Foreign and Military Affairs

Talent pool seen as benefit of joint economic zone

By Zhu Chengpei and Wang Huazhong (China Daily)
Updated: 2011-06-18 09:24
Large Medium Small

DANDONG, Liaoning - A new economic zone jointly being developed by China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) will create more than 100,000 jobs in five years for Dandong in Northeast China's Liaoning province, local officials have said.

And by 2020, Dandong's Party chief, Dai Yulin, anticipates that Dandong will have a 300,000-strong talent pool specializing in alternative energy, new technologies, new materials, bio-pharmaceuticals and advanced equipment manufacturing.

Dai made the comments during an exclusive interview Thursday, a week after officials from China and the DPRK reached a consensus to jointly develop the economic zone close to Dandong and another one adjoining Jilin province.

Related readings:
Talent pool seen as benefit of joint economic zone DPRK plans special economic zone to boost ties with China
Talent pool seen as benefit of joint economic zone China, DPRK to develop two economic zones

Dai said the city has been "actively engaging" in development of the Hwanggumphyong and Wihwa Islands Economic Zone in the DPRK. It is near the estuary of the Yalu River, a border between the DPRK and China.

Dandong has assigned 30 square kilometers of land as a special economic zone to support development of its counterpart, which will be about the same size, across the river.

The Chinese zone will provide infrastructure and facilities such as water, electricity, gas, communication and a bonded warehouse to power and support Hwanggumphyong and Wihwa.

Wang Liwei, deputy mayor of Dandong, said international consulting groups have already been hired to help design industrial layouts and a management model.

Wang also said the preliminary plan of industries operating in the zone will include financial services, information services, export-oriented processing, tourism and recreation.

Dai said the zone will increase the demand for talented people, and the government will introduce preferential policies to attract them. As examples, he mentioned furthering cooperation with universities and human resource service providers.

The city government also will allocate 20 million yuan ($3 million) every year for human resource projects.

Economic analysts and Dandong officials have said they believe the economic zones will attract big investment that could speed regional development.

Dandong is situated inside China's old northeastern industrial belt.

It is 220 km to Pyongyang and 420 km to Seoul by rail, and its port is 245 nautical miles to the international port Inchon in the Republic of Korea.