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Apparel making at Kaesong Industrial Park in doldrums
Apr '13
The production of apparels at inter-Korean border city of Kaesong has come to a halt after Pyongyang stopped sending about 53,000 workers to several units functioning in the Industrial Park, located in North Korea just north of the South Korean border.
The Kaesong industrial complex runs with low-cost North Korean workers and South Korean capital in the demilitarized zone. It houses 123 South Korean companies, about 60 percent of which are into manufacturing of garments and fabric.
In the first week of April, North Korea stopped entry of raw materials to the industrial park from South Korea. This was followed by stoppage of sending North Korean workers to the complex this week, according to media reports. However, South Korean managers are being allowed to return home.
Shipments of finished clothing and other items from the complex have been paralyzed as South Korean cargo trucks are denied entry across the border.
The shutdown of work at the Kaesong Industrial Park would especially harm North Korea’s economy, according to experts. North Korea has a per capita GDP of US$ 1,800 per year, much lower than its neighbours in the region, according to the US State Department.
Tensions have mounted between the two Korea’s after North Korea made its third nuclear test on February 12, leading to tightening of sanctions by the Western countries.
In the present scenario, owners of apparel manufacturing firms in Kaesong will have to wait until the North and South Korean Governments agree on a solution and things become normal again.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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