DPRK Business Monthly Volume IV, No.2

The DPRK Business Monthly, an international business report edited in Beijing, has been made available to CanKor readers by its editor, Paul White. Please check the  current March 2013 edition here: DPRK Business Monthly Volume IV, No.2

Rural DPRK community with Red Cross kits (Photo by IFRC)

Rural DPRK community with Red Cross kits (Photo by IFRC)

Titles of articles found in this issue include:

  • P’yang Sues Taiwan Over Nuclear Waste Disposal Deal
  • NK Seafood Exports Thriving
  • China’s First Offshore Processing Pact Inked with NK
  • NGO Initiatives: International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • Handicap International is looking for a consultant to work with deaf people in the DPRK
  • ROK Green Light for TB Work Aid to North
  • New Reunification Group Formed in ROK
  • New Tax Rules for Mount Kumgang Tourism Zone
  • High-Tech Way Forward for NK Agriculture
  • North Korean scientists publish record number of research papers in international journals
  • China to Upgrade Rail Links to Rason
  • Koryo tours guide to mobile & Internet services in the DPRK

…plus a number of other items, including a selection of North Korean tours by various tour operators.

Comment by the Business Monthly Editor:

The DPRK’s current account went into surplus in 2011, after running a deficit for decades, according to the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics. The Institute’s website estimated the surplus to be around US$250 million, and said that the trend was likely to continue.

As Pyongyang doesn’t release trade statistics, estimates have to made based on data provided by third parties. According to South Korean estimates, North Korea’s total trade with its only major ally, China, nearly tripled to around US$5.6 billion-worth between 2007 and 2011, and in 2011 it showed a deficit of US$700 million in goods trade—a major component of its current account. For the current account to be in the black other components would have to be more than enough to offset that goods-trade shortfall.

A Bank of Korea official in Seoul said, “If there were massive dollar remittances back home by overseas North Koreans or a sharp increase in foreign tourists to the North, it would be possible for North Korea to run a current-account surplus despite a trade deficit.”

The first is unlikely, as the US Treasury Department would soon put a stop to it, but the second factor is more likely given that tourism to North Korea is growing rapidly. The Peterson Institute is gloomy about the news, and well it might be. If the DPRK can get back onto its old track of economic prosperity despite decades of vicious trade and other embargoes it will emerge as a powerful challenger to those who have wished it harm.

Please feel free to consult the full issue by clicking on this link: DPRK Business Monthly Volume IV, No.2

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