Egyptian billionaire and chairman of Orascom Investment Holding Naguib Sawiris, known for his investment experience in North Korea, has expressed optimism over the second North Korea-U.S. summit set for Feb. 27-28 in Hanoi, Vietnam. The photo above shows Sawiris arriving in Pyeongyang for a visit in 2011.(Yonhap)
By Park Gil-ja and Kim Young Shin
Photos = Yonhap News
Anticipation is rising over the second summit between North Korea and the U.S. slated for Feb. 27-28 in Hanoi, Vietnam, with an American daily saying President Moon Jae-in’s inter-Korean diplomacy will positively influence the upcoming talks.
Two investors with optimistic views of the North are also talking about investing there.
The Christian Science Monitor on Feb. 13 ran a column titled “Snowballing peace with North Korea,” which had an optimistic view of the summit by saying “(President Moon’s) peace moves may very well influence the negotiations.”
The article cited the president’s comments on his Facebook account on Feb. 9 marking the first anniversary of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics, which said, “The small snowball we have been rolling together became the snowman of peace.”
The daily credited the president for the idea “to think ceaselessly about small steps toward peace,” which it called “good advice” for the upcoming summit in Vietnam. It added that his moves toward inter-Korean peace could be “the snowballs in the room.”
Investment guru Jim Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings, is reportedly planning to visit North Korea next month.(Yonhap)
The upcoming summit is also fueling interest among foreign investors in the North’s economic development.
Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, who is chairman of Orascom Investment Holding, said on Feb. 12 that “we might really achieve peace in that meeting,” adding “(North Korea is) a country full of opportunities if it opens up.”
Speaking on the sidelines of a conference in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, he also said the North requires investments in a wide range of sectors including mining, hotels, roads and modern agricultural technologies.
In an interview with CNBC, Sawiris called the upcoming North Korea-U.S. summit “give and take” and that he thinks “we’ll see some good news.”
In addition, South Korean news outlets say investor extraordinaire Jim Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings, is planning a visit to North Korea next month.
Rogers has previously said he would “put all of (his) money” in the North if he could. If his proposed visit materializes, it could serve as proof of Pyeongyang’s desire to open up its economy.