A state-run Chinese research institute has ranked Korea fourth in the world in terms of national competitiveness. According to the Blue Book of National Competitiveness published by the China Academy of Social Sciences on Monday, the U.S. ranked first, the EU second, Japan third and Korea fourth.
Fifth through 10th places went to Singapore, Germany, the U.K., the Netherlands, Switzerland and France. Analysts say Asian countries like Korea, China, Singapore and Taiwan fared better compared to western rankings because CASS applied various economic indicators that are favorable to them. China is critical of competitiveness surveys that use standards geared to measuring western economies.
CASS said it applied a wide range of analytical tools it developed to evaluate economic volume, economic efficiency and structure, development potential, innovation and other traits. It evaluated data for 100 countries between 1990 and 2008. China ranked 73rd in 1990 but surged to 17th place in 2008. "In terms of overall competitiveness, China will rank among the top five in the G20 by 2020, compete with the U.S. and EU by 2030 and emerge among the world's top two economies along with the U.S. in 2050," CASS predicted.
Experts say China needs to overcome major obstacles to reach that status. "China faces a situation where income disparity, the rule of law and inequitable distribution of wealth are becoming serious problems," Zhou Xiaozheng, a sociologist at Renmin University, told Hong Kong's Ming Pao daily. "If it doesn't solve these problems, it will have a tough time developing into one of the world's top two economies."
In competitiveness rankings CASS published in March 2006, the top 10 countries were the U.S., Germany, Japan, the U.K., France, the Netherlands, Ireland, Canada, Italy and Belgium. Korea ranked 20th and China 34th. At the time CASS evaluated them based on economic growth rate, per-capita GDP, exports of goods and services and labor productivity, which were different than the standards used this year.
The latest rankings differ from those compiled by the World Economic Forum, International Institute for Management Development and other western institutions. In the WEF rankings earlier this month, the top six countries were Switzerland, Sweden, Singapore, the U.S., Germany and Japan, while Korea ranked 22nd and China 27th. Korea came 18th and China 23rd in rankings announced by the IMD in May.