Korea's entry into the 30-50 club (economies with US$30,000 in GDP per capita and 50 million people) is said to be possible after 2016, due to a strong U.S. dollar.
“Initially, Korea was expected to join the 30-50 club next year. But the nation's entry into the club is likely to be possible only after 2016, considering a rise in national income and the won-dollar rate,” said Park Jong-kyu, a senior researcher at the Korea Institute of Finance. His remarks were included in his report on the prospects and meaning of the 30-50 club entry released on Oct. 26.
The report said, “If the exchange rate does not change in 2015, it will be possible for the nation to join the club next year. However, the nation's entry into the club is likely to be postponed, owing to a strong U.S. dollar and devalued won caused by a rise in the interest rates in the U.S. after the second half of 2015.”
The report added, “If the nation joins the 30-50 club by achieving US$30,000 in GDP per capita in 2016, it will be faster than other advanced countries, in terms of the period needed to achieve US$30,000 from US$20,000.”
On average, it took 10.5 years for countries with more than 10 million people and US$40,000 in GDP per capita as of 2013 to increase their GDP per capita from US$10,000 to US$20,000. And it took another 10.5 years to see the number grow from US$20,000 to US$30,000.
In contrast, it took merely 11 years for Korea to achieve US$10,000 in 1995 to US$20,000 in 2006. If the nation's GDP per capita rises to US$30,000 in 2016, it will be able to cross the US$30,000 mark only 10 years after its initiation.
The report regarded the meaning of the nation's entry into the 30-50 club very highly, despite differing opinions about the joining period.
Park pointed out, “The nation will become the seventh country to join the 30-50 club, following the U.S., Japan, the U.K, Germany, France, and Italy. It will be unprecedented for a country with no prior experience in running an empire.” The researcher concluded by saying, “It will be such a great achievement that people should have pride in.”