German Delegation Visits North Korean Games Company
Online PR News – 18-June-2010 – – European companies around the globe are committing themselves to joint ventures. It is hard to look on a map these days and find a country that does not contain an international joint venture. Only a few companies in North Korea have experienced such a joint undertaking, and not all of the companies who will take part in future joint ventures will specialize in computer programming and games. Whether the boss is Korean or German, these projects are gaining attention, as was evidenced by a visit from a high-ranking German delegation to Pyongyang at the end of May 2010.
From production to IT, outsourcing has become a continuous business trend throughout the world. Those companies who can specialize in specific aspects of an industry are likely to gain more business than their competitors. By outsourcing certain services, companies can focus on the main product or service they provide. This outsourcing also creates partnerships that reduce costs for companies and allows both companies to profit. The IT industry has advanced outsourcing for itself, developing programming and software solutions specifically designed for outsourcing. Western IT companies have been outsourcing to companies in Eastern Europe and Asia, who offer trained personnel at prices that are more affordable than those in the IT company’s domestic markets.
A New Partnership
Nosotek, which is located in North Korea’s capital Pyongyang, has been offering its software development skills to western and Chinese companies since 2007. Nosotek concentrates on database development, 3D-Technology, and developing and programming computer games for different platforms. IT-specialist Volker Eloesser was essential in helping the European-North Korean joint venture enterprise. The vice-president of the European Business Association in Pyongyang was first introduced to the idea of joint ventures with North Korean companies in 2005 when he was invited to be a guest lecturer at the Pyongyanger Business School. Eloesser was convinced that the potential existed for North Korea to develop in the IT industry despite the difficult surrounding field, and he saw North Korea as a viable competitor to the Chinese and Indian outsourcing markets.
In a summer 2008 interview, Eloesser explained that the Korean specialists are not only as well trained or experienced as their Chinese and Indian counterparts, he also sees other advantages that the Koreans have that will allow them to maintain an edge over their competitors. One such advantage is their business acumen, which he equates to that of the Japanese. Koreans maintain a large amount of loyalty to their employer and integrity in their work, which makes them an attractive partner to international companies.
Nosotek has already enjoyed some successes in its young company history of supporting programming for companies in Europe and China. There are currently 35 employees located at the company’s headquarters, with an additional 10 employees working regionally and another 10 forces in China. With western working conditions deteriorating and the increase of Internet outsourcing, Nosotek is in a position to present itself as an attractive and expanding employer. The company also maintains a relationship with the universities of North Korea so they can recruit newly trained graduates in the field.
Prominent Visit from Germany
A high-ranking delegation from the German Bundestag visited the company in May 2010. Included in the delegation were former Federal Secretary of Justice Professor Dr. Herta Däubler Gmelin and Vice Chairman of the SPD Parliamentary Group Ulrich Kelber. They were also accompanied by representatives of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation Frank Hantke and Dr. Werner Kamppeter, as well as different press representatives.
Volker Eloesser welcomed the delegation together with Nosotek Vice-President Ju Jong Chol and Chinese Director Zhang Xiao. The team presented their newest products and software workshop to their German guests, who were quite impressed with their achievements. Among some of the products presented were applications developed for such venues as Facebook, mobile phones, iPhone, and Nintendo Wii. Many of the programs shown were developed for Nosotek’s western customers.
Enthusiastic and Positive Reactions in a Relaxed Atmosphere
Along with the newest developments of the company, the German guests were able to also become acquainted with the company structure of Nosotek and the company’s co-workers. Nosotek’s Vice-President Ju stated his appreciation for the German visitors and the interest from the far continent. He expressed his hope that this visit has dispelled the images that the countries have about each other and that there will be further business opportunities and economic initiatives between Germany and North Korea.
This positive outlook of Ju may have been sparked by the delegation’s further inspection of the company and close contact with the co-workers, which allowed the visitors an opportunity to experience the modern and progressive enterprise. Not only did the co-workers impress their guests with their authority and high motivation, but they also showed them their effectiveness and the quality training coming from the North Korean universities. The union representatives in the travel unit train also impressed the delegates with their attention to the working conditions in Nosotek. These details were somewhat surprising to the German visitors who did not expect such an organized and impressive company atmosphere. Through the professionalism of Volker Eloesser, Ju Jong Chol, Zhang Xiao, and the other Nosotek representatives, they were left with an overall positive experience for them to take home to Germany.