Two recent reports from China's Northeast suggest that fishing and tourism, two of Rason's important industries are having busy summers.
With regard to fishing, a profitable business long before there were fancy new roads, Russian train links or legal changes, the article below appears to suggest that Rason might be experiencing bumper seafood harvests this summer. A more pessimistic interpretation of the article might be that Chinese customs authorities haven't allocated enough staff for the amount of seafood coming across the border and so are scrambling to keep up by foisting overtime duties on the staff.
Tourism is a more recent growth industry in Rason: as tourism has increased in the DPRK generally, Rason seems to have discovered that they have beaches while 65 million Jiliners and Jeiliongjangians do not. This has led to some experiments that have not taken place anywhere else in North Korea, including self-drive and 'visa free' tourism and now the train trip referenced in the article below.
Research and translation by Wang Xingyu.
Import of Hunchun Quanhe River Port: marine products can enjoy "Private Tailor" service.
(Note: "Private Tailor" is a Chinese recent movie talking about special service for the rich, and here it means marine products can have special and quicker access for import)
From: China Aquiculture Website
Recently, towards the end of the work day, seven trucks of frozen marine products crossed the border at Quanhe River Port, Jilin. Because of the hot weather, these products might not be able to stay fresh if not processed quickly. In order to reduce companies' losses, the Office of Export Processing Zone in Hunchun Customs, affiliated to Changchun Customs, left personnel in charge of inspection to work overtime in order to inspect and allow passage of products. The procedure took less then two hour.
Since June, the Export Processing Zone Office of Hunchun Customs have worked overtime again and again for marine-products companies in order to inspect and allow the passage of products. The total number of trucks inspected is more than 60, carrying over 1240 tons of products.
From this year, in order to promote the billions-of-RMB-level marine product industry construction in Hunchun, Hunchun Customs has created a new service method that provides “Private Tailor” service to marine product companies. It is aimed at companies that have good credit and standing who can now enjoy the convenience of declaring all their goods together. And as frozen marine products are not easy to keep, a series of services tailored for the marine products processing industry have been created to limit the passage time of marine products, including centralized declaration, pre-appointment custom passage, regulation only after the goods arrive, prior inspection, prior passage, etc. At the same time, in order to improve the freshness of living marine products, companies are allowed to load and breed sea creatures in cultivation bases in the area and ship partially but declare fully.
Since the educational and practical activity – the mass line of the Party – has been implemented, Hunchun Customs deeply developed refurbishment specifically for the “windows” – the customs office, by creating sunny windows, convenient windows, and brand windows, focuses on solving, communicating, and serving the masses of their “last one kilometer” problem, making sure to live up to the slogan: “all for people, be practical and honest”. The customs office also provides companies with declaration, taxation, inspection, clearance, and all other “one-stop” window service, which improve the efficiency of freight movements and clearance rate. Carrying out “5+2”, “24/7” all day appointment clearance for living and perishable sea products, the Office of Export Processing Zone in Hunchun Custom provides companies with “Upon Arrivial, Immediate Inspection and Release” service, which has been largely praised by companies.
Yanji China–Rason North Korea International Through Train for Travelling will be opened on August 2nd
From: Metro Evening News
On July 28th, the Yanji government held a press conference, declaring that a Yanji, China–Rason North Korea International Through Train for Traveling will begin on August 2nd.
In order to provide tourists with a convenient, fast and comfortable traveling environment, Yanbian transportation companies and the Rason Tourism Bureau negotiated and have decided that from August 2nd, 2014, the Yanji China–Rason North Korea International Through Train will be opened. Tourists may take this train to attend a two-day tour, and need not transfer to North Korean cars.
According to the information provided, this train is a luxury through train and only runs once per day. After opening this line, Yanji will also provide tourism packages of two-days traveling in North Korea. Adult fare will be 799 RMB, though this is the special offer price during students’ holiday. The through train will start at six o’clock everyday from the gate of Yanji Northeast Passenger Station. Spots visited on the first day consist of Rajin Port, an Art Exhibit, Foreign Language Bookstore and the Kimilsungia (Kim Il Sung’s flower) and Kimjongilia (Kim Jong Il’s flower) Greenhouse. On the second day, tourists spend the whole day playing beside the sea or swimming in the sea, and then take train back to Yanji at three o’clock.
It appears as if a bus service with a similar schedule has just been launched, also. One wonders if it augments or supplants the train trip.