China and North Korea will open a border trade zone in the latest effort to boost economic ties despite tension between the countries.
The Guomenwan trade zone will cover 40,000 square meters of land in the northeastern Chinese city of Dandong, in Liaoning province.
It is expected to open in October, Reuters reported, citing a report from the official Xinhua news agency.
“Residents living within 20 kilometers of the border will be able to exchange commodities” with people from North Korea on a duty-free basis, of up to 8,000 yuan (US$1,288) a day, Xinhua said.
There are more than 600 border trade enterprises in the Dandong, and trade with North Korea accounts for 40 percent of the city’s total trade turnover, the report said.
North Korea’s isolated and small economy has few links with the outside world apart from China, which has been an ally for decades and remains the North’s main trading partner and sole influential diplomatic ally.
But ties have been strained by North Korea’s banned nuclear program, which has led to United Nations sanctions.
As relations between China and North Korea have become strained in recent years, China has grown closer to South Korea, Asia’s fourth largest economy and the North’s main rival.
– Contact us at [email protected]