4th annual China-DPRK Economic, Trade, Culture and Tourism Expo

UPDATE 3 (2015-10-22): According to Yonhap (via the Korea Herald):

 North Korea and China signed preliminary trade deals worth $1.6 billion at their annual trade fair, a roughly 10 percent gain compared to deals signed at last year’s exhibition, according to a Chinese official on Thursday.

North Korea and China have jointly held the trade fair in October since 2012 in the Chinese border city of Dandong, and this year’s four-day fair ended on Sunday. Last year, the two nations inked trade deals worth $1.36 billion.

Pan Shuang, deputy mayor of Dandong, told the International Business Daily newspaper that about 100 North Korean business entities attended the North Korea-China Economic, Trade, Culture and Tourism Expo.

The number of North Korean business entities attending this year was similar to last year, but Pyongyang sent trade officials and diplomats to this year’s exhibition, Pan said.

At this year’s fair, North Korea and China also agreed to launch new tour routes linking the North’s border town of Sinuiju and Dandong, Pan said.

North Korea and China “further solidified their trade bridge through a wide range of exchange and cooperation” during the trade fair, Pan said.

China is North Korea’s economic lifeline and diplomatic backer, although their political ties remain strained over the North’s defiant pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Political relations between North Korea and China showed signs of a thaw after Liu Yunshan, the Chinese Communist Party’s fifth-ranked official, held talks with North Korea’s young leader Kim Jong-un earlier this month in Pyongyang.

UPDATE 2 (2015-10-11): According to Xinhua:

A 400-strong delegation from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) will attend the fourth China-DPRK expo scheduled next week, said organizers.

The China-DPRK Economic, Trade, Cultural and Tourism Expo will be held from Oct. 15 to 18 in northeast China’s Dandong City, with more than 100 exhibition booths for DPRK companies.

China and the DPRK will also discuss the launch of new tourism projects to DPRK during the expo, according to organizers.

Firms from Russia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Thailand, Vietnam, Egypt as well as Hong Kong and Taiwan regions will seek business opportunities at the expo.

Dandong is a key hub for trade, investment and tourism between China and the DPRK. There are more than 600 border trade enterprises in the city, and trade with the DPRK accounts for 40 percent of the city’s total trade turnover.

The Guomenwan trade zone in Dandong is expected to open soon to boost bilateral economic cooperation.

UPDATE 1 (2015-10-2): Yonhap reports on the expo:

North Korea and China will launch a joint trade fair on Oct. 15, with some 400 Chinese companies expected to attend the annual exhibition, according to Chinese media on Friday.

North Korea and China have jointly held the annual trade fair in October since 2012, but the number of North Korean business entities attending the event last year was about 30 percent less than 2013.

About 100 North Korean business entities will take part in the four-day trade fair, which will be held in the Chinese border city of Dandong, according to Chinese media reports.

Besides North Korea and China, companies from Hong Kong, Vietnam, Mongolia and Thailand will join this month’s North Korea-China Economic, Trade, Culture and Tourism Expo.

In the latest sign that Pyongyang and Beijing are trying to increase economic cooperation despite strained political ties, North Korea and China will launch a border trade zone in Dandong on Oct. 15 when the trade fair opens.

The Guomenwan trade zone in Dandong, where more than 70 percent of bilateral trade between the two nations is conducted, would cost a total investment of 1 billion yuan (US$157 million), state-run Xinhua news agency reported in August.

ORIGINAL POST (2015-7-12): Adam Cathcart informs us that the fourth China-DPRK Economic, Trade, Culture and Tourism Expo will be held this year. Info on the first, second, and third expos here.

Here is the website for the event (in Chinese).

According to Cathcart:

The going-forward of the 2015 fair was announced in Dandong at a hotel by the city’s vice-mayor; no North Koreans were listed as attending. Nor were any DPRK officials in attendance[.]

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