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According to him, the delegation made a study tour, as “had no task to conduct negotiations.”
“The visit was similar to the March meeting in North Korea of the intergovernmental commission where the Russian delegation was led by Minister of Natural Resources Yuri Trutnev. The issue of Russian companies’ participation in the inter-Korean industrial complex Kaesong was raise then,” he said.
According to him, the trade mission’s delegation was received by South Korea’s director of the South - North joint committee for Kaesong management Hong Yang-ho. The possibilities for Russian businesses’ involvement were discussed during the working meeting.
“The meeting participants raised the issue of the signing on the information and experience agreement with the Russian Trade Mission. We agreed to continue in Seoul the discussion of this issue. The South Korean officials emphasized that they had a keen interest in Russian businesses’ participation,” Bondarenko said.
He also said that this would be interesting for Russian companies from the logistics point of view, even if they enter Kaesong not through South Korea, but through North Korea. This complex is also attractive for its inexpensive but rather qualified workforce, the average monthly wage of which with taking into account all additional expense is $230-250.Many foreign companies from the United States, China and Germany have recently visited the Kaesong complex, but only one company from Germany, but only indirectly, took an interest in the industrial park’s opportunities.
“We agreed to hold in Kaesong another meeting with Hong Yang-ho and discuss prospects for the further development of this sphere and also plan to organise a visit by Russia’s business mission,” Bondarenko said.
At present, the inter-Korean industrial complex in the border town of Kaesong is the only example of Seoul - Pyongyang economic co-operation.
More than 120 South Korean companies manufacture in Kaesong consumer goods, including clothes, footwear, watches and household electronic appliances. More than 53,000 North Korea workers are engaged in the complex’s production facilities.