North Korean 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  +  

Interview with an unlikely capitalist in North Korea – Quartz

“LinkedIn blocked me when I listed my North Korean address—and I was not the only one,” Felix Abt, a Swiss entrepreneur who spent seven ...
44x 2013-11-24  +  

North Korean Economy Watch » Nosotek

... firms are making inroads into various sectors, especially infrastructure and mining. Earlier this week, I interviewed Felix Abt,
56x 2012-12-23  +  

Central Intelligence Agency Story Page -

Foreign investors survey North Korean workers at a South Korean factory in the ... in 2006 Few investors can boast the one-of-a-kind global pedigree of Felix Abt. ...
71x 2011-05-10  +  

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  +  

SmartBrief on Leadership. Innovative Ideas. Ahead of the Curve

Global Perspective / How to get ahead in the Hermit Kingdom / Swiss businessman Felix Abt has a remarkable CV: he's the founder of the Pyongyang Business School and chief of North Korea's de facto chamber of commerce. He says the world's businesses should be doing more to find ways around sanctions and engage with North Korea. "Foreigners engaging with North Koreans are change agents," he adds. - More on SmartBrief, May 20, 2010
Felix Abt
72x 2010-05-23  +  

North Korean art makes a show in Vietnam - Timeout, Hanoi, June 2009

The largest collection of paintings from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) ever shown in Southeast Asia was put on display at the Nha Trang Sea festival last week. The paintings were produced by more than two dozen artists with recognized artists – so-called Merited artists – and emerging talents all contributing. The exhibition included a series of beautiful paintings in a variety of styles and materials – prints, watercolour, oil, pencil drawings and “jewel-powdered paintings”, a Korean specialty art. The painting collection belongs to Swiss businessman Felix Abt and his Hanoi-born wife Doan Lan Huong, who lived and worked in Pyongyang for seven years, where they got to know and love North Korean arts. “Much to our surprise we noticed that (artistic) talents are identified very early in a person’s life and systematically fostered thereafter. As a consequence a high number end up as painters with extraordinary skills. Unfortunately this is largely ignored by the outside world,” says Felix Abt. - Timeout (Supplement to the Vietnam Investment Review, Vietnam's leading english language business newspaper, published by the Ministry of Planning and Investment), Hanoi
Felix Abt
65x 2010-05-10  +  

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 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  +  

Invalid URL: PyongSu Pharma Joint Venture Company, Pyongyang. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Felix Abt, PyongSu's 3rd president succeeded in preventing the closure of the company by turning the heavily loss-making operation into a profit-making one. During his term PyongSu became the first North Korean pharmaceutical factory to attain GMP (a universally recognized quality standard in the pharmaceutical industry as defined by the WHO), and repeatedly inspected and confirmed by the WHO. It also became the first ever North Korean company to participate in tender competitions to win contracts against foreign competitors from China, India, and Germany. With an increasing generation of cash-flow, the company has expanded and profitably operate pharmacies and sales outlets throughout the DPRK. Towards the end of 2008 managing director Felix Abt, 53, explained that the company now enjoys: 1) A broad product portfolio which recently included Anthelmintic and anti-hypertensive drugs. 2) A good reputation as a quality and service-minded company in the DPRK that led to the recognition as the "model company" of the domestic pharmaceutical industry by authorities and customers 3) A competitiveness that continues to help win supply contracts against international competition, thanks to a well trained and dedicated Korean workforce. 4) Good market penetration thanks to the company’s wholesaling and distribution arm (that not only handles PyongSu’s own products but also a wide variety of complementary and alternative products at affordable prices imported directly from reliable GMP-manufacturers) as well as its own profitable retail outlets (pharmacies) in well-chosen locations 5) Strong double-digit growth rate as well as sustainability and profitability as a consequence of the afore-mentioned 4 points Now that PyongSu has become one of the DPRK’s most successful joint venture companies ever, the board of directors appointed Remy Lardinois, 32, as the new Managing Director succeeding Felix Abt who was elected Vice Chairman of the board of directors as of March 1, 2009. Dr. Ju Zhong Ho continues to serve as the Chairman of the board and O Song Gun maintains his post as Deputy Managing Director. - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, May 10, 2010
Felix Abt
37x 2010-05-11  +  

PyongSu Pharma J.V. Co., Pyongyang, and what it stands for.

