01 April 2008 | Paul Snell
North Korea has emerged as buyers' top future destination for low-cost country sourcing.
A study carried out by the Institute for Direct International Offshore Trade found the republic proved the most popular choice among purchasers for its increasing economic growth, low labour costs and close links to other Asian economies. The country just edged out Sudan and Burma as countries with the most potential for sourcing in the next decade.
Hal Jordan, research director at the institute, said the dictatorship was finally putting an end to its "pariah" status, and being accepted as a member of the international community.
"The country is improving its ports and inland supply routes, which will develop its ability to compete with the other low-cost Asian economies," he said. "Many of those surveyed also appreciated the strict auditing and quality control procedures that have been put in place by the government."
He added buyers were also impressed by the growth of service industries in the country, most notably the booming parade sector.