The Lotte Group announced on June 3 that it would form a task force to resume research on North Korea, the maritime provinces of Russia and the three northeast provinces of China.
Lotte’s interest in North Korea dates back to 1995, when it set up a business unit for economic cooperation with the North. In 1998, it attempted to build a Choco Pie plant near Pyeongyang, but had to stop the project for political and economic reasons. From 2002 to 2014, it supplied Choco Pies and Chilsung Ciders to the Kaesong Industrial Complex.
Three years ago, the group’s 16 subsidiaries ran a North Korea research institute for six months. The institute’s 20 or so new business experts conducted research on the politics, economy and culture of North Korea and visited Dandong, China for a field survey. The institute is going to resume its activities this month.
The Lotte Group is currently expanding its business to the Far East of Russia and the northeast region of China. In December last year, it purchased a farming corporation and land cultivation rights in the maritime provinces of Russia along with a hotel in Vladivostok. In addition, it is building the Shenyang Lotte World in Shenyang.
Lotte says it will be able to contribute to tourism and agriculture in North Korea with its hotel and farm in Russia and the Lotte World in China, once the Trans-Siberian Railway is connected to an inter-Korean railway, which was agreed upon in the recent inter-Korean summit.
Lotte is going to make use of its food service and tourism subsidiaries in the regions for economic cooperation and work with international organizations for humanitarian aid and cultural and economic support. Lotte is expected to become an import economic cooperation partner in the field of logistics as well in that Lotte Global Logistics has experience in material transport to the Kaesong Industrial Complex and the Mt. Kumgang Tourist Zone.