The joint inter-Korean factory park in the North Korean city of Gaeseong registered accumulated production volume worth $3 billion this year since its opening 11 years ago, the Unification Ministry said Sunday.
The volume of manufactured goods accumulated since the opening of the Gaeseong Industrial Complex in 2005 reached $2.996 billion as of the end of July this year, according to the data from the ministry handling inter-Korean affairs.
Given that the average monthly production volume hovered around $46 million this year, the total output is certain to have surpassed the $3 billion mark during August, for which official data is not yet available.
Launched amid a reconciliatory mood between the rival Koreas, the joint factory park posted $14.9 million in production in its first year of operations in 2005 and its annual output grew to more than $100 million in 2007.
The yearly production volume has steadily increased every year to amount to $470 million in 2014, except for 2013 when the two Koreas suspended operations due to inter-Korean tensions.
The speedy production growth helped the Kaesong Industrial Complex surpass the $1 billion mark in accumulated output in 2010 and the $2 billion level in 2013.
The production volume for the first half of this year stood at $278 million, and if this pace continues, the joint park could post annual production of more than $500 million for all of 2015 for the first time in its 11-year history.
Currently, the joint Gaeseong park hosts 124 South Korean companies, a sharp growth from 18 firms in 2005.
The number of North Korean workers employed in the complex has also soared from around 6,000 to 54,000 during the same period.
Fabric businesses account for 58 percent of the South Korean companies running factories inside the Gaeseong Industrial Complex, while machinery represents 19 percent, followed by electronics and chemical.
"For the future development of the factory park, there should be a complete settlement of wage issues as well as improvement in inter-Korean relations," Shin Han-yong, vice chairman of the South Korean management committee for the complex, said. (Yonhap)