Exploring the Rason SEZ’s International Trade Exhibition, Future Investment Opportunities & the Economic Environment
August 18-23, 2018
6 Days / 5 Nights
Yanji | Tumen | Quenhe/Wonjong | Rajin | Songbong | Pipha Island | Hunchon | Yanji
Note: We will be offering a 2-day extension to Kyongsong, Chongjin, Mt. Chilbo, and other areas of North Hamgyong province.
We will update the program soon, please contact us if you are interested. Contact us if you are interested.
*Note: This is NOT a tour or handled by a tour company. Tour companies are restricted to tourism activities and cannot have meetings with government and DPRK business people. This is an official delegation visit that includes unique interactions with DPR Korean business people and special access to investment and trade-related events as well as onsite visits. This would not be possible on a tourist visa.
Click HERE to read the PRESS RELEASE
100 EURO DISCOUNT if you register before July 12
This trade and investment development mission led by Michael Spavor explores the current economic environment and various business opportunities in NE China, the Rason Special Economic Zone in North Korea (DPRK). We will observe and participate in the 8th annual 2018Rason International Trade Exhibition (RITE) located in the city of Rajin. During this delegation, we will meet with foreign experts, DPR Korean, Chinese and Chinese-Korean business people, government officials, and attend seminars and meetings while experiencing this region’s unique character and charm.
We will also enjoy some of the local Chinese, Chinese-Korean, and DPR Korean cultural sites and culinary specialties and learn more about the economics, politics, and history of this diverse region of the world located in what has been called the Tumen Triangle.
Paektu Cultural Exchange has been participating in the RITE for the past 6 years. We have unparalleled access and deep relationships with our Rason government partners and stakeholders because of our years of collaborative projects in the Special Economic Zone. Our joint projects have involved economic research, business introductions, environmental surveys, eco-tourism initiatives, organizing investment seminars and knowledge exchange projects.
✪ Attend the Opening Ceremonies of the Rason International Trade Exhibition (RITE) including a reception dinner and an evening of networking with VIP guests and top Rason officials.
✪ Attend the Forum on Investment in the Rason International Trade Zone, presented by government officials, where participants can learn about the region and many potential investment projects, followed by a Q&A.
✪ Explore the exhibits and booths and participate in the RITE, interacting and asking questions to local business people interested in finding overseas partners to sell or wholesale their products and services.
✪ Discuss with representatives of the People´s Committee for Science and Technology about joint environment projects including sustainable tourism projects in Rason, as well as meetings with representatives from the Rason City People’s Committee.
✪ Visit Rajin’s Ice Free Port to see the Russian coal port, the Chinese port, and the DPR Korea port
✪ Visit Rason’s Golden Triangle Bank, one of the only places in the DPRK where it is possible for foreigners to exchange for Korean money and also get a DPRK debit card
✪ Visit the bustling Rason Central Market & Seafood Market
✪ Site Inspections of local and joint venture factories and businesses to learn more hands-on knowledge about doing business in the zone, including a brewery, a bag factory, a seafood plant, and the JV shoe factory run by a Korean-American expat
✪ Visit a Joint DPRK-Chinese Industrial Complex (located near Yanji) with a number of factories and thousands of DPRK laborers to observe successful economic cooperation taking place in the region.
✪ Private meetings and wrap-up sessions with trade officials, exhibitors and local business people and other contacts for more serious and detailed trade discussions
✪ Lecture, discussion and Q&A with a local Chinese-Korean professor, with topics including regional border trade, current and past Sino-DPRK and Northeast Asia political/economic issues, the current situation of trade and investment in the DPRK, the Rason SEZ and Tumen Triangle Area, etc.
✪ 3-hour scenic drive along the Chinese-DPRK border to the Quenhe/Wonjong crossing
✪ Take a leisure walk through the city park and along the beach to mingle with locals and relax, while sampling locally made European beers and food at a previously Czech-owned and operated microbrewery in Rason
✪ Visit the newly opened Children’s Palace and watch a variety of performances
✪ Lunch at the Ukrainian-run JV restaurant
✪ Visit the Emperor Hotel & Casino, which is wholly owned by Hong Kong investors
✪ Visit the Thai-DPRK JV Telecommunications Centre, where it is possible to buy local phone cards, and see what electronics and cell phones are available to the local public
✪ Guided walking tour at the Yanji West Market
✪ Sample Yanbian-style Cold Noodles and other local Chinese-Korean delicacies
Saturday, August 17th – Wednesday, August 23nd, 2018 – (6 days / 5 nights)
✪ We will Depart China from Yanji, Jilin province in the early morning of August 18th. There is a pre-departure briefing, lecture, and seminar on August 17th (the specific location and time will be sent to registered participants.) This program also ends in Yanji, China on August 23rd.
