Hyundai woos Japanese investment for North Korea projects
South Korea's embattled Hyundai Group is wooing Japanese investments to finance its ambitious business projects in North Korea, reports said Sunday.
Hyundai hopes to attract at least one billion dollars from Japan, Yonhap news agency said, adding the improvement of relations between Tokyo and Pyongyang would make Japanese investments active in the cash-strapped North.
Yonhap quoted a Hyundai official as saying: "Japanese businesses expressed intent to aggressively invest in our North Korea projects."
Hyundai Asan chairman Chung Mong-Hun visited Tokyo last week to contact Japanese partners, it said.
Chung, who heads the group's businesses in North Korea, last week said Hyundai would build a giant industrial and tourism complex along the North's southwest coast.
Hyundai, which runs a tourism complex on the North's east coast, hopes to follow a Chinese model for special economic zones for its new project in Kaesong near the border between the two Koreas.
Hyundai was optimistic over its project, saying it would build the first phase of the industrial park within a year by attracting up to 200 firms to produce textiles, auto parts and electronic goods.
But there have been suspicions over Hyundai's ability to finance the new project because of the group's restructuring.
The group has received emergency loans from banks in return for a bold program to streamline its bloated and family-controlled structure. — (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)