The Presidential Committee for Unification Preparation held its first open seminar on Oct. 20 and predicted that a unified Korea would have a per-capita GDP of at least US$70,000 by 2050 to rank second in the world.
Seoul National University professor Kim Byung-yeon, who is an expert member of the committee, estimated the per-capita GDP by that year specifically at US$73,747 during his presentation with those of the South and the North at US$82,421 and US$57,396, respectively. “The per-capita GDP of the North is expected to soar from merely US$753 to this high figure between 2015 and 2050, while South Korea’s increases about three-fold from US$25,896,” he explained, adding, “In the year 2050, the annual economic growth rate would be 4.51 percent for unified Korea, 2.63 percent for the South, and 9.55 percent for the North.”
According to him, unified Korea is expected to be second only to the United States in per-capita GDP in 2050 by a margin of US$20,517 when compared to G20 countries, with currency appreciation effects taken into consideration. “The economy of unified Korea is forecast to reach US$6.546 trillion in 2050 to become the eighth-largest in the world,” he continued. He said that his hypothesis is based on the assumption of a gradual and peaceful reunification under one regime.
“Examples of the positive effects that inter-Korean economic integration and reunification are likely to bring include market expansion for additional economic growth by 0.266 percentage points a year, better utilization of resources, and less costs for addressing social conflicts equivalent to an additional growth of 0.469 percentage points per year, and military force reduction to lead to a 0.071 percentage point additional growth,” he mentioned.