European Business in Yasni Exposé of Felix Abt

(14547 since 07.05.2010)


Country: Viet Nam, Language: English
I offer: Expertise as multiple company director and investor, experience in developing and managing business on behalf of multinational corporations and small and medium-sized enterprises in mature and new markets, including North Korea and Vietnam. Abt has lived and worked in nine countries on three continents. - Further, experience in capacity development (e.g. as co-initiator and director of the first business school in, of all places, North Korea) and in lobbying (e.g. as initiator and president of the European Business Association, the first foreign chamber of commerce in North Korea). - Photos, mainly related to business activities, including an introduction to the North Korean olympic gold medalist on the profile photo, can be found here: - Author of the book "A Capitalist in North Korea: My Seven Years in the Hermit Kingdom"
Felix Abt @ Companies in HK, BVI, VN and DPRK

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159 results for Felix Abt

A totally different perspective: Paperback "A Capitalist in North Korea: My Seven Years in the Hermit Kingdom" - on sale in 2014

The Paperback "A Capitalist in North Korea" - is on sale in 2014 and gives a fresh perspective of a country that has been depicted for the last sixty years by book authors and media as stuck in the past, unpredictable, threatening, horrific and crazy. - THIS BOOK is witness to a different, changing North Korea: "A Capitalist in North Korea: My Seven Years in the Hermit Kingdom is the tell-all memoir of Felix Abt, a Swiss entrepreneur who worked in the world's most isolated, often called "Stalinist" fortress, for the last decade. Abt offers in-depth portraits of the thrills, adventures, hurdles and even accusations of spying while working behind the world's very last Iron Curtain. He finds a side of North Korea that is far from sinister—one that has been lost in the flood of accounts from defectors, journalists, activists, and politicians who have pummeled the nation into isolation. - The author was privileged to have been granted wide access to the hermit kingdom where he visited seven out of nine provinces and more than two dozen cities, interviewing hundreds of high-ranking communist officials and ordinary North Koreans. He became a figurehead in bringing capitalism to North Korea through all sorts of whimsical and unexpected projects: the Pyongyang Business School, the European Business Association in Pyongyang, and ventures in pharmaceuticals, precious metal extraction, and bottled water. - Did you know, for instance, that plastic surgery and South Korean drama shows are all the rage among the women of Pyongyang? That the capital offers a line-up of decent hamburger joints? That young North Koreans are eagerly signing up for business courses in preparation for market reforms? And that United Nations sanctions are the biggest obstacle to doing legitimate business in the DPRK? With more than 200 photographs taken by the author, A Capitalist in North Korea offers an account of the unknown aspects of North Korea, looking beyond tales of famine and suffering." - The e-book has been sold by Amazon since the end of 2012. - The PAPERBACK will be out before summer 2014. The new book cover was designed by the publishers. ORDER IT AT AMAZON OR HERE: elix/a-capitalist-in-north-korea-hardcover-wi th-jacket - Read the author's updated stories and comments on his Facebook page. And thanks for liking the page and for your feedback :-) here: -
Felix Abt
74x 2014-01-07  +  

DPRK Business Monthly Volume III, No.10 « CanKor

Felix Abt helped found the Pyongyang Business School, the European Business Association of Pyongyang (a de facto Chamber of Commerce) ...
72x 2012-12-30  +  

Invalid URL: South Korean Cartoonists Cry Foul at Simpsons Segment

2010-10-29T18:11:16 [TIME] - But Felix Abt, the former head of the European Business Association in Pyongyang, a de facto chamber of commerce, claims SEK still has overseas clients
100x 2010-11-01  +  

Kim Bowled for Murdoch's Dollars With Korean Games (Bloomberg, BusinessWeek, Sept. 7, 2010)

... Some practical bottlenecks still stand in the way of the North Korean information technology industry, Felix Abt, a co-founder of the European Business Association in Pyongyang, said in an e-mail. For the most part only foreign staff can use the Internet, “meaning that Korean project managers cannot deal directly and efficiently” with customers overseas, he said. ...
Felix Abt
97x 2010-09-22  +  

Analysis: Kim Jong Il, the reformer? North Korea is where Vietnam and China were before they started major market overhauls — Global Post, June 24, 2010

