Kim Jong-il “warmly welcomed [Sawiris’] DPRK visit taking place at a time when Orascom’s investment is making successful progress in different fields of the DPRK, including telecommunications,” reported the Korea Central News Agency on Monday.
Sawiris was invited to a private dinner held in his honor by the reclusive North Korean leader.
Orascom holds a 75 percent stake in Cheo Technology, the operator of North Korea’s only 3G cellular network. The remaining stake is held by the North Korean government.
In the two years since its launch, the network has received over 300,000 subscribers. 3G signal is not within reach of 75 percent of the population, the company announced in November 2010.
Orascom has made other investments in North Korea, including investment in a cement factory in 2007 and a local bank in 2008.