N. Korea sees rise in power, food companies: report

The number of electric, food and beverage companies in North Korea has swelled over the last 20 years amid a sharp fall in heavy and chemicals firms, a report showed Friday.

According to the report by the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade (KIET), power companies accounted for 9.3 percent of all North Korean businesses in 2015, up from 3.4 percent in 1995.

The share of food and beverage companies also rose from 13.7 percent to 18.1 percent during the same period.

As of last year, North Korea had an estimated 2,971 companies, compared with 2,555 firms 20 years ago. Among the companies confirmed in 1995, 1,364 dissolved in 2015, while 1,780 companies were newly set up last year.

The KIET, under the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, said the increase in the number of electric companies was attributed to the continued construction of small and large power plants since the latter half of the 1990s.

The state-funded think tank also said the North Korean regime has made all-out efforts to solve the problem of feeding its people. Factories producing primary foodstuffs and mushroom factories have been actively built in North Korea to enhance people's living standards.

The KIET said the portion of the mining industry out of all industries rose from 10.8 percent to 12.3 percent due the sharp increase in coal mines to meet the growing demand for coal.

On the contrary, the share of the heavy and chemical industry dwindled substantially due to an overall slump in North Korean economy. The ratio of the heavy and chemical sector out of all industries dropped from 42.1 percent to 35.2 percent over the two decades.

By sector, the general machinery sector recorded the sharpest drop from 17.1 percent to 12.1 percent, with the portion of the transportation machinery industry falling from 2.6 percent to 1.8 percent, according to the report.

Source: Yon Hap News

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