ANALYSIS: KIM JONG IL, THE REFORMER? — NORTH KOREA IS WHERE VIETNAM AND CHINA WERE BEFORE THEY STARTED MAJOR MARKET OVERHAULS. — By Bradley K. Martin — Special to GlobalPost, published: June 24, 2010 06:47 ET in Worldview — Now that food shortages reportedly have forced North Korea to reverse its crackdown on capitalist-style markets, more systematic reforms for its collapsed economy may not be far behind. The markets policy reversal came May 26 in directives issued by the cabinet and the ruling Workers’ Party to subordinate organizations, according to a report by the Seoul-based newsletter North Korea Today, which gets its information from officials and ordinary citizens inside the North. “The government cannot take any immediate measures” to relieve a food shortage that is “worse than expected,” the newsletter quoted one of the directives as saying in explanation for the policy change. The same authorities only late last year decreed a sudden currency revaluation that crippled the “anti-socialist” markets, where stallholders had been trading for individual profit, by confiscating the traders’ wealth. The new decrees bless and deregulate what’s left of the markets, which have shrunk and in some cases closed completely in the interim, in the hope that market trading will keep people from starving. And the directives instruct managers of state-run enterprises to pursue lucrative deals — especially in foreign trade — that could help feed their employees. This could all turn out to be the big event that finally pushes the very reluctant leadership into a multi-year campaign of serious reforms of the sort that began decades ago in Vietnam and China, according to Felix Abt, a Swiss involved in North Korean joint ventures in pharmaceutical manufacturing and computer software. “Given an industrial stock and an infrastructure beyond repair, and the impossible task of maintaining a huge army, economic reforms appear unavoidable in the very near future,” Abt, a former president of Pyongyang’s European Business Association, wrote in an email exchange. “It looks intriguing and it reminds me of Vietnam’s history of reforms,” said Abt, who did business for years in Vietnam before going to Pyongyang and recently has moved back to Vietnam while maintaining his involvement in North Korea. “The Vietnamese economic situation looked dire at the beginning of the 1980s,” he explained. “Nguyen Van Linh, party secretary in Ho Chi Minh City, favored moderate economic reforms. He tried too early, lost his job and left the political bureau in 1982. Le Duan, secretary general of the Communist Party, was categorically against any economic reforms. He died in 1986, the year of the five-year party congress which brought Nguyen Van Linh back and elected him as his successor. The new party secretary general immediately launched the Doi Moi policy — ‘reforms.’ ” Abt ventured the lesson that triggering reforms “takes something big like the death of a leading politician” in Vietnam — or, in North Korea, a “ruinous” currency revaluation. Not every foreigner who has had firsthand economic dealings with North Korea is convinced the recent events constitute that trigger. Some worry that U.S.-led sanctions could nip any flowering of capitalism in the bud. “The problem is still U.S. Treasury’s attitude,” said one such foreigner, who asked not to be identified further. Treasury Department officials began working several years ago to take North Korea “out of the international banking system,” discouraging trade, he noted. Some U.S.-sponsored sanctions subsequently were eased in an effort to persuade Kim Jong Il to negotiate away his nuclear weapons capability, but after those talks went nowhere — and especially after North Korea allegedly torpedoed a South Korean warship earlier this year — enthusiasm for compromise cooled. Recent reports say Washington is moving toward aggressively strangling cash flow into the country. There is also the argument that Kim believes he cannot afford to reform the economy because it would let in information and influences that would undermine his family’s rule by letting his isolated subjects learn that the rival South Korean system works much better. According to Abt, one answer to both concerns could be China, which “will provide all the support necessary to the DPRK party and government to enable economic reforms without regime change.” He used the abbreviation of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the country’s official name. “The DPRK may expect support from other quarters, for example, the European Union, too,” he said. “I think the dilemma of the leadership — economic upsurge versus the inflow of ‘subversive’ system-destabilizing information and ideas, particularly regarding the South — can be overcome with the necessary Chinese support,” Abt said. “Though the division of Korea can only be compared with that of Germany before 1990, China's division — capitalist Hong Kong, capitalist Taiwan — was a sort of challenge to Deng Xiaoping and successors, too, but they learnt to manage that quite well.” — Bradley K. Martin is the author of "Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty“ and a journalist covering Korea and other parts of Asia for three decades, among other things, for the Asia Wall Street Journal, Newsweek and Bloomberg.
Felix Abt
81x 2010-06-25  +  

