Exploring the Rason SEZ's International Trade Exhibition, Investment Opportunities & Economic Environment 

August 4-9, 2017

6 Days / 5 Nights

Yanji | Quenhe/Wonjong | Rajin | Songbong | Pipha Island | Hunchon | Yanji

*Note: This is NOT a tour or handled by a tour company restricted by regular limitations. 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.

Update: Attend the "2017 Rason Seaside (Haean) Beer Festival" -  July 20th to August 20th 2017

The inaugural “2017 Rason Seaside (Haean) Beer Festival” will take place from July 20th to August 20th, 2017 in the Rason Special Economic Zone (SEZ), located in the Northeast corner of North Korea bordering both Russia, China and the East Sea of Korea.

The event is a unique opportunity where local citizens and foreign guests are encouraged to together drink beer and spirits while sampling local delicacies and fresh local seafood.  The festival will feature “Haean Maekju”, the locally produced Czech Pilsner beer, as well as other international & domestic and locally made beers. Guests can also attend traditional and modern music, dance and art performances which will take place throughout this period.

The beer festival is organized by the Rason Government and the local tourism organization and is designed to encourage and attract tourism to the region while showcasing the Special Economic Zone’s newly completed city-wide restoration and infrastructure improvement projects, which have been recently completed.


This trade and investment development mission led by Michael Spavor explores the current economic environment and various business opportunities in NE China and the Rason Special Economic Zone in the DPRK. We will observe and participate in the 8th annual 2017 Rason 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 businesspeople, 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 unique cultural features 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.

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 this can be arranged for an additional fee, please contact PCE for more information.


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 (Kr:관계, Cn:关系) to organize unique meetings and activities that would otherwise not be possible.

Figure 1. Participants at the Opening Ceremonies of the Rason International Trade Exhibition 2015, Rason Exhibition House (Aug. 2015)

Social Responsibility

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.


Share on :

Pre-Departure Meeting

Please plan to arrive on Friday, August 4th in morning at the latest (via International Airport, Train Station, and Bus Station). A pre-departure meeting will be held at PCE Office in Yanji for a briefing on safety and securityitinerary 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 5th, 2017 

How to get to Yanji, China

Return from the Rason SEZ (DPRK) to Yanji, China 

By private vehicle: Arrival back in Yanji, China at 6:00 pm | Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

Delegation Highlights

✪  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 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
✪  Private meetings and wrap-up sessions with trade officials, exhibitors and local business people and other contacts for more serious and detailed trade discussions
✪  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

Additional Activities

✪  Lecture, discussion and Q&A with a local 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
✪  Guided walking tour at the Yanji West Market
✪  Sample Yanbian-style Cold Noodles and other local Chinese-Korean delicacies
✪  Take a leisure walk through the city park and the 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 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

Figure 2. DPRK participants test out USB fans, solar flashlight/cell phone chargers, large USB chargers, USB light, and a flashlight watch at the Paektu Cultural Exchange Booth, Rason International Trade Exhibition (Aug 2016).


For more information on this delegation and/or other business opportunities, please contact:

contact@PaektuCulturalExchange.org | Phone: +86 186-4332-4455

This delegation is being organized by Paektu Cultural Exchange (PCE)

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.


  • Standard Package – 1,290 Euro
    • This includes: travel permit, official visa (not a tourist visa), accommodation (double occupancy), business introductions, information sessions, lectures, meetings and events in the DPRK
  • Deposit – 40% deposit to hold your space (limited) on a first come first serve basis (non-refundable)
  • Application Deadline: July 18th, 2017 (Americans & Japanese before July 8th)


  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 includingAugust 9th 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

Not Included

  Official DPRK visa fee (50-80 Euro depending on nationality) – Please note: this is not 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 Friday, August 4th.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.

Foreign participants and exhibitors at the 2015 Rason International Trade Exhibition, opening ceremonies (Aug. 2015).


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.

Interpreter and DPRK Business Advisor

spavorMichael Spavor
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 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.