Korea Rises to 13th in Global Competitiveness

  • By Choi Kyu-min

    October 10, 2019 12:18

    Korea's overall competitiveness ranking rose two notches to 13th among 141 countries in a World Economic Forum report released Wednesday. It has improved from No. 17 in 2017 and No. 15 last year.

    Korea ranked in the top tier in such categories as ICT adoption and macroeconomic stability, but slid in labor market evaluations such as hiring and firing practices and cooperation in labor-employer relations.

    The WEF ranks the global competitiveness of countries based on 12 "pillars" which are organized into four "overarching components." Korea also received high marks for infrastructure (No. 6), health (No.8) and innovation capability (No. 6).

    According to the report, Korea's weaknesses are its product market (59th), labor market (51st) and institutions (26th). In the product market pillar, the most dismal performances were extent of market dominance (93rd) and trade tariffs (91st).

    Even worse in the labor market pillar were redundancy costs (116th), hiring and firing practices (102nd), cooperation in labor-employer relations (130th) and ease of hiring foreign labor (100th).

    As for institutions, the WEF gave the country low marks for burden of government regulation (87th), government ensuring policy stability (76th), social capital (72nd) and, perhaps surprisingly, judicial independence (69th).

    Singapore topped the overall ranking, up from second last year, still followed by the U.S. Next were Hong Kong and the Netherlands. In Asia, Japan (No. 6) and Taiwan (No. 12) were also ahead of Korea.

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