Despite the reclusive reputation of North Korea with regards to its trade and relations with the outside world and its command-based Socialist system, the DPRK is actually involved in far more trade and business than most laymen would realize (fraternal trade actually being part of the state ideology). It should also not be ignored that during Soviet times North Korea was a member of Comecon. It is with this mind that trade fairs have and do play an integral role in the expanding of the North Korean economy.
Participation in trade fairs, much like other elements of the country is technically open for anyone to apply to take part. But, in reality, you need a local inviting entity and for the goods that are being displayed to not fall foul of the ideology of the country. This also applies to also advertising materials and literature which has to be approved before being imported into the country. For all trade fairs, this will also involve navigating customs.
Pyongyang Spring International Trade Fair
Consumer goods for import and export. The higher end economy of Pyongyang citizens.
This is one of the major trade fairs held in the country. In 2014 it had doubled in size from the previous year, with local people making many transactions, all in hard currency (Euro, Dollar, RMB). This fair is perfect for people looking to explore the consumer goods market in the DPRK, or to potentially showcase their own goods. Various consumer goods such as the locally made computer tablet have been premiered at this event.
Spring is one of the best times to visit North Korea. Whether it’s a marathon or St. Patrick’s Day drinks you’re after, YPT has something to suit everyone.
Check out the variety of tours here.
Rason International Trade Fair
Yearly mid to late August
Consumer goods for the internal market. Vehicles and electronics for export. Economic issues and opportunities related specifically to invest in the Rason Special Economic Zone (the first in the country)
This the main trade fair for the main, and first economic zone in the DPRK. Lots of consumer goods sold to local entrepreneurs and regular citizens. High focus on vehicles and farm equipment for export. Dominant Chinese and to a lesser extent Russian presence.
Want to take a trip up to the North East of North Korea and visit somewhere very few tourists get the chance to?
YPT run various tours throughout the year. Click here for more information.
Pyongyang Autumn International Trade Fair
Yearly, mid to end of September
International trade agreements. Products created by the various foreign trade companies present in the DPRK. Showcasing international products for purchase by the DPRK.
The Autumn International Trade Fair is generally considered the most important for big and serious investors. Participation has greatly increased over the last 5 years and in 2014 there were products and delegations from a number of countries including, Germany, Russia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore, China, Cuba, Italy and Taipei of China. This fair is an extremely unique experience to see how things work in country and to meet relevant people that matter.