Empire Of The Ring - LightNovelsOnl.com
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They thought that Youngho had a special connection with the president. It was not true but Youngho did not mind that.
"Boss. I think you're going to make enough for the whole autonomous state with the agency's commission, but the Korean companies are rather quiet when they're the ones who are receiving your help the most."
"I didn't expect to receive anything from them. Let's just be thankful that they made an investment in Kazakhstan."
"What are you talking about? You used your own money to make this happen. They should be thankful to you."
Kim Chun wanted to receive rewards from the companies right away, but Youngho was waiting patiently until he heard from the Korean companies. Those companies would need Youngho's help along the way so there would be plenty of opportunities for him to contact them. It was no good to be impatient in a project that would last for years.
For now, the Arirang Autonomous State had benefited already anyway because the number of employees of both companies were growing, and they would eventually spend more money in the state since they were residing there.
Moreover, there was nothing more Youngho could ask for as long as the companies help Kazakhstan's industrial growth. The growth of Kazakhstan was the growth of the autonomous state.
"The German company that is going to build a power plant in West Kazakhstan will soon contact us to have its residence in the autonomous state."
"Wait, why would that German company want to stay here instead of staying at the city of Oral?"
"Two Korean companies are residing in the autonomous state and the German company would want to be near them since they all need each other's support and information network."
Since it was the government's first time putting a private company in charge of the state-run industry, it would have many restrictions and interference on them. Those companies would have many problems until the formal contract was signed and completed. Until then, it was better for private companies to work together and stick with similar business strategies.
"We should hurry up and finish the construction of the office building for foreign corporations. If we could complete the exterior of the building before it gets cold, we'd be able to work on the inside during the winter."
Kim Chun suddenly got busy.
He did not know how many people would be moving to the autonomous state but since some would prefer to stay at the hotel and some would prefer to live in a house, he had to arrange things to suit everyone's needs.
"Boss. Those employees would need vehicles to get to the power plant's construction sites. We should buy some more light-armored vehicles because we only have a few extras left. Some are being repaired and the Kazakh army base near the Russian border took five of them for testing, but we never heard back from the army."
"Well, let's not rush them. They're protecting our border."
"I'd be willing to give them those vehicles if they officially asked for them, but their commanders might have taken the vehicles for their own use. I mean, where would they get such st.u.r.dy vehicles?"
It did not matter to Youngho since those vehicles were already used many times by the autonomous state in the past few years anyway. It did not matter if he could not get them back. He thought that it was better to impress the army because the Countryside Force would have joint training with the army in the future.
Youngho was someone who always made the other party pay for what they have received from him. He was just keeping quiet now.
"Hey! Resident employees of the power plant project! Please come up!"
Youngho's followers immediately came up to his office as he called them from above.
"Mr. CEO. Stop making us blush. You tease us every time you see us."
"What are you talking about? You should be complimented since you two were the reason why I got help from S Corporation."
"You know we didn't do anything with the power plant project. We only stayed at the office."
They should receive some incentives since they were the members of S Corporation's branch office in Kazakhstan, but it sounded like they were not receiving any privilege for this project. Youngho still wanted to help them.
"I've been checking the wheat prices this year and had a question. Can you help me with this?"
"Sure, we were told to do anything for you if you asked, Mr. CEO."
"Alright. Can you look at this data and tell me what this means? I just can't make sense out of this."
After looking at the data for a while, they began explaining the details of the data. It was not that Youngho did not understand the data, but he wanted to see if they were capable of basic business a.n.a.lysis. Although he did not study anything about business, he could read such data through the years of his business experience.
"Very well. That makes sense. So, that means Kazakhstan's wheat would not be compet.i.tive despite its cheap price because of the transportation cost."
"That is if you transport the wheat to Northeast Asia. If you sell wheat to the countries near the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea, you'd have compet.i.tiveness. I'm not sure where you can store the wheat there, but the storage cost there is quite cheap."
"We store it at the open storage yard at our wharf, which costs us basically nothing. That's a place that doesn't rain."
After hearing him, his followers were amazed by the natural environment which seemed to be the perfect condition for storing wheat. They had no idea that the dry climate was quite stressful for Youngho.
"Hmmm, that means there's going to be no profit if I want to sell wheat to Korea."
The two were intrigued by Youngho's remark.
"Unless you could deliver wheat in a wholegrain condition, you won't be able to compete against American wheat."
The great effectiveness of whole-wheat was well-known to people already, but it was impossible to deliver it on faraway places without spraying preservatives all over it.
"Okay, it'd be great if we can find a way to transport whole wheat to Korea. Why don't you two work on it?"
"One way is to vacuum-pack whole wheat. These days, people really care about food safety."
"Vacuum-packing organic whole wheat? How long is its shelf life?"
"I heard that it can last for about ten days in a sealed package, but it can last way longer than that in a vacuum package."
