Your Letters

Singaporean businesses should venture into N. Korea

It was reported that the history of overseas firms that tried to set up operations in North Korea is a "long and sorry one" (Investing in North Korea: Money pit or golden opportunity?; June 18).

It was further noted that in that country, foreign investors face "rules that can change on a whim, bills that are never paid, and the threat of expropriation".

Such a statement would have applied to China, Vietnam or Myanmar not so long ago.

Knowing what we know now about China, Vietnam and Myanmar, why wouldn't any Singaporean businessman want to establish a foothold in the virginal North Korea now?

The key is to establish and build friendships and relationships for eventual economic co-ventures and trade.

It is true that "it's basically a police state and you have a long way to go to North Korea becoming a normal economy. It's going to take a very brave investor to venture in again".

But Singaporean businessmen and organisations should not sit and wait for events to unfold on the Korean peninsula.

The key is to establish and build friendships and relationships for eventual economic co-ventures and trade... Fortune favours the bold, the courageous and the pioneering. The Singaporean kiasi (scared to die) mentality should give way to the "can-do" spirit.

Fortune favours the bold, the courageous and the pioneering. The Singaporean kiasi (scared to die) mentality should give way to the "can-do" spirit.

Michael Heng Swee Hai (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 24, 2018, with the headline 'Singaporean businesses should venture into N. Korea'. Print Edition | Subscribe