North Losing Out in European Market

International sanctions against North Korea are leading to declining bilateral trade volumes with the European Union (EU), it has been revealed.

“The total amount of trade between North Korea and the EU in 2012 fell 40%, from 159,000,000 Euros in 2011 to 92,000,000 Euros in 2012,” Voice of America reported yesterday, citing the latest trade statistics from the European Commission.

The root of the decline lies in exports from North Korea; in other words, Pyongyang’s exports to the EU decreased dramatically, and this led to an overall decrease in bilateral trade.

North Korean imports from the EU last year amounted to 73,000,000 Euros, a 60% increase from the previous year. However, exports in the same period were only worth 19,000,000 Euros, not even 1/5 of the previous year’s 116,000,000 Euros.

A report released by the Korean International Trade association last month yielded a similar outcome, concluding that trade between North Korea and the EU in the first five months of 2013 was on a declining curve, being worth just 12,500,000 Euros, a 77% decrease over the same period of 2012.

The EU also reported that North Korea’s foreign trade last year was worth 690,000,000 Euros overall. North Korea’s biggest trade partner was China, with 470,000,000 Euros, 68% of total foreign trade.

North Korea’s other major trade partners in 2012 India, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Saudi Arabia, and the Dominican Republic.