Hong Soon-jik, a North Korea researcher at Hyundai Economic Research Institute, has predicted that the unification of the Korean Peninsula would bring about Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita of US$28,000 in 2020, US$43,000 in 2030, US$66,000 in 2040, and US$86,000 in 2050. The 2050 estimate is higher than the figure for the UK, Russia, France, or Japan. His remarks were made at a symposium on a reunified Korea hosted by the Federation of Korean Industries in its head office building on March 11.
The researcher said that if the Korean peninsula reunifies in 2015, the country will emerge as a powerful nation with a population of 74 million. In addition, its GDP is expected to reach US$1.6430 trillion in 2015, US$2.77 trillion in 2020, and US$3.2800 trillion in 2030, arising from the expansion of domestic demand.
He forecast that a reunified Korea would save US$15.39 billion per year owing to its use of mineral resources in North Korea, and reduce US$1.8862 trillion in defense spending between 2013 and 2050.
Hong added, “To use the unification of the two Koreas as a new growth engine, we should focus on long-term benefits rather than the short-term high cost of reunification. We also need to change the way that we consider costs for building up conditions for the unification to be advanced, diversified investments.”