Spring International Trade Fair set for next week

Pyongyang’s Spring International Trade Fair is due to open next week, the state-run Korea Central News Agency reported Monday.

This year’s event will run from May 13 to 16 and will bring together companies from Germany, Malaysia, Mongolia, Switzerland, Singapore, Australia, Italy, Indonesia, China, Poland and Taiwan, KCNA said.

Vendors will show machines, electric and electronic products, light industrial goods, foodstuffs, medical instruments, medicines, building materials, chemical goods and vehicles, the report said.

120519-sitf-07Last year’s event saw the debut of a tablet computer said to have been developed by the Korea Computer Center image, right).

The number of Chinese companies attending the event has been growing in previous years as vendors of machinery, electronics, food and clothing have been making the short trip to Pyongyang.

KCNA said the event “will contribute to boosting cooperation and exchange in trade, economic and scientific and technological fields among countries and regions,” and it it comes at an interesting time.

The country’s biggest international trade venture, the Kaesong Industrial Zone, is currently stalled after the DPRK blocked the entry of South Korean workers and withdrew local staff. South Korean companies have now withdrawn all their staff and factories are idle.

While North Korean might prove an interesting market for some companies, the problems in Kaesong underline investment is still only for those with a strong stomach.

The event is one of two major trade fairs that take place in the North Korean capital every year. The other, six months later, is the Autumn International Trade Fair.

This year, it is scheduled to take place between October 21st and 24th.

An affiliate of 38 North