Wheat farming was limited because of the state's water deficiency. It was a shame that he could only sell it according to the international grain pricing. If he could sell his wheat as the whole wheat, the value of the wheat would be much higher. Since only a small amount of flour could be vacuum-packed, it would be convenient for potential customers.
"Let's say that we bought the flour mill and vacuum-packing facility here. If you could tell me the net profit of producing and selling the whole mill, I'll teach you how to fly. How about that?"
Trusting their youth and cleverness, Youngho thought that they would come up with an accurate estimate of the net profit considering all the number of cases.
"Are you giving us homework?"
"Homework? That makes me sound like a teacher."
"You're like a teacher to us, Mr. CEO."
Indeed, they always paid attention and listened carefully whenever Youngho was speaking as if they were his students.
"Okay, whatever you say. If you worked together to complete this homework, I'll not only teach you how to fly but also take you to wolf hunting in the winter."
Princess Isabella would be coming to the state in the winter for wolf hunting. His followers would definitely faint if they met the Danish princess.
"Do you go wolf hunting too?"
"Wolfskin products are important trading goods of our autonomous state. It's going to be fun."
"Mr. Lee. I almost took you the wrong way."
H Corporation's Kim Joo-hyuk—who recently became the president of H Rotem—came to discuss the power plant project.
"Mr. Kim, I'm a man of loyalty. How can I not accompany you on such a big project? I want both Korean companies to be successful in Kazakhstan."
"I thought you were done with us when I heard that you were helping S Corporation."
"In fact, I had no idea that H Corporation had experience in building power plants. I called you without expecting anything, but that was a great decision."
"If you didn't, I would've come to get you from Seoul right away, Mr. Lee."
The two were now close enough to make jokes to each other.
"Anyway, the chairman is very appreciative of you. He wanted to reward you for this. If there's anything you need, please do tell us."
"Phew, you know I didn't expect to receive anything from you."
It seemed like H Corporation wanted to invest in Youngho for its future, but Youngho did not want to be seen as if he was eager.
"I did this for Kazakhstan's growth, not for your company. I already received compliments from the president for this. That's good enough."
Most of the other business partners of H Corporation had accepted gifts when the company offered, but Youngho's rejection was quite impressive to Kim Joo-hyuk.
"Mr. Lee. You are indeed different from others. I understand your stance but no matter what you say, I want to do anything to help the autonomous state."
"Oh, I said that's alright."
Youngho was playing tug-of-war with Kim Joo-hyuk.
At this point, Youngho stepped back since he wanted to give Kim Joo-hyuk room to wiggle in. If he refused too much, that would also be seen as rude.
"Mr. Kim, did you hear the announcement that the Kazakh government is going to work on road and railroad construction work in Afghanistan?"
"I wanted to ask you about that too. It seemed like connecting Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan from Almaty would be the shortest and cheapest route."
He had checked different routes already after hearing the government's announcement.
"The president is willing to give some sections of the route to your company's private consortium. It's still in the planning stage at the moment, but if you want to take the job, you might want to give a gift to Kazakhstan to earn its favor."
Kim Joo-hyuk's eyes were opened wide because of Youngho's suggestion.
"What should we do to get that job?"
"I was thinking about us, making a small symbolic icon in Astana the capital of Kazakhstan?"
"What kind of?"
"It could be a park, a library, or maybe a KoreKazakhstan technology cooperation center."
The old president wanted to make Astana the center of education and culture, but with Kazakhstan's current economic situation, he was not able to focus on his plan.
Kim Joo-hyuk clapped at Youngho's opinion. It was something that H Corporation could do easily, and the facility would be a significant icon for H Corporation's achievement in Kazakhstan.
"Mr. Lee. You know this is why I like you so much. Your idea is just brilliant. H Corporation will make a great impression in the Kazakh society if we could build that technology cooperation center. I'll contact each company in the consortium and ask how much they could contribute to this. This is going to be great!"
Kim Joo-hyuk was happy that there was a chance for him to impress the chairman.
He soon announced to the press of Kazakhstan that H Corporation's private consortium would be to build a library and a technology cooperation center as Korea and Kazakhstan's partners.h.i.+p businesses. This happened despite his company not discussing anything with the government yet.
That news made Youngho smile.
The point of the article was this: He was appreciative of the people of Kazakhstan for taking care of Koryoins in the society and he emphasized that a Korean corporation was stepping up to ensure continued cultural and technological exchanges with the country. The size of the library and technology cooperation center would not be terribly huge, but they would have a huge impact on Kazakhstan's society.
A technology cooperation center would be a sort of educational inst.i.tution and H Corporation would be transferring advanced technology to Kazakh people. Also, a library would hold literature and global research papers that were hard to find in the country for free to the public.
The press could not stop praising H Corporation and the Koryoin society was at the center of this attention. Kazakh people were proud to hear that they had been helping Koryoins.
Since the public opinion favored this, Youngho was contacted by the presidential palace.
The president wanted him to visit Astana whenever he could. Since this was a great opportunity to save his face, he got ready to set off to the city.