A well-known joint venture between North Korea’s Hana electronics company and the foreign-owned Phoenix Commercial Ventures Ltd. has been terminated, a statement published last week said.
Hana Electronics JVC was once ranked as one of North Korea’s top performing joint ventures, with over 200 staff specializing in the production and distribution of DVDs, VCDs and associated playback equipment.
“As a result of irreconcilable differences between the board of Phoenix and the local management, Phoenix Commercial Ventures Ltd has terminated its association with Hana Electronics JVC with immediate effect,” a statement posted by Phoenix said on September 3.
“Phoenix has no further connection with Hana or any interests (direct or indirect) in its operations.”
Phoenix directors provided no further information to NK News about the background of the termination when contacted on Tuesday.
Hana Electronics JVC, previously a 50/50 joint venture between Phoenix and the trading department of the DPRK Ministry of Culture, also owned a restaurant, swimming pool and associated leisure facilities at its Pyongyang headquarters.
Both Hana and its staff had been highlighted several times in DPRK state media and the groups headquarters and associated infrastructure had even been a destination for some tourist groups.
“Hana have established a distribution network throughout the major cities in the DPRK,” a backgrounder about the company on the Phoenix website previously said.
“Whilst they manufactured and marketed CD’s, they had an exclusive long term contract with the Mansudae Arts Centre, which belongs to the Ministry of Culture, one of the partners in the JV, for 300 works including; movies, karaoke and other music,” the background statement continued.
Nigel Cowie, a Phoenix director, said of his companies involvement with Hana in 2011 that “this company has enjoyed solid commercial success and has recently opened its new headquarters building, together with the expansion of its business lines.”
Phoenix Commercial Ventures Ltd is a Pyongyang based project finance company, managed by British and French directors Ken Frost, Nigel Cowie and Olivier Roux.
Phoenix “offers investors business and investment opportunities in the DPRK, enabling them to take advantage of the economic reforms that are taking place there,” director Ken Frost said in 2008.
Phoenix has previously been involved with the Daesong Credit Bank and Sinji JVC.
Main picture: Phoenix press release
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