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Pyongyang designates Wonsan as shipbuilding SEZ

Pyongyang designates Wonsan as shipbuilding SEZ

Seoul: Cash strapped North Korea is making desperate moves to attract foreign investment following its calamitous recent currency redenomination and to make up for the lost income from sanctions. In what some are comparing to China's market opening and reform measures a generation ago, North Korea has recently announced a ten-year plan to build infrastructure using foreign investment, and reportedly designated eight cities including Pyongyang as special economic zones. To this end, the east coast city of Wonsan has been designated a shipbuilding centre. Tax perks are on offer.
While China is the most likely investor in any of these more market-orientated developments, South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries cannot be ruled out chipping in at Wonsan. HHI's founder, Chung Ju-yung, originally came from north of the border and the company, the world's largest shipbuilder, has intimated in the past that it would be keen to get involved in North Korean shipbuilding. Another scion of the Hyundai empire, Hyundai Asan, runs cruise vacations to the North. [04/03/10]

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