North Korea has drawn up a blueprint to develop 13 special economic zones in an effort to boost international exchanges and cooperation, the country's official news agency said Wednesday.
Under the plan adopted by the Supreme People's Assembly, the North will develop the 13 areas across the country into special zones for economic, industrial, tourism, agricultural development as well as export manufacturing, the Korean Central News Agency said.
The development zones include the northern coastal city of Chongjin and the northern border river of Amnok as well as the northern border city of Manpo, according to the KCNA.
"The people's committees of the (concerned) provinces drew up the total development plans, which include (the construction of) buildings, roads, electronics and communication networks under the principle of infrastructure building," Yun Yong-sok, a vice head of the North's economic development association, was quoted as saying.
North Korea plans to beef up international exchanges and collaboration through those economic development zones, which guarantee privileges for economic activities in the country, Yun also noted.
The country also plans to hold investor relations sessions in Pyongyang and other foreign cities to draw foreign investment, the report said, without elaborating.
Since the assembly's adoption of an economic development zone law in 2013, the country has set up 19 economic development zones, including six last year.
Cho Bong-hyun, a senior research fellow at the state-run Industrial Bank of Korea in Seoul, said that the latest decision shows the communist country's determination to engage more actively with the outside world to speed up development.
"The economic development project is expected to proceed more speedily," he noted. (Yonhap)