瑞士商人:改变朝鲜 从投资开始

(联合早报网讯)台湾中国时报报道,一般人对共产朝鲜的印象不外乎独裁者、核武与经济制裁。然而 ,瑞士商人菲力克斯.艾博特(Felix Abt,五十五岁)看到的却是商机。他自二○○二年投资朝鲜,经营过药厂与资讯公司,曾担任平壤 “欧洲企业协会”(European Business Association)会长,并协助筹建“平壤商学院”(Pyongyang Business School)。在他眼中,投资朝鲜不仅是商业活动,更是改变这个封闭国家的力量。 - From Lianhe Zaobao, the most-read Chinese newspaper in Singapore and a trusted information source for the Chinese-speaking community outside Singapore.
Felix Abt
70x 2010-05-28  +  

Invalid URL: European Business Association (European Chamber of Commerce), Pyongyang, celebrates Anniversary

A year ago today the European Business Association was established in the northern capital of Pyongyang. Bringing together a diverse range of companies involved in banking, shipping, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing, the EBA sees its primary role as a bridge builder, encouraging more European businesses to invest in and do business with North Korea. "We hope to encourage even more European businesses to come here," Felix Abt, president of the EBA told The Korea Herald. The association admits that compared to China, for example, there has been comparatively weak interest among European companies. The EBA said this is mainly because there is a lack of awareness in Europe regarding the promising business and investment potential of North Korea. However, Abt said the past year has seen some notable successes with a number of new European businesses establish themselves in Pyongyang and sign contracts in the mining, electrical equipment and IT sectors. "More European companies are interested in investing and doing business here which means the membership of the EBA is gradually increasing," he said. "We have also seen a generally better understanding by our North Korean partners of how European enterprises work, their needs and what realistically can be expected from them," Abt said. Abt, who is the resident chief representative of a large European manufacturing and trading group, said the EBA sees growing opportunities, particularly in the light industrial and IT sectors. Obviously, moves by the U.S. Treasury to isolate the Macau-based Banco Delta Asia and its cooperating banks for allegedly facilitating money-laundering activities by the North has had an impact on legitimate businesses in Pyongyang. Nevertheless, Abt remains upbeat, "When the confiscated funds belonging to the Daedong Credit Bank and its customers are returned, we will have a huge party," Abt said. - The Korea Herald, Seoul, April 28, 2006
Felix Abt
50x 2010-05-10  +  

European firms in N. Korea running business association: chairman. Yonhap News Agency of Korea, May 6, 2007

"Our purpose is to build bridges between Europe and North Korea," Felix Abt, chairman of the European Business Association (EBA), said in an interview with Washington-based radio station Radio Free Asia. The association was founded in April 2005.The businessman, who is also president of the joint venture PyongSu Pharma Co., said European firms need to do more business with Pyongyang, whose business ties are heavily dependent on Northeast Asia.The association comprises ...
Felix Abt
54x 2010-05-10  +  

Optimism alive despite political tensions. European business group in Pyongyang sees N.K. as an attrative FDI destination, The Korea Herald, Seoul, June 26, 2006

The recent launch of a U.K.-based investment fund directed at North Korea suggests that beneath the tensions, there is still optimism in business circles that political problems can be resolved, and North Korea can become an attractive and profitable destination for foreign direct investment. One such businessman is Felix Abt, the president of the European Business Association based in Pyongyang. In this email interview with The Korea Herald, Abt said he is confident that North Korea-based businesses will, as they have with previous crises, weather this latest political storm. Question: What was your initial reaction to news of regulatory approval for the Chosun Fund? Felix Abt: Since it is perfectly legal for a British company to do business with the DPRK, it was not a surprise that the British authorities gave regulatory approval. However, the U.S. government will continue putting pressure on foreign banks and other companies to dissuade them from doing legitimate business with the DPRK, or with Iran for that matter. The Times of London recently ran an article with the title "U.S. pressure threatens U.K. firms in Iran." Of course, economic and psychological warfare is an old U.S. tactic. Given the size of the U.S. economy relative to that of who they consider the enemy, it is unlike a military war. It is usually relatively painless, risk free and, of course, much less costly.
Felix Abt
53x 2010-05-10  +  


