March 03, 2010 08:02
North Korea will implement a 10-year economic infrastructure plan through its official investment agency, the Taepung International Investment Group, and a state development bank to be established soon. The announcement was made by Korean-Chinese businessman Pak Chol-su, the president of Taepung Group, in an interview with a Japanese mouthpiece for Pyongyang on Tuesday.
Pak told the Choson Sinbo that the plan "envisages simultaneous implementation of six projects -- food production, railways, roads, ports, electric power, and energy. They are completely separate projects from the state budget."
He pledged to improve railways and roads drastically within five years and then push for regional development. He will also establish 25 companies funded by the state development bank.
Quoting a Taepung official, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun on Thursday reported that the North is also working out a plan to designate Pyongyang and seven other cities as special economic zones to attract foreign investment, and to give tax benefits to firms operating in the zones. Alongside the state development bank, the North also plans to found a state export-import bank, the daily added.
The North will find it hard to implement the plans under current international sanctions over its nuclear development.
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