Some DPRK – PRC economic cooperation stats

According to the Korea Herald:

The trade volume between China and North Korea jumped from $1.97 billion in 2007 to $5.62 billion in 2011 with the North suffering a deficit of about $700 million, according to figures compiled by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency. In contrast, the volume of South-North commerce showed a slight decrease from $1.79 billion to $1.71 billion over the cited period, with the North recording a surplus of about $114 million.

China’s share in North Korea’s total trade rose from 42.7 percent in 2007 to 56.9 percent in 2010, while South Korea’s proportion declined to 31.4 percent from 38.9 percent.

Excluding inter-Korean commerce, China accounted for a whopping 83 percent of North Korea’s external trade in 2010, up from 67.1 percent in 2007. China’s investment in the North rose from a mere $1.1 million in 2003 to $41 million, or 94.1 percent of the total foreign investment, in 2008 before decreasing to $12.1 million in 2010, according to figures from the Chinese Commerce Ministry.

Experts here are concerned that the North Korean economy will be further absorbed into the circle of China’s economic influence to the point of making it difficult for the South to expand its economic presence in the North after shifting its policy toward inter-Korean businesses.

“North Korea has imported most of machinery and other industrial equipment from China, which may lead to cementing the structure of its long-term economic dependence on China,” said Cho.

Observers say it goes too far to say North Korea will become a Chinese province, but China has been pushing the North toward reform and openness as part of a larger scheme to develop its three northeastern provinces, which lag behind the east coastal zones.

Some North Korea watchers say Kim Jong-il might have been pressed by Beijing to visit China four times in the last two years before his death.

China has been the main developer of the Raseon special economic zone, the combined towns of Rajin and Seonbong, in the northeastern coast of North Korea, which also provides it with access to an ice-free port for shipping abroad manufactured goods and other products from its northeastern provinces.

China also agreed with North Korea to jointly develop another special economic zone on the border islands across the Yalu River from the city of Dandong, its main gate into the North.

Jang Song-thaek, the uncle and key mentor of the young Kim, has been in charge of the economic projects with China.

You can see a picture of some of the data here.

Read the full story here:
Concerns mount over China’s grip on N.K. economy
Korea Herald
Kim Kyung-ho


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