DPRK's avant-garde economic zone aspires for new development

Source:Xinhua Published: 2012-8-28 16:19:52

Rason Economic and Trade Zone, an avant-garde special economic zone of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), is hoping to push its own development by a high-profile trade fair.

The second Rason International Trade Fair showcased electrical equipment, light industrial products, machinery, commodities, cars and motorcycles, both domestic and foreign-produced.

China-made cars decorated with red flowers and parked outside the Rason exhibition hall were one of the most popular exhibits, attracting inquiries from many DPRK companies and other exhibition-goers.

Those attending ranged from representatives of manufacturers, who paid close attention to product design and quality, to casual viewers, particularly women, who paid more attention to the food, clothes and cosmetics stands.

The fair, which was held on Aug. 20-23, attracted more than 110 companies from the DPRK, China, Russia, the Czech Republic and Sweden.

At the opening ceremony, a senior local official said the DPRK government would protect foreigners' investment and legitimate rights under laws and regulations in a bid to woo more foreign investment.

A promotional video on the special zone's natural geographic conditions, the current development and long-term planning was also screened during an investment-related seminar for exhibitors, companies and foreign investors at the fair.

The Rason zone, which is next to Yanbian Prefecture in northeast China's Jilin province, was established in 1991 to boost economic growth through foreign investment, and has a strong Chinese presence.

Cars with Chinese license plate are visible in the city, China's currency, Renminbi, is used in the local market, and road signs are in both Korean and Chinese.

Chinese tourists have flocked to a beach in the northern part of Rason city, and staff at one hotel said rooms were packed with Chinese customers.

Moreover, China has played a key role in infrastructure and transportation projects, which have been increasing in the zone.

China would build No. 4 to 6 piers at Rajin Port in Rason, DPRK's major ice-free harbor adjacent to China and Russia, and was using No. 1 and 2 piers, while Russia had leased No. 3 pier, said an official in charge of foreign affairs of the port.

Meanwhile, the renovation of a cross-border railway linking Rajin to Russia's Far Eastern border town of Khasan is under way, and a 50-km two-lane road from Rason to Huichun in China's Jilin Province has been built, which will further boost bilateral trade between China and the DPRK.

Posted in: Asia-Pacific

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