BusinessNK — July 19, 2009 — PyongSu Pharma is the first western and North Korean joint venture (JV) company in the medical field. In 2008 it was recognized by the government as one of North Korea's very best JV out of approx. 200 JVs. It was then also regarded as the so-called Model Company for the North Korean pharmaceutical industry and it shared its know-how with pharmaceutical factories to help raise their quality and safety standards and thereby save additional lives. This video was PyongSu's introduction to donor organisations and individuals that had been purchasing pharmaceuticals abroad and shipped to North Korea instead of sourcing them domestically as they did not trust the quality of drugs made by the local pharmaceutical industry. PyongSu's promotional presentation explained to them why they can and should place their orders with PyongSu rather than with pharmaceutical companies abroad. As PyongSu had no budget to mandate a professional advertising company with the task its managing director Felix Abt made the concept, the script and produced it in-house towards the end of 2005, with the help of volunteering North Korean IT and designing students and their Canadian trainer Ian Lee as well as teacher Michael P. Spavor, then giving language courses in Pyongyang, who was the "voice" in this clip. Thus, this unique commercial was made in its entirety in Pyongyang (and by people who are not advertising professionals). Check it out and add your comment! (And, yes, hitherto highly skeptical foreign organisations did become regular customers of PyongSu...) - From
Felix Abt
37x 2010-05-10  +  

North Korean Students: “I Want To Receive An MBA” (The Dong-A Ilbo, Seoul, August 20, 2005)

The first class of 30 graduates graduated from the Pyongyang Business School, the first management school in North Korea. The Financial Times (FT) reported on August 19 from Pyongyang that the school, a sign of change in North Korea, aims to establish an MBA program. The FT’s Seoul bureau chief, Anna Fifield, is staying in Pyongyang for two weeks and writing a “North Korea journal.” North Korea is the most closed nation in the world, but decided to open up its market to foreign investment on an experimental basis. The country delegated the authority of decision-making, once centralized, to each state enterprise through economic reforms in 2002. Since then, corporate executives have played bigger roles. Now, when asked about their future goals, more children answer that they want to be businessmen, English teachers in Pyongyang say.
Felix Abt
28x 2010-10-01  +  

Despite Reforms, N.K. Replete with Animosity against Capitalism - Yonhap News Agency of Korea

The state-run Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency said Felix Abt, the former head of the Swiss electric technology group Asea Brown Boveri's Pyongyang office, made the assessment in a study released at a workshop in Germany in January. Abt is a well-known North Korean affairs specialist who helped arrange a visit to Pyongyang last year by Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey. In 2001, ABB opened its Pyongyang office as part of an agreement to help improve North Korea's electricity transmission networks. - Yonhap News Agency of Korea, April 17, 2004
Felix Abt
29x 2010-05-10  +  

Felix Abt

Felix Abt (born on 15 January 1955 in Switzerland), "a well-known North Korean affairs specialist"(Yonhap), is considered a prime reference point on investment and business issues in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Abt is one of the first foreign business pioneers in North Korea where he was living from 2002 to 2009 and developing and operating various businesses. In addition, he was co-founder and school director of the Pyongyang Business School where he was involved in capacity building related to business administration for senior executives of North Korean government agencies and enterprises. He has been featured and interviewed by numerous media, including CNN, FOXNews, ABC BBC, Le Monde, Handelsblatt, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, AFP, Businessweek, The Financial Times and Bloomberg and has been giving advice to business associations
27x 2010-05-09  +  

Invalid URL: Saigon Times Online - First ever North Korean painting ...

Doan Huong La and her Swiss husband Felix Abt, owner of the gallery, said that North Korea had a lot of talented artists worthy of world recognition. ...
23x 2010-05-09  +  

North Korean Economy Watch " Blog Archive " Felix Abt's advice on ...

Felix Abt's advice on starting JV company in the DPRK. German Asia-Pacific Business Association ... to set up successful business in North Korea, says Felix Abt. ...
17x 2010-05-07  +  

주한유럽연합 상공회의소

2006.03.30. Theme: Review of North Korean Pharmaceuticals and Medical Markets: Speaker: Mr. Felix ABT: more detail
15x 2010-06-02  +  

Invalid URL: business

PyongSu Pharma is the first western and North Korean joint venture (JV) company in the medical field. In 2008 it was recognized by the government as one of North Korea’s very ...
15x 2010-05-09  +  

Invalid URL: Vietnam Art - First ever North Korean painting exhibition in ...

Doan Huong La and her Swiss husband Felix Abt, owner of the gallery, said that North Korea had a lot of talented artists worthy of world recognition. ...
16x 2010-05-09  +  

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