September 24, 2023

North Korea angles for FDI, but doubt lingers

Pyongyang angles to attract more takers; past partners reveal mixed results

A department store, a gas station and even a brewery – these are just a few of the many projects North Korea has been pitching to foreign investors recently.

Apparently keen to shed its image as a socialist relic, the cash-strapped country has in recent months publicly wooed overseas investors with a flurry of individual investment opportunities across a range of industries. At the same time, it has greatly expanded its number of Special Economic Zones, where foreigners can benefit from reduced tax rates and 50-year land leases, from just six in 2013 to more than two-dozen this year.