Chinese investors hope to make a North Korean free trade zone the biggest in Northeast Asia
Officials from China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) have reached a consensus to jointly develop two economic zones in the DPRK, according to a press release issued by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce on Thursday.
From Tuesday to Thursday, Chinese and DPRK officials convened in northeast China’s Liaoning and Jilin provinces for the second meeting of the Development Cooperation and Joint Steering Committee.
Their meeting concerned the development of the Rason Economic and Trade Zone and the Hwanggumphyong and Wihwa Islands Economic Zone.
The joint development of the two economic zones in the DPRK will be “government-guided, enterprise-based and market-oriented,” according to the press release.
Both sides agreed to work together and give full play to their respective advantages in the development of the economic zones, the release said.
China and the DPRK have agreed to build the economic zones into a model of Sino-DPRK economic and trade cooperation and a platform to promote economic and trade cooperation with the rest of the world, the release said.
Both sides also held launching ceremonies for several cooperative projects during the meeting, according to the press release.
The meeting was jointly presided over by Chen Deming, Chinese Minister of Commerce, and Jang Song Taek, the administrative director of the Korean Workers’ Party.
The committee held its first meeting in the DPRK’s capital of Pyongyang last November.
The Rason Economic and Trade Zone is located in the DPRK city of Rason, which is adjacent to Yanbian Prefecture in northeast China’s Jilin Province. The Hwanggumphyong and Wihwa Islands Economic Zone is located near the estuary of the Yalu River, a border river between the DPRK and China.