NKorean Rason special economic zone to stage first intl trade fair

PYONGYANG, August 14 (Itar-Tass) — The first international trade fair will be held in the Rason special economic zone in North Korea between August 22 and 25, reported the KCNA news agency on Sunday.

According to the agency, goods of companies from various countries and regions will be put on display at the fair. The exhibition “will promote regional development of cooperation in the economy, trade, science and technologies,” the agency noted. This was also confirmed to reporters by the head of the Rason city people committee.

The North Korean mass media give much attention to the zone in the recent past, hoping to turn it into “the leading trading centre of all North East Asia”.

Foreign investors and businessmen have a chance to pursue their various economic and trade activities, “using profitable forms of capital investments”. The committee head added that “foreign investments, profits and rights of foreign companies are guarded by law in the DPRK”.

The special economic zone in Rason was set up in 1991. Then, the North Korean leadership launched active operations to lure there foreign companies, including from China, Russia and South Korea. The zone repealed the income tax and customs duties for them as one of measures.

The zone was granted the status of “a special city” in January 2010. Cooperation with Russia is of great importance for Rason’s development. In October 2008, the Tumangan border station in North Korea witnessed the ceremony of laying down the first section of the modernised railway between Khasan and Rajin, the main port of the Rason zone.

On April 24, 2008, Russia and North Korea signed an agreement of cooperation, under which the sides planned to implement joint pilot Khasan-Rajin project, including reconstruction of a 52-kilometre railway, construction of a container terminal at the Rajin port as well as subsequent operation of the infrastructure.

On the whole, reconstruction of the Trans-Korean Railway will help freight trains to effect high-speed traffic from the seaport of Rajin to the Russian Khasan border station with a subsequent exit to the Trans-Siberian Railway.

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