The package of economic agreements signed by China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea marks the solid progress that has been made in bilateral trade and investment cooperation.
They will not only help boost the DPRK’s battered economy. More importantly, they will contribute to the overall stability of the Korean Peninsula.
The two countries signed agreements on the establishment of management commissions for the two special economic zones of Rason, and Hwanggumpyong and Wihwa Islands. They also agreed to cooperate in agriculture, technology and other areas.
The agreements, which have been reached at a time when China is suffering as a result of the current global economic difficulties, are testimony to China’s consistent commitment to helping the DPRK develop its economy and improve the well-being of its people.
Despite the many political and security incidents that have erupted on the Korean Peninsula in recent years, China-DPRK trade relations have been continually growing. The bilateral trade volume jumped to about $3.5 billion in 2010 from about $1 billion in 2003. Last year, it rocketed to $5.7 billion.
The growing trade links will provide the DPRK with the commodities and equipment necessary to feed its people and improve the productivity of its industry.
But what could be even more valuable is that such cooperation will enable China to offer the DPRK its expertise in managing a transitional economy. China has made remarkable achievements in shaking off poverty and finding a development path that best suits its conditions and the DPRK could benefit tremendously from China’s experience.
In the meantime, increased bilateral cooperation will provide China’s northeastern regions with more investment options and the low labor and operation costs in the DPRK will reduce their production costs.
A potential and more significant benefit of the agreements is that as the DPRK’s economy stabilizes, people’s livelihoods will improve.
China Today, Beijing (Aug. 15)