Pyongyang 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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Felix Abt - A Capitalist in North Korea” by Felix Abt | Leonid Petrov\u0026#39;s KOREA ...
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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  +  

How a Promising Project Brought Good Business Practices to North Korea - by Felix Abt

Swiss businessman Felix Abt discusses how a promising reform project (Pyongyang Business School) brought good business practices to the world's most isolated country.
Felix Abt
63x 2013-12-17  +  

Felix Abt | 38 North: Informed Analysis of North Korea

North Korea Out of the Dark: The Story of the Pyongyang Business School. How a promising reform project brought good business practices to ...
81x 2012-12-30  +  

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  +  

PyongSu Pharma Your best choice

"Its not just about making money, at least not from our perspective as a producer," declared Felix Abt, president of the Pyongyang-based ...
59x 2012-12-23  +  

North Korea – doing business in a demanding environment

Felix Abt has been working in. Pyongyang for seven years, ...
40x 2012-12-23  +  

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  +  

North Korea - the Hermit Emerges (The Daily Telegraph, London, 22.10.2010)

"There are a few hundred foreign-invested companies operating at the moment, mainly small ventures," says Felix Abt, a German who set up a pharmaceutical business in North Korea and also founded a de facto European Chamber of Commerce in Pyongyang. "The manufacturing of low and medium-end items is very competitive and North Korea is making everything from artificial flowers to furniture to false teeth. I was involved in drawing up the business plan for the false teeth venture and such products can be made at a much better profit margin than in the Philippines, for example." From the outside, North Korea appears to be the last truly closed country in the world, but for Mr Abt, "life is fairly normal and you can now get all the daily necessities". The only restriction, he says, is that "you cannot have private contact with the Koreans".
Felix Abt
99x 2010-09-22  +  

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  +  

Invalid URL: Nosotek IT JV, Pyongyang, North Korea – the first Western IT venture!

17.09.2010 It was initiated and set up on the one hand by the highly experienced IT entrepreneur Volker Eloesser, President & CEO, as well as Felix Abt, Vice Chairman of the board of Directors, and on the other hand by the Korean General ...
51x 2011-06-01  +  

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  +  

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 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  +  

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