North Korea invites foreign investors and entrepreneurs to the Rason International Trade Exhibition in the Rason SEZ




PYONGYANG, North Korea – The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) is inviting international exhibitors and guests to the 8th Rason International Trade Exhibition (RITE) from August 20th to 23rd, 2018 in the Rason Special Economic Zone (SEZ), located in the Northeast corner of the DPRK near its borders with Russia and China.

The annual event, organized by the Rason Exhibition Corporation (REC), has been held every year since 2011 in the SEZ’s second-largest city of Songbong. However, this year, it will take place at the newly constructed Rason International Trade Exhibition Hall in neighboring Rajin.

Official guests can attend the ‘Forum on Investment in the Rason Economic Trade Zone’, a comprehensive overview and discussion covering the current business and investment opportunities in infrastructure, real estate, manufacturing, labor export and other business projects presented by Korean and Chinese stakeholders as well as other investment representatives.

Those interested in attending this year’s RITE should contact Paektu Cultural Exchange (PCE), a Canadian-run non-governmental organization and official partner of the exhibition. PCE is now accepting applications for an extensive six-day delegation from August 18th to 23rd, 2018 including access to the opening ceremony, the investment forum and other VIP events including dinners and meetings. The deadline to register is July 29th, 2018.

“When people think about foreign investment, North Korea is probably one of the last places they might consider. But when you consider how fast the geopolitical environment is improving, Rason and it’s unique border region with both China and Russia offer amazing potential,” said Michael Spavor, director of PCE.

On display will be tens of thousands Korean and foreign-made products including consumer goods, electronics, health products, pharmaceuticals and books, as well as heavy machinery, building and chemical materials, agricultural products, light industrial goods and dry and frozen seafood products – the later one of the region’s top exports.

“I was surprised by the level of access and interaction,” said Steve Finch, an independent risk analyst who attended last year’s exhibition with PCE. “We left with all kinds of DPRK-made products – things like socks, mud-packs, even electronics – and managed to get a real insight into how this unique trade area operates.”

The four-day event attracts more than 100 companies and organizations from the DPRK, China, Russia, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and Canada among other countries. In order to facilitate networking and stimulate future business partnerships between local and international companies, all of the exhibitors’ contact information will be published in PCE’s exclusive annual RITE report and booklet which also serves as an extensive contact and networking guide.

Attending the opening ceremonies and official events at last year’s exhibition were Jo Jong-ho, chairman of the Rason City People’s Committee and the organizing committee of RITE, other DPRK government representatives, foreign diplomats, international delegates, exhibitors and local citizens, and foreign businessmen already invested in or trading within the Rason Special Economic Zone.

“Both the DPRK government and the new administration in South Korea are in the process of expanding inter-Korean dialogue and have begun talks on re-starting joint infrastructure and business-related investment projects. As the situation on the Korean peninsula improves, and relations between the DPRK and the US continue to thaw, we can expect some international sanctions to be relaxed. Recent developments have already led to a reduction in political tensions which will hopefully contribute to the improved business climate which in turn is expected to lead to new opportunities in trade, investment and economic development not only in Rason but across the DPRK,” said Spavor.

For further information on how to attend the PCE delegation to the Rason International Trade Exhibition (RITE) from August 20th to 23rd, 2018, please contact Paektu Cultural Exchange at or visit The deadline to sign up is set for July 29th, 2018 for participants and July 20th, 2018 for exhibitors.



Information for Foreign Observers and Participants:

PCE has organized a six-day trip from August 18th to 23rd, 2018 which offers participants the opportunity to not only attend RITE and the Rason Trade Forum, but also actively engage with foreign experts and  DPRK government officials through a series of VIP networking dinners and events, seminars and meetings alongside local entrepreneurs and fellow exhibitors. Participants will also get the chance to visit the region’s top attractions, restaurants featuring local specialties, and to learn more about this destination’s welcoming people and their unique culture.

Information for Foreign Exhibitors:

International guests will be able to rent a booth to exhibit and advertise their products and services. This is a unique opportunity for foreign investors to interact with North Korean businessmen, conduct market research and help promote future business collaborations and innovation. This is also where newly established North Korean companies often make their international debut by advertising, marketing, and displaying their goods.

Interested exhibitors can contact PCE before July 20th, 2018 for more information on booth sales and hiring staff and equipment for the event. Booth rentals at the RITE cost between 600 euros and 8,000 euros for the four-day event, depending on size and positioning.


If you are a member of a news or media organization and you would like to request an interview, attend an event, or would like more information, please contact us here. High-resolution pictures are available on our website.


Paektu Cultural Exchange (PCE) is a non-profit organization facilitating sustainable cooperation through cross-cultural exchanges involving sport, tourism, business and trade with the DPRK.


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Local citizens of Rajin and Songbong inspect the Made in DPRK products being sold and marketed at the 2017 Rason International Trade Fair, DPRK. In the background are North Korean advertisements for temperature readers and other health-related products (©2018 Paektu Cultural Exchange).


Two curious North Korean men test out a USB powered fan powered by and USB power bank and also look at solar flashlights and solar phone charging units at the 2017 Rason International Trade Exhibition, Rason, DPRK (©2018 Paektu Cultural Exchange).


A trade fair booth selling and exhibiting their seafood products to domestic and international buyersRason International Trade Exhibition, Rason, DPRK (©2018 Paektu Cultural Exchange).


Local citizens and exhibitors attending the opening ceremonies at the Rason International Trade Exhibition, Rason, DPRK (©2018 Paektu Cultural Exchange).


The newly opened Rason Children’s Bag Factory located in the Rason International Trade Exhibition, Rason, DPRK (©2018 Paektu Cultural Exchange).


Flags and banners at the 7th Rason International Trade Exhibition, Rason, DPRK (©2018 Paektu Cultural Exchange)


A site visit to the seafood factory assembly line observing North Korean labourers making squid on skewers in the city of Songbong Rason, DPRK (©2018 Paektu Cultural Exchange)


Paektu Cultural Exchange’s VIP tickets to attend the opening ceremonies gala dinner for exhibitors and official guests at the Rason International Trade Exhibition, Rason, DPRK (©2018 Paektu Cultural Exchange). In Korean: 라선국제상품전시회 조직위원회


Local shoppers and housewives awaiting the start of the opening ceremonies of the Rason International Trade Exhibition, Rason, DPRK (©2018 Paektu Cultural Exchange)


A young exhibitor waiting for the start of the opening ceremonies of the Rason International Trade Exhibition, Rason, DPRK (©2018 Paektu Cultural Exchange).


Pamphlet for the 2018 Rason International Trade Exhibition, Rason, DPRK (©2018 Paektu Cultural Exchange). In Korean: 라선국제상품전시회

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