(Updated) Inter-Korean trade up this year

According to Yonhap (citing a Ministry of Unification report), trade volume between the two Koreas increased 23% to US$880 million (up from $718.2 million) in the first half of 2008.  This is due to an increase in commercial trade (not official exchanges), which were up 47% to $823.6 million from $558.7 million.  Commercial trade comprises 94% of trade volume, up from 78% last year. The number of firms conducting inter-Korean trade reached 526, up from 324, and and they manufactured 736 items (up from 686).

Goods traded in larger volume than a year ago: plate glass, clams, brackens and textiles from the Kaesong complex.

(UPDATE) Much of this is due to brisk activity in the Kaesong Industrial Zone, which employs 30,084 North Koreans (as of July 4, 2008), up from 225 in 2004.  The zone comprises 72 South Korean firms. 

Total production at the complex has been on a steady rise from US$15 million at the end of 2005 to $373.8 million as of the end of May, up 147 percent from last year, the Kaesong Industrial District Management Committee said.

“Such a rise in production is notable in that 33 of the 72 firms in the complex are start-ups operating there for less than one year,” said Kim Min-kyong, a public relations official of the committee.

To learn more, read the full articles below:
Number of N.K. workers at Kaesong complex tops 30,000
Yonhap
Shim Sun-ah
7/8/2008

 Inter-Korean trade rises sharply in first half despite political chill
Yonhap
Shim Sun-ah
7/7/2008

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One Response to “(Updated) Inter-Korean trade up this year”

  1. […] Hyundai Asan (HA) was having a good year up through July 2008.  At that point, inter-Korean trade volume had experienced a 23% year-over-year  increase—reaching US$880 million.   Commercial trade comprised 94% of this volume, up from 78%, and the number of firms conducting inter-Korean trade reached 526, up from 324. […]