Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES)
North Korea-China Economic, Trade, Cultural, and Trade Expo is scheduled to be held from October 12 to 16, 2012 at Dandong City, Liaoning Province. The expo will be jointly hosted by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Liaoning Provincial Committee, Liaoning People’s Friendship Association, and Dandong Municipal People’s Government.
China accounts for 90 percent of North Korea’s foreign trade. Approximately 70 percent of this trade comes through Dandong. Currently, Dandong is gaining both domestic and international attention as the construction of the New Yalu River Bridge is nearing completion and progress on the Hwanggumpyong and Wihwa Islands Special Economic Zone is advancing.
North Korea-China Economic, Trade, Cultural, and Trade Expo will provide a place for not only product exhibits but will provide consultation for economic and trade cooperation, cultural exchanges and tourism. From the North Korean side, the largest trade investment company and government agency in charge of overseas labor export will be in attendance.
Over 500 booths and sections are ready for the expo and over 5,000 participants from foreign buyers are expected to attend. Over 100 companies and a 300-member economic-and-trade delegation will be coming from North Korea.
North Korea has recently held briefing sessions in Beijing for North Korean SEZs in Rajin and Hwangumpyong and Wihwa Islands from September 26 to 27. This two-day event was organized by the North Korean Committee for the Promotion of Economic Cooperation and China’s private GBD Public Diplomacy and Culture Exchange Center.
This event was an exclusive, invitation-only event, inviting major Chinese companies with investment interest in North Korea. There were over 100 officials from 30 different state-run corporations from North Korea present at the session to provide detailed information about 50 investment projects. The participants were required to pay an entrance fee and news media were prohibited from the event.
China’s Overseas Investment Federation (COIF) and North Korea Investment Office (NKIO) signed an agreementon September 22 to jointly launch the “Special Fund for Investment in North Korea.” NKIO is an overseas investment body subordinate to the Joint Venture and Investment Committee of North Korea (JVIC).
According to a Chinese media source, both states have set 3 billion RMB (476 million USD) as the goal for the fund; but in the initial stage, 1 billion RMB (159 million USD) will be utilized first to develop urgently needed urban infrastructure facilities focusing on mining, real estate, and port industries.