Day 0: Friday, August 17th, 2018
- Guided walking tour at the Yanji West Market
- We will take a look at the colorful goods for sale paying specific attention to goods imported from the DPRK and talking to local sellers about their business. This will include personal anecdotes, stories and sampling some of the local delicacies.
- Lunch -Yanbian Style Cold noodles and other local Chinese-Korean delicacies
- Lecture, Discussion and Q&A with Kim Kang-il PhD or Hyun Dong-il, PhD from Yanbian University, North East Asia Research Centre and Institute of International Politics (see “Guest Lecturers & Professors” Tab for more information)
- Topics: regional border trade, current and past Sino-DPRK and Northeast Asia political/economic issues, the current situation of trade and investment in the DPRK, the Rason SEZ and Tumen Triangle Area, among other topics.
- DPRK Pre-trip briefing and Q&A
- Dinner and Discussion with local Chinese-Korean businessmen -most definitely followed by optional drinking, dancing, and singing.
- Check out Yanji’s Nightlife
- Overnight: Liujing (Ryugyong) Hotel
Day 1: Saturday, August 18th, 2018
- We depart early in the morning from Yanji to the city of Tumen.
- PCE has special permission to visit a joint-venture factory in a private industrial complex where about 2000-3000 DPR Korean laborers are employed to produce electronic goods and engage in food processing and other manufacturing. For lunch will sample some local Chinese-Korean cuisine and learn about its history as well as the uniqueness comparing North and South Korean cuisine.
- Following the factory visit, we will visit the bridge in Tumen to get a view into the DPRK Bordertown of Tumen
- We take a walk along the Tumen bridge the second most important border crossing in the region. It is possible to buy many souvenirs here not available in the DPRK, and is also an interesting place to analyze DPRK-Chinese trade.
- Drive along the Tumen river for a glimpse into rural life then arrive at the Quanhe-Wonjong, DPRK-China border immigration to enter the DPRK’s first and most successful Special Economic Zone. We have permission to speak to local officials and view some of the city’s newest infrastructure developments.
- We will walk around the Rason City Port, which is currently being used to ship Russian coal to several China ports.
- We have also been invited by the local university to observe classes and speak to some of the students and faculty. In the evening, we can enjoy European beer and food at the Czech micro-brewery where we can learn about this European start-up.
- Overnight: Rajin, Namsan Hotel
Day 2: Sunday, August 19th, 2018
- We will visit a tobacco & garment factory in the morning to speak with the manager and tour the facilities.
- We will then visit the Pipa Beach to relax, dance and spend time with the local families, bathers
- Surf and Turf Lunch will be served on the beach where we can share and get to know locals enjoying themselves around us.
- Dinner at the city’s famous noodle restaurant (Korean food)
- Visit to the Emperor Hotel & Casino, which is wholly owned by Hong Kong investors. It is said to be the best hotel in the entire country and here we can share some stories about its interesting past. This is one of the most successful private enterprises in the DPRK.
- Optional: Evening activities include an optional professional massage (about 15 USD per hour)
- Visit a local pub for some local craft brews and delicacies.
- Overnight: Rajin, Namsan Hotel
Day 3: Monday, August 20th, 2018
✪ Attend the Opening Ceremonies of the Rason International Trade Exhibition (RITE)
✪ Attend the Forum on Investment in the Rason International Trade Zone, presented by government officials, where participants can learn about the region and many potential investment projects, followed by a Q&A
✪ We will explore the exhibits and booths with our DPRK and PCE guides interacting and asking questions to local business people interested in finding overseas partners to sell or wholesale their products and services. Thousands of curious locals come to see and acquire foreign goods which are on display and for sale here. We are able to arrange private meetings with individual exhibitors to find out more information and make new business contacts.
