▲ Seminar held in the Asiatic Research Institute. Photographed By Kim Min Young.
On September 19, the fourth seminar of Asiatic Research Institute (ARI) on “Economics of the German Reunification, and its Implications on Korea” took place at ARI of the Korea University (KU). Professor Joachim Ragnitz (Economics, Dresden University of Technology) shared his views on the economic aspects of the potential reunification of Korea based on his study of Germany’s case.
Professor Ragnitz started the seminar by introducing the historical background of the unification of East and West Germany in 1989. He provided the details on the various economic conditions that made such event possible, including the lack of infrastructure and natural resources in East Germany. The professor reinforced his claim by providing graphs on the growth of Germany’s GDP per capita from 1900 to 2010, illustrating the difference in the economic status of East and West Germany.
The seminar narrowed down to analyze how to unify economic systems of North and South Korea. Professor Ragnitz pointed out that the assimilation of East Germany in the process of unification was problematic and there was little respect for the East in the construction of the infrastructures. He advised that Korea learn from such mistakes, stating, “Financial and political support from the South will be necessary to avoid political and social instability.”