2013 was the first year that we did not visit the Rason International Trade fair, not out of a lack of interest, but when invitations go out barely 3 weeks before the event... Indeed, trade fair promotion, integration beyond the borderlands and investor expectations are issues on which we'd like to work with Rason officials and business people.
As Geoffrey puts it in the most recent edition of SinoNK's Tumen Triangle Project, "local officials there argued that they were at the forefront of knowledge and experimentation in this area, given their long-history as a special zone." Yet, as with so many other projects in the DPRK, "despite agreements to start programs, nothing ever happened."
This trip also featured CE enjoining locals that in the future we should work together and these proposals met with positive responses. Rason's Yanji rep, at the very least, "was excited at the prospect of training, and at our focus on young professionals. He said, 'you are young. I am young. We should be working together!'"
This edition of the TTP also includes fascinating contributions from a variety of sources. Of particular interest is an article by two longtime UK diplomats, Warwick Morris and James E. Hoare, who describe a trip Yanbian in 1990 at a time when Britain "neither recognized the DPRK nor had any form of diplomatic relations with it."
Other highlights include how issues of drug trafficking and nuclear testing affect the border regions. In case you missed the link earlier, this edition of the Tumen Triangle Project is available at SinoNK's website.