In pictures: Seafood and consumer goods at the Rason International Trade Fair 2017
In the aftermath of UN sanctions, domestic companies promote fishery industry
This is part one of a two part series on the products and companies at the 7th Rason International Trade Fair in early August.
The 7th Rason International Trade Fair held in North Korea from August 7 saw around 100 companies exhibiting their goods and services in the northeastern city close to the Russian border.
Exclusive images obtained by NK Pro show the vast majority of firms present at the fair were of domestic origin though there were also a number of foreign entities from Russia, China, Japan, Germany and Canada.
The North Korean firms present were representing a range of sectors including foodstuffs, textiles, construction, transportation, general trade, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, furniture, and fisheries, among others.
The Rason Trade Fair, while smaller than its Pyongyang equivalent which housed around 200 companies this year, is located in a region that has sought to promote the benefits of foreign investment in the DPRK.
The fair was held amid increasing tensions on the peninsula and in the immediate wake of a new UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution passed on August 5.
UNSC Resolution 2371, passed only two days before the fair began on August 7, seeks to reduce North Korean revenues from exports by as much as USD$1 billion per year, according to the U.S. Department of State.
Among the resolution’s measures is a ban on seafood exports from North Korea.
Resolution 2371 “Decides that the DPRK shall not supply, sell or transfer, directly or indirectly, from its territory or by its nationals or using its flag vessels or aircraft, seafood (including fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and other aquatic invertebrates in all forms)”.
But the new resolution was not enough to stop North Korean fishery companies from touting their wares. The Rason Suchaebong Fishery Company and the Rason Sahyangsan Fishery Processing Company both had stalls at the trade fair.
Promotional material at the Rason Sahyangsan booth claims it exports seafood in bulk to China in addition to other business activities.
“Sahyangsan seafood processing company is selling products that are produced and processed in the modern and comprehensive seafood processing factory, in bulks to China,” the poster reads.
It also promotes its involvement in the automobile resale market, along with “cargo transportation, transit trade, gold tailings processing export, seafood production, farm, processing export, stores, restaurant, hotel business, rotary resale, and off-base gravel and sand sale.”
NK Pro images from the fair show two other local companies advertising fish products in their promotional materials. The Rason Bupo Agriculture Company and the Rason Haeyang Processing Trade Company both claimed involvement in the seafood industry at the fair.
One poster advertises the Haeyang’s efforts in contributing to the Rason Special Economic Zone, saying it processes “up to 3,000 tons” of fish “using modern technology.”
Images also show a relatively large representation of companies involved in the textile, medical and foodstuff industries, including a number from the Rason area.
Also present were several large and well known North Korean firms including the Korea Stamp Corporation, Korea Publications Export & Import Corporation, and the Myohyang IT Center.
The Korea Hanggong Trading Company was also selling products from Air Koryo – North Korea’s only domestic airline, which was sanctioned by the U.S. unilaterally in 2016. Despite the measures, Air Koryo may have expanded its business activities beyond aviation.
Below are images from Part 1 of NK Pro’s coverage of the 2017 Rason International Trade Fair:
Featured Image: NK Pro
Translations by Minyoung Kim
- 01What to make of Kim Jong Un’s impromptu visit to Mount Paektu this week
- 02On party founding anniversary, North Korea bolsters Kim Jong Un’s leadership
- 03Fueling the country: tracking North Korea’s growing number of gas stations
- 04North Korea reinforces ideological education against “bourgeois” values
- 05“New ways of calculation”: Kim Myong Gil’s Stockholm press conference, in full
- 06The DPRK foreign ministry’s readout of Stockholm talks: key takeaways
- 07Why U.S.-North Korea talks in Sweden fell apart — and what might happen next
- 08N. Korea’s new submarine-launched ballistic missile: unpacking the Pukguksong-3