Archive for the ‘UNCTAD’ Category

The UNCTAD claim on North Korea’s GDP-growth in 2019

Saturday, January 18th, 2020

By: Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) estimates that North Korea saw a real-GDP growth of 1.8 percent in 2019. Marcus Noland once wrote that one should not “[…] trust any datum on North Korea that comes with a decimal point attached.” This is perhaps even more true of large-scale, macro figures such as this. For one, you need an estimated inflation rate to calculate real GDP, and I have no idea which number UNCTAD may be using. You can find the figure on p. 178 here, together with a quite optimistic prognosis for 2020 and 2021. Even with that growth, North Korea barely recaps the negative growth of 2018. Let me say again that all of these numbers build on little but more or less qualified guesswork. That’s important to keep in mind since this one line in a UN report graph has made quite a few international headlines already.

Most likely, UNCTAD builds their projections upon the somewhat lower decline in exports in 2019 compared with 2018. It’d be interesting to know if they also take into account the seemingly decreased vigilance in sanctions enforcement by China, and how one could possibly quantify this. More on the possible variables here.


Foreign direct investment in DPRK up for 3rd year

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

According to Yonhap (via Global Post):

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in North Korea has steadily increased over the past three years, but the investment amount still remains at one of lowest levels in the world, a news report said Thursday.

North Korea attracted US$79 million in FDI in 2012, up 41 percent from a year earlier, the Washington-based Voice of America said, citing an annual world investment report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

In 2009, a total of only $2 million flowed in to the North, but the number jumped to $38 million the next year, according to the report.

Despite the latest three-year growth, the amount marks one of lowest levels in the world and the majority of the FDI inflow represents investment from China, by far North Korea’s biggest ally, the report said.

A few countries in sub-Saharan Africa or small countries in the Oceania and the Caribbean logged FDI smaller than North Korea, the report noted.

As of the end of 2012, the total inflow of FDI to the North stood at $1.61 billion, it also said.

Although the article does not mention it, the information comes from the “World Investment Report: 2013” (PDF).  Some of the data comes from a table on page 214. The report was published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Lots of other economic statistics on my Economic Statistics Page.

Read the full story here:
Foreign direct investment in N. Korea gains for 3rd year
Yonhap (via Global Post)