DPRK-China trade and investment growing

According to Yonhap:

North Korea’s economic dependence on its strongest ally China is growing as its economy slips further into deeper isolation from the international community for its nuclear ambition, a report said Friday.

According to the report compiled by the Samsung Economic Research Institute, bilateral trade with China accounted for 52.6 percent of the North’s cross-border trade last year.

“North Korea’s so-called self-reliant economy is collapsing, and China is emerging as the communist state’s key supplier of economic goods,” the report said.

The report said China’s investment in North Korea surged to US$41 million in 2008 from a meager $1.1 million in 2003. China is also planning to spend $2.37 billion on construction of a transportation network that links the two countries, it said.

But the report said it is hard to characterize the countries’ economic ties as “subordinate,” as the North is also involved in trade with South Korea and other countries.

As with most Yonhap stories, they do not provide a link to the report, or even its name, so I cannot say much about the numbers. 

Here is the English webpage of the Samsung Economic Research Institute.  I have been unable to locate this partuclar study, but maybe you will have better luck.

Yonhap also tells us that the Chinese are working to create a trade zone along the North Korean border.  According to the article:

China is seeking to build an economic zone in the northeastern region bordering North Korea, aiming to promote trade with the world’s most reclusive country, officials said Friday.

Thirteen cities in the Dongbei region, commonly known as Manchuria, issued a joint proposal Thursday to build the “Yalu River Economic Zone” and to boost trade with North Korea. The Yalu River or the Amnok River in Korean is a river on the border between China and North Korea.

The participating cities include Dandong, Dalian, Tonghua and Mudanjiang, all of which are located either in the Liaoning province, the Jilin province or the Heilongjiang province. The three provinces make up the Dongbei region.

North Korea has long been reported as planning to build a free economic zone near the bordering river. A number of ports already exist on the river, used for border trade between the two countries.

Dandong in Liaoning Province, which borders the North Korean city of Sinuiju, has become the largest logistics hub for North Korean trade, handling 70 percent of bilateral trade.

Read the full Yonhap stories here:
N. Korean economic reliance on China further growing: report
Yonhap
10/1/2010

China eyes economic zone for trade with N. Korea
Yonhap
Kim Young-gyo
10/1/2010

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