Empire Of The Ring - LightNovelsOnl.com
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"Your Highness, congratulations."
"I'm not ready to pop the champagne yet, but I don't think there's any other variable. Prepare to set up a local factory in Vladivostok."
"Building a local factory in Russia was already ready a few years ago, so there is nothing to be done about it. And our working-level officials have already left for Vladivostok. There was a request from the Russian Railway Administration for an on-site survey."
"The Russian officials, who are famous for being slow, are moving pretty fast."
"The official doc.u.ment said that President Putin and the Duke of Kazakhstan had discussed it. The Korean government is quite surprised by this. This time, Korean railroad officials requested to accompany our workers, and we had a hard time refusing them."
"What about the Korean Railroad?"
"I hear you're considering linking Korea to the trans-Siberian train."
"Well, that's quite premature to think that."
"Isn't that what you requested to the Russian government?"
"I've asked the head of Russia's National Railroad, but the question is whether North Korea, which holds the key, agrees..."
Russia was also moving fast, knowing that connecting the Trans-Siberian train to the Korean Peninsula would have a huge synergy effect.
Their intention must be to make full use of Youngho's Korean origin and put the South Korean government to take charge of the railroad construction in the North Korean section.
South Korea would naturally welcome the offer, and North Korea would not be able to easily reject Russia's suggestion.
North Korea would not even sniffle at the request of other countries, but if it upset Russia, it would have to be prepared to lose its back. However, it would also be an attractive suggestion for North Korea because it was an opportunity to simply pa.s.s the train and earn profits.
The Russian government was quickly working on Youngho's idea.
"Your Highness, our group was developed from a construction company. To be honest, just supplying trains to the Trans-Siberian Railway business is not enough. We also want to partic.i.p.ate in the railway business ourselves, so please help me."
"I was going to ask your group anyway. But since it's a long-term investment project, I'm a little hesitant to actively recommend it."
It was hard to recommend the project because the invested money would be recovered throughout 20 years from the train's operating income. This was all the more so because Russian policies for investors often changed.
"Korea's construction companies can form a consortium and spread the risk."
"That would be one way. Then, you should organize it and create a separate joint venture."
Companies of the U.S., France, and Germany could partic.i.p.ate individually because they had plenty of money, but Korean builders could only grow in size if a number of companies joined together.
"We are currently coordinating in Korea. It's such a big project that we don't even have to compete among domestic companies. Of course, we do it together with financial inst.i.tutions, but without basic physical strength, it's hard to survive for 20 years."
"We were going to rule out excessive compet.i.tion between Korean companies, but fortunately, you came up with a reasonable plan in your group."
"We decided not to compete with domestic companies for big projects abroad."
"I'm glad to hear that. How long will it last?"
"Most of the projects we've won from abroad resulted in loss, and we can't afford it anymore."
"If you regain your strength, you'll be competing again."
Kim Joo-hyuk was also not able to resist what Youngho said.
The Trans-Siberian train project was a 20-year-long project, so the companies would be careful with their investments, but they would compete in large construction projects that were placed elsewhere. There was just an infinite race to survive.
"If Korean companies are united in the Trans-Siberian Railway project, we will take a lot of Korean builders into large projects in Russia. But please don't let me down."
"Is Russia planning to place many orders for big projects in the future?"
"Think of Russia's area. It has tremendous potential for development. When the Trans-Siberian Railway is activated, work is bound to pour in. That will lead to normal construction orders, whether it's paid in cash or raw materials. Even then, you'd be made fun of if you lose due to excessive compet.i.tion."
"You mean to refrain from individual contact with Russia."
"Yes. Don't just target construction orders, get paid the right price for them. If you compete for blood and embarra.s.s Kazakhstan, we wouldn't let it go."
It was kind of a warning.
This meant that Korean companies could do whatever they wanted in other countries, but they should not compete with each other in Russia or Central Asia.
Youngho had seen many cases where builders that won low-priced orders from abroad recover their losses by export policy funds or long-term low-interest policy financing.
In the end, it was the same as recovering it with tax.
If they repeated such low-priced orders, which only made the ordering organization laugh, Youngho wanted to block them even by exercising his ability.
Kim Joo-hyuk was surprised when Youngho took an unprecedented tough stance.
He could understand the meaning of refraining from low-priced orders but forcing to stop self-compet.i.tion was tantamount to interference in management.
This was because construction companies sometimes received low-cost orders even if they would lose money to improve their cash flow or improve their reputation.
"Your Highness, it may be natural for companies to compete to survive. You may be misunderstood as violating the management rights of Korean companies."
"I'm only talking about the projects where the Kazakh royal family is in charge. And we will make sure that Korean companies get a fair profit. On the other hand, it means that our royal family will not suffer damage."
"We will send a letter of cooperation to Korean companies to prevent them from taking individual actions. But there may be some companies that don't listen."
"In that case, I'm going to respond as I said."
