Korea more competitive, regains 2009 index ranking

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Korea more competitive, regains 2009 index ranking

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Korea ranked 19th out of 144 countries in terms of global competitiveness, climbing five notches from a year earlier owing to improvements in the country’s welfare and education systems, a report showed yesterday.

According to the Global Competitiveness Report by the World Economic Forum, the country re-entered the top 20 three years after it fell to 24th place. But it remains way lower on the list than in 2007, when it placed 11th.

The Geneva-based independent economic organization measures the global competitiveness of countries every year by evaluating the latest economic indicators and surveying business leaders. The report covers a number of areas including institutional and macroeconomic environments, welfare and primary education, efficiency in financial and labor markets and business innovation.

“Improvements in all major sectors helped move the country up from last year,” the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said in a press release.

“Of the 12 so-called intermediate areas, the country’s ranking in six of them, including health care and primary education, market efficiency and financial market maturity, improved, while it dropped in macroeconomics and business innovation.”

In both health care and primary education, it rose from 15th to 11th place, while it climbed eight places from 37th to 29th in terms of how efficient its goods market is.

Reflecting its slightly more mature yet still somewhat embryonic financial market, Korea improved from 80th to 71st in this area.

However, national creativity appears slightly stunted as Korea dropped two places to 16th in business innovation, and fell four places to 10th in an analysis of the safety of its macroeconomic system.

By Song Su-hyun [ssh@joongang.co.kr]

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