The newspaper said the European participation in the trade fair, which has been held since 2005, was the largest in the history of the event. However, the majority of the displays, from about 150 companies in 15 countries and regions, were from China as usual, according to the (North) Korean Central News Agency on Oct. 9. Felix Abt, chairman of the European Business Association that was formed in Pyongyang in 2005, was quoted by the newspaper as saying that if the U.S. sanctions against the North are lifted, more European companies will invest in the reclusive country. The newspaper said that the European companies are already jointly running or cooperating with the North in the areas of banking, mining, Internet service, software programming and pharmaceutical manufacturing. It added that the lower cost of labor in North Korea is attractive compared with rising costs in China. - (Yonhap News Agency, Korea) 18-10 1203
Felix Abt
51x 2010-05-10  +  

European business delegates to visit Pyongyang - Yonhap News Agency of Korea, September 25, 2005

The EBA played host to a similar event in mid-July for a visiting European Union parliamentary delegation and European ambassadors to North Korea. During the July event at the Pyolmuri Cafe, a newly opened Pyongyang restaurant offering authentic European food, Felix Abt, president of the EBA in Pyongyang, introduced current European business activities and outlined future business opportunities for European companies.
Felix Abt
41x 2010-05-10  +  

Driving the streets of post-Stalinist Pyongyang is just like time travel

.... Felix Abt, the president of the Pyongyang European Business Association said: "We want to show reason and decency, and we want to avoid the long list of sanctions which will only affect civilians and lead to a food shortage." He added: "We don't want to see humanitarian aid. We want to see small European enterprises developing business with partners here so as to engage North Korea, not isolate it further." By Peter Simpson in Pyongyang - The Daily Telegraph, London, November 1, 2006
Felix Abt
40x 2010-05-10  +  

European Business Association (EBA), Pyongyang / Introduction on Youtube

BusinessNK — July 29, 2009 — European Business Association (European Chamber of Commerce), Pyongyang. Press release on the occasion of its founding ceremony on April 28, 2005: All of the foreign business people who are resident in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and who represent European enterprises have today jointly founded the European Business Association (EBA). The ten European, one Hong Kong and one Mongolian business managers include the heads of four European invested joint ventures (in banking, overseas shipping, pharmaceuticals production and consumer goods manufacturing) in the DPRK and the representatives of several medium- and large sized European companies. During a short founding ceremony the EBA members approved the statute and elected Felix Abt, resident chief representative of a large European manufacturing and trading group, president, Guenter Unterbeck, resident chief representative of the German enterprise that introduced and operates internet in the DPRK and Valentin Dimitrievich Pan, resident chief representative of the Russian railways, vice presidents. As a representative of the European embassies to the DPRK the Romanian Chargé d'Affaires Eugene Poppa took to the floor to underline the significance of the association designed to lay the ground for both European and North Korean companies to do business with one another more smoothly in the future. Acting Chairman Kim of the Association for the Promotion of the International Economic and Technological Exchange (APIETE) as well as chairman Jang of one the largest manufacturing and trading groups of the country expressed their welcome on behalf of DPRK enterprises to this new association to substantially further economic ties between European and Korean enterprises. EBA president Abt stressed the need for European companies to catch up with Chinese and other Asian companies. In fact, out of the total DPRK foreign trading volume of 3.11 billion USD in 2003 over two third was mainly with China and to a much lesser degree with South Korea and Japan according to the South Korean government. The trade with the EU accounted for less than 10 %. In 2004 foreign trade with China increased by 35,4 %. Although the European Union increased its exports in the first 6 months of 2004 by 17,2% to 132,0 Mio. USD and its imports by 11,3 % to 17,7 Mio. USD compared to the first semester 2003, Europe's overall share is further declining. In its press release EBA says it is pleased to note the sharply increasing interest of Chinese and other Asian companies in investing in and doing business with the DPRK. It regrets the comparatively weak interest by European companies which is mainly due to a lack of awareness of the promising business and investment potential of the DPRK. The EBA will therefore contribute to encourage European businesses to invest and do more business in the DPRK. It sees itself as a bridge builder between Europe and the DPRK to substantially increase trade between the two. The members expressed their hope that the EBA will grow quickly in numbers over the coming years as a consequence of its work aimed at enhancing economic cooperation between Europe and the DPRK. The event was attended by officials of the DPRK, senior managers of DPRK companies and ambassadors and other diplomats of the European embassies to the DPRK including the ambassador of the Russian Federation. A visiting Polish government and business delegation headed by deputy minister Witold Gorski was also present. They mentionned that the first Polish joint venture in the DPRK is operating successfully. (The video film was made by Juergen Nyhuis) ----- KCNA, North Korea's official news agency reported: EBA Starts to Work in Pyongyang May 12, 2005 (KCNA) - The European Business Association (EBA) has started to work in Pyongyang. It, jointly founded by all of the foreign business people who are resident in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and who represent European enterprises, will contribute to encouraging European businesses to invest and do more business in the country. According to its press release, it sees itself as a bridge builder between Europe and the DPRK to substantially increase trade between the two. Its founding ceremony took place at Koryo Hotel in Pyongyang on April 28. During the event the members of EBA expressed their hope that it will grow quickly in numbers over the coming years as a consequence of its work aimed at enhancing economic cooperation between Europe and the DPRK. ----- 1 year later - EBA Pyongyang celebrated its first anniversary. More on this here: m?mode=view&num=644&page=30&pPart=&pKeyword=& pGroup=
Felix Abt
38x 2010-05-10  +  

