Korea lags behind OECD on economic creativity

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Korea lags behind OECD on economic creativity

It seems that Korea has a long way to go before achieving the “creative economy” pledged by President Park Geun-hye as a local research institute has suggested that the country’s ability to achieve a business vision is lower than the OECD average.

Hyundai Research Institute said yesterday that the country ranks 20th out of 31 OECD member countries on this metric. It said it gauged each country’s capability for realizing a creative economy by developing its own index that compares human capital, innovation capital, social capital, information and communications technology (ICT) capital, and cultural capital. The institute said it scored human capital based on each country’s efforts to improve labor quality while innovation capital measures investments in technological innovation and social capital refers to efforts directed at improving efficiency of the public sector.

Korea scored 6.2 out of 10 points, lower than the overall average of 6.3 points and the Group of 7 average of 6.6 points. The institute said Switzerland topped the ranking by scoring 7.5 points, followed by Sweden (7.2) and Norway (7.1). The United States ranked seventh with 6.9 points and Japan placed 15th with 6.5.

Park’s “creative economy” initiative aims to have Korea break away from following advanced countries and become a front-runner in the global economy. The president defined creativity for the project as “the convergence of science and technology with industry, the fusion of culture with industry, and the blossoming of creativity in the very borders that were once permeated by barriers.

“Despite Korea having received the highest score for ICT capital and ranking 11th for innovation capital, it scored lower than the OECD average because of human capital, cultural capital and social capital,” said Lee Bu-hyeong, chief research fellow at the institute. “It should improve where it is lacking to support sustainable growth.”

By Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]

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