The invitation letter bearing the committee’s official stamp said the trip would serve as a “good chance … to confirm our will in desiring to develop economic and trade relationship with Singapore and other countries,” according to Today.

It said the participants will be exposed to business meetings “in open dialogue with key personnel” to find “possible ways to develop cooperation through projects, trade and investment.”

Expenses incurred during the trip will not be covered or subsidized by North Korea, Heng said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Participants would each have to pay 4,950 Singapore dollars ($3,647) to make the trip from Singapore, which covers airfare, hotel accommodation, ground transportation and visa fees.

Singapore was North Korea’s sixth-largest trade partner in 2015, when bilateral trade volume amounted to $29 million.

However, Singapore cut economic ties with North Korea last November under toughened UN sanctions, and the two-way trade volume dropped to SG$700,000 last year.

Heng said he has contacted the Singapore Business Federation, which led four business missions to North Korea in 2008, 2008, 2010 and 2012, regarding the upcoming trip.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Asia, Business, North Korea, Singapore
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
entertainment

Judge nixes Cosby request to step down; sentencing Monday

September 20, 2018 07:16 AM

sports

Career night

September 20, 2018 05:45 AM

newsinfo

No Duterte plan to pardon Palparan, says Malacañang

September 20, 2018 05:40 AM

newsinfo

DBM chief firm on DOH budget slash

September 20, 2018

business

ABS-CBN hit by data breach

September 20, 2018

business

PH market slips to bear territory

September 20, 2018



© Copyright 1997-2018 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.