Would North Korea's Koryolink Have A Competitive Edge Against South Korea's Samsung?


It's a contradictory behavior to love protectionism but to enjoy free trade's benefits. This time, I'd like to bring up Samsung for this post. I guess it can't be denied that while I do love Japanese culture a lot but I can't deny my love for South Korean culture as well as other cultures. I can't forget how I really bought Samsung instead of Toshiba for a laptop, I have a Samsung refrigerator and I bought a Samsung phone instead of Sony while I still have Sony appliances at home. Samsung really knows how to innovate that it becomes a worthy competitor to electronic companies. I couldn't even forget how Samsung's smartphones outsold i-Phones last 2011. If it wasn't for innovation I doubt it Samsung would have succeeded.

What caught my attention was the Koryolink phones from protectionist North Korea. This is what I found interesting about Koryolink which makes sense to why protectionism is bad for your country:

“They cannot provide such sophisticated technology at their end because, again, sanctions are keeping them like 40 years back,” El-Noamany said.


Source: NK News.org

It's obvious that North Korea's protectionism has "blessed" the nation with keeping them like 40 (or more) years back. If you read through the whole article in context, you'll find out that North Korea's protectionist policies only benefit the ruling class but not their citizens.

Now let's imagine the scenario that Koryulink would launch its mobile phones worldwide to show the "benefits" of protectionism. Economic neanderthals insist that you can still be competitive without competition. On the contrary, that isn't true. Why do you think some Filipinos make it big abroad? They didn't make it big abroad overnight. Lea Salonga-Chien and Regine Velasquez-Alcasid proved how great they were as musical artists by entering into competitions. Their losses and wins were all part of their path to becoming more and more competitive. Leandro Locsin the famous Filipino architect in Brunei would have not been made famous if it wasn't for competition. Lydia De Vega strove hard to become the world's fastest woman by training and competing in several marathons. If Koryulink has little or even no competition in North Korea how can it become competitive if it never had enough competition to go against it to prove its worth?

On the contrary, Samsung already has had much competition in its home country of South Korea for many years. That competition forces them to innovate. Competition forces you to innovate and learn. While innovation is not always successful but there's the learning process so you'll do better. Just think of how it has to face off against big time companies Lenovo, Sony, Toshiba, LG and Nokia just to name a few. They are all motivated by hard-driven competition to innovate and find ways to create competitive advantages over each other. Having competition against foreign companies made Samsung think long term and go to the international market either by 100% ownership or by having joint venture agreements worldwide.

I would like to dare people who love protectionism to start buying products from North Korea instead of South Korea. Forget about the latest Samsung cool gadget because Koryolink is from a protectionist country. Should these products break easily then they have lost their right to complain because they love protectionism so much. 

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