North Korea's Kim Allows Tentative Stirrings of Profit Motive / Bloomberg / December 28, 2005

Felix Abt, Swiss native heads a new European Business Association in Pyongyang. ``I am very busy with visiting foreign business delegations,'' Abt, 50, says. ``Take it as a sign that the economy is developing and that more foreign business activities are under way.''
Felix Abt
27x 2010-05-10  +  

Businessmen accuse U.S. of indiscriminate sanctions / The Korea Herald, Seoul, 18.9.2006

For foreign businesses already established in the North, it has been a difficult year and many see their options narrowing. Felix Abt from the Pyongyang-based European Business Association says they are considering various strategies, but would prefer to keep details confidential. "Essentially, those who can afford a longer term business vision think they can still weather the latest U.S. attacks on their legitimate business," he said, "But those who cannot are more worried." The fact that the United States does not distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate business, and that it tends to criminalize foreign and Korean businesses, said Abt, "Is a challenge to us." He accused Washington of simply making wholesale accusations. "This is more convenient for them than offering specific proof on specific wrongdoings, and quite understandable in the absence of any serious evidence," he said. - The Korea Herald, Seoul, September 18, 2006
Felix Abt
27x 2010-05-11  +  

North Korea toys with risk and reward / Financial Times, London / September 1, 2005

Still, increasing numbers of foreigners are trying their luck as the world’s most isolated state warily opens its doors to business. “North Korea is changing and we are living proof of that,” says Felix Abt, who represents ABB and Sandvik, the engineering companies, and is chairman of the European Business Association in Pyongyang. - The Financial Times, London, September 1, 2005
Felix Abt
27x 2010-05-10  +  

Invalid URL: Peninsula-Partners Ltd. - doing business…

In addition, the European Business Association (European Chamber of Commerce) in Pyongyang, chaired by Felix Abt for some years, became a strong backer, too.
16x 2010-05-10  +  

AWI 08/2005 - Ausgabe

Zum ersten Vorsitzenden der Vereinigung wurde der Schweizer Felix Abt gewählt. ... Felix Abt, Präsident European Business Associaton c/o ABB Villa ...
18x 2010-05-07  +  

U.S. Treasury's Levey Says Bankers Worldwide Are Shunning ...

U.S. Treasury's Levey Says Bankers Worldwide Are Shunning Iran ... financial isolation, according to Felix Abt, president of Pyongyang's European Business Association. ...
15x 2010-05-09  +  

From The Korea Herald, September 18th 2006 - Windows Live

2006-09-20 Felix Abt from the Pyongyang-based European Business Association says they are considering various strategies, but would prefer to keep details confidential. "Essentially, those who can afford a longer term business vision think they ...
17x 2010-05-14  +  

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