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North Korean Students: “I Want To Receive An MBA”

Posted August. 20, 2005 03:04,   


The first class of 30 graduates graduated from the Pyongyang Business School, the first management school in North Korea. The Financial Times (FT) reported on August 19 from Pyongyang that the school, a sign of change in North Korea, aims to establish an MBA program. The FT’s Seoul bureau chief, Anna Fifield, is staying in Pyongyang for two weeks and writing a “North Korea journal.” Her articles are available both online and on the paper. The following is the summary of her article.

North Korea is the most closed nation in the world, but decided to open up its market to foreign investment on an experimental basis. The country delegated the authority of decision-making, once centralized, to each state enterprise through economic reforms in 2002. Since then, corporate executives have played bigger roles. Now, when asked about their future goals, more children answer that they want to be businessmen, English teachers in Pyongyang say.

The Pyongyang Business School is a private school that was set up with a fund the Swiss government raised to assist North Korea. The purpose is to help senior management in North Korea learn the workings of capitalism.

Instructors consist of employees at the offices of foreign companies or international financial institutions in Pyongyang. The curriculum includes an introduction to international commercial law, management strategies, market research, and consumer behavior. Even the theory of e-commerce is taught.