"If Korean companies push into low-priced orders despite the fact that they have secured a foothold in Russia, the status of the Kazakh royal family will be reduced. I'm not going to sit idle on that."
"I see what you mean. We will fully cooperate with the Kazakh royal family."
The consulting for the Trans-Siberian Railway project had been entrusted to the Swedish Information Agency which held great consulting capabilities and showed excellence at attracting investment companies.
Naturally, Eriksson was in charge of communicating with the Information Agency and selecting investment companies.
However, Youngho was not free either.
Persuading individual members of the Arctic Council was left to him.
If any of the eight members of the Arctic Council objected, things would go wrong, so he had to move very carefully.
Canada, Denmark, Norway, and Finland were the only countries that were close to the Arctic Ocean after Russia, and Denmark was the only place where territorial waters were in contact.
The other countries were the United States, Sweden, and Iceland.
It was almost impossible to solve it with Youngho's ability because it was a politically sensitive issue. This could only be solved if the U.S. took the lead.
So, he had to ask Michael for help. It was also the fastest way.
-You've been frequently mentioned by the press lately. What made you call me, Duke?
"I didn't think you'd be interested in my business, but I guess you've been watching closely."
-How can I not as the Director of the U.S. Intelligence when you've been meeting with Putin? I hear you are in charge of the Trans-Siberian Railway project.
"You know that's not the purpose, right?"
-I'm not even a fortuneteller. How can I know what's inside of your mind?
"I'll tell you the good news first. Russia is opening the Baltic-White Sea Ca.n.a.l."
-Is that true? How can Putin make such a decision without losing his mind?
"I have another piece of good news. He's not going to insist on other things any longer except for the exclusive economic zone."
-I don't know what he's up to after all that stubbornness. Or did you drug Putin?
Michael was very surprised.
The development of the Arctic Circle had been parallel because of Russia's stubbornness, but it was doubtful that Putin suddenly changed his mind.
The reason Russia was lukewarm about developing the Arctic Ocean was that it might create loopholes in its security.
That was why it maintained a powerful military presence in the Arctic Ocean.
"It's a rational decision. If the rest of the member states don't insist on the continental shelf, Russia will make concessions."
-That's great. Canada is planning to set up a military base in the Arctic Ocean, but we need to stop it. You can't break the good mood.
"Why don't the U.S. take the lead in this atmosphere? I'd like to take this opportunity to tie the knot."
-Of course, we should take the lead. But I think there's a reason why you're trying so hard to make this. Whether the members of the Arctic Council agree doesn't have anything to do with Kazakhstan. What is it?
"It's all about using the Baltic-White Sea at our convenience. And it'd be better if we could be an observer of the Arctic Council."
-Are you sure that's all?
"If we use the ca.n.a.l, we can cut the distance by 4,000 kilometers, and that in itself is a huge deal."
-Kazakhstan already qualifies as an observer state of the Arctic Council, what do you mean?
"Well, I guess I want to get nominated for the n.o.bel Peace Prize."
"By the way, it seems that the pressure of the Arctic Council members to make it an exclusive economic zone as far as the continental shelf can reach made Putin change his mind. He probably couldn't endure it any longer"
-You've persuaded Putin well. Anyway, thanks to you, the countries involved will be able to cool off now. So now the ball has come to me.
"That's why I've called you. Please take the lead in persuading the rest of the member states."
-Well, we didn't do much in this, but we'd be taking the credit.
"It's also the most important job. And I hope American companies will partic.i.p.ate in the Trans-Siberian Railway project, too. Please recommend companies with funding."
-It'll be a shame if the U.S. gets involved when it is at the forefront of economic sanctions.
Even with economic sanctions, European countries had long been doing business with Russia for oil and gas. Also, a global company in the U.S. was already operating a daily necessities plant in Russia with the introduction of Youngho.
"If Russia had made that concession in the Arctic Ocean, wouldn't the U.S. have to give in something equal?"
-I'll discuss it with the political community. We are very interested in Siberia, too. With this job, there will be no problem with Kazakhstan becoming an observer of the Arctic Council.
"It doesn't matter. If the cargo s.h.i.+ps of Arirang can freely sail through the Arctic Ocean, we will be satisfied with that."
-If anyone hears about it, they'd think the Duke of Kazakhstan is an angel.
"Well, we'll see if I'm an angel or a devil."
-Oh, well, stay as an angel as much as possible. I don't want to see you turn into a devil.
"So please advertise that you shouldn't mess with me. It's a ha.s.sle to explain everything."
-I'll let the Arctic Council members know. See you soon in Tromsø, Norway.
"In Tromsø? Why do you want to meet there?"
-Don't you know there's a permanent secretariat of the Arctic Council?
"Is that so? There's a polar development company of the Kazakh royal family as well."
-When did you make an office there?
"Our cargo s.h.i.+ps going to Siberia receive supplies from Tromsø. So I set up a polar development company a few years ago."
-It's kind of creepy to call it a coincidence. Do you have any foresight?