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(LEAD) China-N. Korea joint venture maker of food additives operates smoothly: Xinhua

All Headlines 16:31 June 06, 2011

(ATTN: CORRECTS company name in para 2)
By Kim Young-gyo

HONG KONG, June 6 (Yonhap) -- A China-North Korea joint venture maker of food additives, have been operating smoothly in a display of close ties between the two countries, China's state-run Xinhua News Agency said Monday.

China's Liaoning Wellhope Agri-tech Co. and North Korea's Unpasan General Trading Company set up a joint venture, (North) Korea Unpung Joint Operating Company, in 2006, in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital city.

Liaoning Wellhope Agri-tech holds a 55 percent stake in the joint venture, while the North Korean trading firm has a 45 percent stake.

In a dispatch from Pyongyang, Xinhua said the total assets of Unpung have now reached 21 million yuan (US$3.24 million). During the six-year operation, the firm made a total pre-tax profit of 15.21 million yuan, and its cumulative sales of food additives reached 18,720 tons.

"At present, Unpung aims to become a first-class brand in the (North) Korean food additive industry," the new agency said in a Chinese-language report.

"Recently, demand for food additives are rapidly rising in North Korea, and many companies need their employees to work overtime to meet the demand."

Quoting the Chinese head of the joint venture, Xie Jingming, the report said the firm's more than 5 years of business development and expansion can not be separated from the deepening economic cooperation between China and North Korea.

Economically impoverished North Korea's dependence on its strongest ally and largest benefactor has been growing as its economy slips further into isolation from the international community because of its nuclear ambitions.

According to a report compiled by the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), trade between the North and China in 2010 jumped 32 percent on-year to slightly over US$3.46 billion.

The two countries have recently moved toward carrying out joint development projects along the border. North Korea and China are expected to break ground next week on a joint project to turn an island near their border, Hwanggumpyong, into an industrial complex.


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