✪ Discuss with representatives of the People´s Committee for Science and Technology about joint environment projects in Rason, as well as meetings with representatives from the Rason City People’s Commi
✪ Attend the Official Reception dinner and an evening of networking with VIP guests and top Rason officials
– We often go to a local Karaoke bar to sing and dance with our Rason government partners
– Overnight: Rajin, Namsan Hotel
Day 4: Tuesday, August 21st, 2018
- Morning walk around the city of Rason
- Visit Rason’s Golden Triangle Bank, the only place where it is possible to change into Korean money legally as a foreigner. You are also able to get a DPRK debit card here.
- Visit the bustling Rason Central Market & Seafood Market. Here we can see the only market westerners can visit in the entire country. We can window shop, bargain, look at the local foods and commercial products for sale and even get an authentic DPRK suit made here. Whilst cameras are not allowed this is a real treat. We also take the opportunity to buy some of the best and cheapest seafood available, which will be cooked for us by our hotel in the evening.
- Lunch at the Ukrainian run JV restaurant.
- School children performance
- Visit the newly built Rason School Children’s Bag Factory
- Visit a joint-venture shoe factory run by a resident foreign businessman, we will get a chance to learn about how business is conducted as an expat in this Economic Zone.
- Transfer to Pipha Hotel, where they will cook up the fresh ingredients that we purchased from the market at their restaurant. Singing, dancing, and drinking commonly follow most meals here for those who are interested.
- Overnight: Rajin, Namsan Hotel
Day 5: Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018
- We return to the Rason International Trade Exhibition for additional meetings wrap-up sessions with trade officials, matched exhibitors and local businessmen for more serious and detailed discussions.
- Take a leisure walk through the city park and along the beach to mingle with locals and relax. Have a few locally made European Beers and food at the Czech owned and operated micro-brewery which is located near the beach.
- Lunch -DPRK Chinese-style cuisine
- We spend the afternoon visiting the local and joint venture factories and businesses and learn more hands-on knowledge about doing business in the zone.
- We will visit Rajin’s Ice free port Port to check out the new Russian, Chinese, and older Korean parts of it, as well as look at the ship previously used for tourist cruises.
- Dinner and drinks in Rajin Central Square (weather permitting open-air). The restaurant we will be using has private rooms and areas that will be perfect for last drinks and meetings with officials, which can be arranged prior to our departure
- Visit to the Thai DPRK JV Telecommunications Centre, where it is possible to buy local phone cards, and see what electronics and cell phones are available to the local public.
- Overnight: Rajin, Namsan Hotel
Day 6: Thursday, August 23rd, 2018
- Departure for China via three points pass, where China, North Korea, and Russia all meet.
- Korean-Chinese customs formalities at Wonjong-Quenhe border crossing
- After clearing customs we take the short drive to Tumen city
- Dinner – Chinese-Korean style pizza
- After dinner, we have farewell drinks and a talk about business opportunities in the Rason SEZ
- Overnight: Yanji, Hotel
Please plan to arrive on Friday, August 18th in morning at the latest. A pre-departure meeting will be held at PCE Office in Yanji, China for a briefing on safety and security, itinerary review, and Q&A.
Detailed itinerary, locations and times will be sent to registered participants.
Departure from Yanji, China to the Rason SEZ, DPRK
By private vehicle: Departure at 11:30 am from Yanji|
Saturday, August 18th, 2018
Return from the Rason SEZ (DPRK) to Yanji, China
By private vehicle: Arrival back in Yanji, China at 6:00 pm
Thursday, August 23rd, 2018
- Standard Package – 1,290 Euro
- This includes travel permits, official visa (not a tourist visa), accommodation (double occupancy), business introductions, information sessions, trade fair entrance, VIP meals, lectures, meetings and other events in the DPRK.
- Deposit – 40% deposit to hold your space (limited) on a first come first serve basis (non-refundable)
- Application Deadline: July 29th, 2018 (Japanese before July 19th)
✪ All meals (breakfasts, lunches, and dinners; meals include water and beer)
✪ Transportation to, from and within the DPRK and China during the program
✪ Accommodation in the DPRK and including August 18th in China (4-star hotel, standard shared room)
✪ PCE’s Trade and Investment booklet
✪ Smiles, jokes, anecdotes, basic DPR Korean language skills and some fun and interesting stories to go along with each day’s activities.
