A new report by Hyundai Research Institute predicts that if the North and South were to unify their economies in 2013, by 2050 the unified entity would become the world’s 10th largest economy.
In the report released on the 12th, ‘The Future Image of a Unified Korea, Global Emergence of One Nation,’ senior research fellow Lee Hae Jung explained the reason behind the report, saying, “There is the need to establish a popular consensus for the construction of a unified Korean Peninsula.”
The report predicted that 2050 would find a hypothetical unified Korea with a population of 73.5 million, making it the 26th largest country in the world by population (South Korea is currently 41st). This would raise the productive population of the unified state to 58% of total population, from the 54% of an independent South Korea.
The report also suggests that the unified Korea would rise to ninth place in terms of GDP (from its current 15th), overcoming the economies of both the United Kingdom and France by the year 2040.
It also predicts that GDP per capita in this theoretical unified Korea would be $22,000 in 2015, $43,000 in 2030 and $86,000 in 2050, once again overtaking many of today’s more dominant economies, including Russia, France and Japan.
Contributing to the report's rosy prediction of a revitalized unified Korean economy is the estimated value of North Korea’s mineral resources and the potential to reduce the combined defense budgets of the two states.
Overall, the report predicts a reunified Korea would become the 10th largest economy in the world.