Korea now ranked as the world's 23rd most competitive countryKorea's competitiveness ranking jumped this year, largely on its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, though its fiscal management rank fell due in part to the money it spent in battling the pandemic.
According to the list published annually by Lausanne, Switzerland's Institute for Management Development (IMD), Korea is No. 23 globally in terms of competitiveness.
That's up five notches from last year's No. 28 and just one notch below its all-time best score, No. 22 in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Korea ranked No. 8 of the 20 countries with more than 20 million people, the best score so far.
“The minimizing of negative impact amid the spread of Covid-19 including the aggressive quarantining and swift actions seems to have helped Korea’s competitiveness,” the Finance Ministry said in a press release.
IMD said the latest world competitiveness rank reflected the ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China and the coronavirus pandemic.
“The executive survey employed in the ranking ran from February and April 2020, and thus somewhat captures the Covid-19 impact,” IMD statement said.
The government said it will continue working on policies related to job support, job security and the education system, and make additional efforts in areas that turned out to have weakened, including government fiscal management.
The country's rank moved up in almost all categories, including economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure.
Korea ranked fourth among the seven countries in the 30-50 club — countries with more than 50 million people where national income per capita exceeds $30,000. Korea joined the 30-50 club last year.
It beat a number of major economies, including France, Japan and Italy.
Korea improved in terms of the domestic economy, trade and inflation, but it was weaker in the employment category.
In terms of the domestic economy, it ranked No. 11, up from No. 16 last year, international trade No. 41, up four notches, inflation No. 48, up from No. 53. Employment fell two notches, putting Korea at No. 12.
Government efficiency rose three notches to No. 28 as transparency improved. The fiscal management rank fell three notches to No. 27. Korea’s rank in terms of the fiscal balance has fallen from No. 3 to No. 13, and the government’s debt growth rank fell from No. 40 to No. 54.
The business efficiency rank improved six notches to No. 28. Korea received points on business activity and the labor market. Its infrastructure rank improved four notches.
Singapore remained at the top of the list for the second consecutive year, followed by Denmark and Switzerland.
The United States fell seven steps to No. 10, while China ranked No. 20, from No. 14 last year. Japan was No. 34 from No. 30 last year.
BY LEE HO-JEONG [email@example.com]