China and North Korea have further strengthened their commitment to the development of new economic zones on the North Korea side of their shared border as major OEMs will be enticed with the prospect of tax breaks, cheap labor and land, and access to China and overseas markets.
China plans to build a three-pier terminal and a railroad into China at a special economic zone at Rason in North Korea, which boasts an ice-free harbor almost year-round near the Chinese border.
Leading officials from both governments met this week and reports suggest advisors to Kim Jong-Un, who took power after the death last year of his father Kim Jong-Il, emphasized the zones would be critical to improving North Korea’s impoverished economy.
This week’s governmental meeting further cemented the Rason project, which will focus on technology, apparel and logistics. It also pushed forward plans for the Hwanggumphyong and Wihwado Economic Zone. HWEZ will be located on two islands across the Yalu River from the Chinese city of Dandong. North Korea approved a 50-year lease of the islands by China last year.
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