Korea’s global competitiveness rises

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Korea’s global competitiveness rises

Korea’s global competitiveness ranking rose by two notches for this year thanks to macroeconomic stability and competitive information technology, a report showed Wednesday.

According to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) annual “Global Competitiveness Report 2019,” Korea’s ranking was boosted to 13th out of 141 surveyed countries, up from 15th a year earlier and 17th in 2017.

For this year’s index, Korea topped the chart for macroeconomic stability and progress in adopting information and communications technology, which includes the number of subscriptions for mobile phones and fixed broadband internet.

Korea boasts the most optical fiber connections per capita in the world, and 96 percent of its population uses the internet on a regular basis. The country was also the first in the world to commercialize a 5G network in April this year.

Korea also ranked sixth for infrastructure and innovation capability and eighth for public health. Singapore ranked first in this year’s index, followed by the United States with second place and Hong Kong with third place.

The report, however, suggested that Korea’s rank could be higher if it improves its competitiveness in domestic competition and the labor market. The index placed Korea 59th for market efficiencies and 66th for domestic competition.

The WEF added that Korea’s labor market is suffering from conflictual industrial relations and comparatively poor workers’ rights protections.

In response to the report, the Ministry of Economy and Finance said Wednesday that it will work to innovate regulations and improve the country’s labor market for better competitiveness. The government has been looking to revise some of its labor laws that will strengthen workers’ rights as it pushes to meet key International Labour Organization conventions.

The ministry also said it will fast-track investments into innovative platforms and new industries to strengthen Korea’s innovation capabilities.

BY KO JUN-TAE [ko.juntae@joongang.co.kr]
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