[EDITORIALS]A boost in competitiveness

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[EDITORIALS]A boost in competitiveness

Korea’s competitiveness ranking jumped 12 notches from last year to 17th in the world this year, the World Economic Forum reported. Though we should not be excessively pleased or disappointed with each foreign research institute’s survey, it is true that it is pleasing news for a change.
The surge in the nation’s ranking resulted from the reduction in the influence of personal considerations in the government’s policymaking. In other words, the nation received good marks due to the reduction of corruption among government officials. And the government cared a lot about the World Economic Forum’s survey this time, actively providing the related data to the research institute.
Korea should pay attention to three points. The first is that the domestic economy is competitive due to its private sector. The nation’s ranking in the technology index advanced from ninth to seventh. Companies and private laboratories are developing the most advanced technologies in the semiconductor, mobile phone and biotechnology sectors.
The second point is that Korea is still rated low in the opening of its markets to foreign competition and the flexibility of regulations. The nation ranked 60th to 96th in the liberalization of foreign direct investment, employment of foreign workers and employment of female workers. Korea should hurry to solve those problems in order to boost the economy.
The last point is that while Korea jumped in the global competitiveness rankings this year, it is still behind its neighboring rivals. Taiwan, Singapore and Japan have higher rankings than Korea has. It means that we should run and run.
The World Economic Forum pointed out that Korea’s competitiveness was being depressed by regulations and lack of transparency, though the nation had great potential.
We should keep that in mind. It means the government should boost the private sector of the domestic economy, accelerate the opening of its markets and relax regulations. These are issues that the JoongAng Ilbo has repeatedly emphasized.
The government should not take satisfaction from this rise in its global competitiveness rankings. The nation took 42nd position in the public institute index, little changed from last year. It received shameful rankings in government regulations, inefficiency and gender equality. There still are many problems to solve.
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