Yesterday, Andray presented a paper on the Special Economic Zones of North Korea, highlighting their importance for a few reasons as well as making an Oprah joke that only two people really laughed at. The paper outlines some basic features of the new zones created in 2013 and 2014 and highlights four zones that have the best prospects.
Other takeaways on the SEZ policy include:
•It’s Kim Jong Un’s most visible experiment with the economy and has changed expectations on the ground, creating a positive energy among local officials and businesspeople.
•It offers multiple platforms for further experiments - Rason has conducted a number of experiments over the years, including telecommunications and visa rules, and its possible that other zones will be able to act as platforms for tinkering with some of the rules that currently limit development in the DPRK.
•For Choson Exchange it has opened up new audiences in the provinces and allowed us to interact with a broader range of people.
The full paper is available here. It will make an excellent stocking stuffer for all the family.