The recent consumer goods exhibition reveals qualitative change

Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES)

According to the KCNA, the 26th National Exhibition of Consumer Goods, the National Exhibition of 206 Sundry Goods, and the National Exhibition of August 3 Consumer Goods were held in Pyongyang from October 26 to 30.

The news evaluated these exhibitions to “feature a growing number of varieties in consumer good than in the past, with noticeable qualitative change.” At the exhibition, hundreds of thousands of products were showcased that included knitted products, footwear, and food products.

Among the displayed products, Ryuwon Shoe Factory and Pyongsong Synthetic Leather Factory were acclaimed for their products with 1.25 times more shoes compared to last year’s exhibition. In recent years, factories under the guidance of the Shoes Industry Management Bureau in the Light Industry Ministry create new factories or modernized the existing factories and are reported to be producing high-quality footwear with new products under development.

In addition, the exhibition presented new technology registration review process, to shorten technology updating cycle and to speed up new product development.

Various products made by the branch academy of Light Industry and the Nonferrous Metals Research Institute under the National Academy of Sciences were newly registered under the new review process that included functional cosmetics, antibacterial wipes and other antibacterial goods, and “high-purity” silver goods, etc.

On the other hand, as the living standards of North Koreans are improving, more and more North Koreans are now seeking goods that are eco-friendly, tech-savvy, and health-conscious. Medical goods were popular items in North Korea in the past but today health foods are more in demand. This year there were more high-tech products, such as diesel engines that feature energy-saving and environment-friendly goods, than everyday items.

In the past, North Korean ginseng, sea cucumber, honey and other traditional products were mainly exhibited in these exhibitions. But now, there are more companies that are displaying goods that demonstrate advancement in science and technology and locally produced products.

While commercial advertisements are rare in North Korea, the annual spring and autumn consumer good exhibitions are an exception to this. There are a great number of ads on these exhibitions and many North Koreans are seen taking a souvenir photo next to their favorite ads.

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