SEOUL, July 11 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's per-capita gross domestic product (GDP) rose 8.75 percent on-year in 2012 due to an improved grain harvest and expanded investment in the construction sector, a report showed Thursday.
The North's per-capita GDP for last year is estimated at US$783, compared with $720 tallied in 2011, according to the report released by the Hyundai Research Institute (HRI), a South Korean private think tank.
The North's 2012 per-capita GDP amounts to a mere 3.38 percent of South Korea's per-capita GDP of $23,113 in the same year.
The increase came as North Korea's grain production improved on the back of favorable weather conditions, while the country also expanded its investment in the construction sector, the report said.
Other positive factors were North Korea's expanded trade with China and South Korea, as well as an increase in humanitarian aid to the country, it said.
"North Korea's economy still remains too weak to be self-sufficient," the think tank said. "(The two Koreas) must make efforts in narrowing the economic gap, as it may weigh down on unification costs in the future."
Other Asian countries with socialist regimes saw their per-capita GDP hover far above that of North Korea in 2012, with Vietnam and Laos posting $1,528 and $1,446, respectively, the report added.
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