Economy of North Korea

North Korea has developed a "master plan", involving opening up the country to foreign investments. On this issue, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (the DPRK) authorities consulted with German economists and lawyers. This was written in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung citing unnamed scientist who participated in the meetings.

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According to the newspaper, the country is expected to be opened to foreign investments in 2013. Pursuant to the source, special attention was paid during the consultation to the modern investment law in North Korea. The Vietnamese model is the key issue in Pyongyang ( it involves the selection of specific companies for foreign investment) and the Chinese version of the special investment zones is under discussion. The expert stressed that it is not clear whether conduct planned reforms in the country, because, in his opinion, they will face a military elite.

In summer, the media has informed about the DPRK leaders intention to hold in the country agricultural and economic reform. Later information on planned reforms was confirmed by the official sources. Message of reform appeared against the arguments of experts on how the new North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is ready to follow the course of the liberalization of the economy. Until now China is the main trading partner of North Korea. Thus, in August 2012, country has signed the agreement about the joint development of two free economic zones.

North Korea, which is still being in the political and economic international isolation, remains one of the poorest countries in the world. According to the CIA, in 2011 the country's GDP was $ 40 billion, or 1.8 million dollars on a per capita basis. On the eve of 2013, Kim Jong Un made a televised address, in which, among other things, referred to the difficult economic situation in the country and said about future radical reforming of the economy.       

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Meanwhile, on January 3, it became known that a humanitarian mission to North Korea is going to be led by the top manager of Google, Eric Schmidt. Google’s representative did not refute the reports, because the company does not comment on private trips of its leaders. Information about the purpose of his visit to the country was not disclosed.

Eric Schmidt, known as an advocate of freedom of the Internet, so there is a certain irony in the fact that he wants to visit the country, where there are very strict restrictions on access to the global network. By some estimation, only a few thousands of the North Korean elite have this privilege.

However, the Asia Foundation representative Peter Beck finds nothing surprising in the fact that Schmidt wants to go to Pyongyang. Beck says that North Korea and Google are seriously interested in each other. It is the most isolated country in the world in regard to the Internet, and Google may prove to be a very powerful force through which the Internet will come to North Korea.

It seems that one of the poorest countries in the world, North Korea, should not be of particular interest to Google. The market capitalization of the largest search engine in the world is about $ 235 billion, which is about six times the hypothetical GDP of North Korea. But in an interview with "Voice of America" Beck said that Schmidt is likely to have other priorities towards Pyongyang.

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According to the Associated Press, Schmidt will travel to North Korea as a part of a private group led by Bill Richardson - a former U.S. ambassador to the UN and an ex-governor of New Mexico.

The North Korea opened borders for the international investments is very popular topic among businessmen and its main points are concentrated on the nuclear and missile programs. Will mission of Schmidt change global investment distribution and how will it affect Korean economy and the world one? These are the questions that world economists try to find the answers for.

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