Photo courtesy of: viz.cwrl.utexas.edu
Yes indeed – North Korea, the world’s most isolated pariah state, does its own nation branding, mainly through its English language website and the Korean Friendship Association (KFA).
As one element of their nation branding attempts, the KFA has been trying to promote North Korea as a good place to do business, in the hope of attracting foreign investment.
Contrary to popular belief, foreign firms (with the exception of most American and Canadian ones) are not banned from investing in North Korea. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, it could be the ‘new land of opportunity’. For those businesspeople who dare enter this largely uncharted and unpredictable territory, the benefits are legion…if you believe the KFA.
Here’s the list from Korean Friendship Association: Benefits of doing business in North Korea
1. Lowest labour cost in Asia.
2. Highly qualified, loyal and motivated personnel. Education, housing and health service is provided free to all citizens. As opposed to other Asian countries, workers will not abandon their positions for higher salaries once they are trained.
3. Lowest tax scheme in Asia. Especially for high-tech factories. Typical tax exemption for the first two years.
4. No middle agents. All business made directly with the government, state-owned companies. No middle agents.
5. Stable. A government with solid security and very stable political system, without corruption.
6. Full diplomatic relations with most EU members and rest of countries.
7. New market. Many areas of business and exclusive distribution of products (sole-distribution).
8. Transparent legal work. Legal procedures, intellectual rights, patents and warranties for investors settled.
I found points 5, 6 & 8 especially fascinating…Believable?
What do you think?
Also check out the KFAs North Korea promotional video here. It’s worked on me – I’d certainly like to visit! But it’s HIGHLY unlikely to improve North Korea’s appalling nation brand. Propaganda, no less.
Thanks to Daphne Kakaiya’s place branding blog for inspiration: Check it out here: http://placebranding.ning.com/profiles/blogs/promoting-north-korea