✪ Official DPRK visa fee (50-80 Euro depending on nationality) – Please note: this is not a tourist visa.
Official DPRK visas afford delegation members the ability to schedule private meetings with DPRK officials. This would not be possible with a tourist visa.
✪ Chinese double-entry visa (required) – Please Note: for more information, contact the Chinese Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence. Some nationalities (e.g. Americans, Canadians, etc.) may qualify for the Free Beijing 72-hour Visa when flying in and out of Pyongyang
✪ Additional snacks, liquor, and alcohol (e.g. ~1–3 Euro per beer)
✪ Souvenirs, personal expenses, and other amenities
✪ Tips for Korean guides and drivers (usually expect to tip about 10-15 Euro in total per day)
✪ Hotel and meals are NOT covered on Saturday, August 18th. Contact us and we can arrange or recommend a suitable hotel for you in Yanji.
Upgrades and Options
✪ Single room supplement fee (if you would like your own single room) Add +50 Euro per night
✪ Room upgrades available for additional charges (Deluxe, Suite or Presidential Suite etc.)
For more information or any questions please feel free to contact us.
Based on your individual or company profile, we can request specialized meetings concerning specific investment and trade projects. Please advise us as early as possible and PCE will do it’s very best to accommodate your interests.
PCE utilizes its high-level contacts with government officials and more than 20 years of relationships to organize unique meetings and activities that would otherwise not be possible.
Foreign participants and exhibitors at the 2015 Rason International Trade Exhibition, opening ceremonies (Aug. 2015).
About the Rason International Trade Exhibition (RITE)
The Rason International Trade Exhibition is organized by the Rason Exhibition Corporation and has been held every year since 2011. At the exhibition, a variety of goods, technologies, marketing, investment and trade opportunities will be displayed. Additionally, there will be company information sessions, meetings, and presentations, alongside company and factory visits.
This is a rare opportunity for businesses interested in entering the DPRK market to sell and test products at sales booths during the trade fair. Additionally, this is an excellent opportunity to network with well-established DPR Korean entrepreneurs and businessmen and develop an in-depth understanding of the current emerging markets and joint venture projects.
The RITE publishes exhibitor’s profiles, contact details and other useful information for participants. Prepare for a first-hand look at Made in DPRK products and services including garment manufacturing, seafood processing, light industry, medicine, and agriculture.
For those businesses interested in setting up a booth at the exhibition please contact PCE for more information.
Paektu Cultural Exchange is a social enterprise dedicated to promoting ethical business with a focus on social impact. A significant portion of the delegation fees will support Paektu Cultural Exchange’s Project Samjiyon, providing school supplies and language learning materials to less accessible rural elementary schools in northern Kanggye and Chagang provinces. This is a joint project between Paektu Cultural Exchange and ministry-level DPRK government partners. All donated materials are strictly designed to benefit primary school children and their educators.
Interpreter and DPRK Business Advisor
Guide & Cultural Interpreter
Paektu Cultural Exchange Director
Michael has spent over 18 years living, working and studying in both North and South Korea and is fluent in the DPRK dialect. He first visited the DPRK in 2001 then again in 2005; he became the managing director of a Canadian NGO operating in Pyongyang.
He also has extensive experience in South Korea working for government tourism organizations, but in the past decade, he has focused on organizing and facilitating trade, investment, cultural, academic, and specialized delegations to the DPRK. Michael has strong professional and personal relationships with the country’s leadership, and across different ministries and departments throughout the entire country.
He organized the Dennis Rodman 2013 and 2014 visits, the basketball match between the DPRK and former NBA players as well as cultural heritage restoration projects with the Dutch Prince Claus Fund.
Michael studied International Relations focusing on the Korean Peninsula and East Asian Studies in Canada then went on to study International Trade and Political Science in Korean.
Disclaimer: This itinerary is tentative and subject to changes. It is quite normal for small changes to happen to any delegation to the DPRK. PCE and our hosts always do our best to accommodate within our abilities. In the event of itinerary changes, PCE will arrange relevant alternative activities. All payments are subject to PCE terms and conditions.
For more information on this delegation and/or other business opportunities, please contact:
contact@PaektuCulturalExchange.org | Phone: +86 156-9898-1948
This delegation has been organized by Paektu Cultural Exchange (PCE)