China/North Korea financial integration

Last week we discussed the growing presence of North Korean companies in Russia.  This week, the Daily NK reports on China’s first steps at financial integration with North Korea:

China has introduced a new settlement system which allows North Korean business to open bank accounts in China and settle business transactions in Yuan, the Nikkei reported on Sunday.

With the adoption of the system, North Korean people and companies can open Yuan bank accounts within China after some formalities and use the accounts for trade settlement with their Chinese business partners. Accordingly, North Korea is now able to buy foreign currencies such as dollars and euros with its Yuan income from trade. In addition, North Korea can legally bring in foreign currencies or send them to third countries.

North Korean companies used to have difficulties of making a trade settlement with China in cash or by barter since the U.S. enacted financial sanctions on North Korea and China imposed economic sanctions regarding remittance and bank accounts after North Korea’s nuclear tests. However, China too suffered from the sanctions as the amount of Yuan smuggled into North Korea has skyrocketed proportional to the increasing volume of trade between North Korea and China.

The new settlement system will help reinvigorate the trade between two countries. However, the system can cause concerns at the Six Party Talks as it lowers the bargaining power needed to pressure North Korea to give up its nuclear programs, the Nikkei said.

Meanwhile, the People’s Government of Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture announced last February that Jilin Province would allow North Korean people and companies operating in China to open Yuan bank accounts for trade purpose starting with February 20, 2008.

You can read the full article here:
China Lifts Sanctions on North Korea
Daily NK
Park Eun Jae


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