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S. Korea global competitiveness ranking stays unchanged at 29th in 2016: IMD

All Headlines 03:01 June 01, 2017

SEJONG, June 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's global competitiveness ranking stayed unchanged in 2016 from a year earlier due to flaccid economic performance, an international institute said Thursday.

According to the 2017 report by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), South Korea ranked 29th in terms of global competitiveness among 63 countries surveyed.

IMD is a Swiss-based organization that releases competitiveness rankings every year based on a country's economic achievements, infrastructure, and government and corporate efficiency. It has been issuing the report since 1997.

South Korea ranked 10th highest among the 14 countries checked in the Asia-Pacific region and stood at 11th place among 29 nations with a population of 20 million or more.

In terms of economic achievements that cover the domestic economy, international trade and employment, South Korea placed 22nd, down one notch from a year earlier, as the country's exports backtracked 6 percent on-year in 2016 amid a worldwide economic slump.

Hit hard by the unprecedented political corruption scandal that jolted the nation last year, government efficiency also dropped to the 28th spot this year from the previous year's 26th.

In the infrastructure sector, South Korea was down by two to 24th place mainly due to a poor institutional environment for health and education.

South Korea finished 44th in corporate efficiency, marking the lowest rank in four assessment criteria, as an inflexible labor market and opaque corporate management system kept the country from earning higher marks.

"The recent political turmoil and economic fundamental issues weighed heavily on the IMD result," the South Korean finance ministry said in a release.

IMD suggested that the South Korean government fend off the impact of external risks on the economy and carry out structural reforms in the business and labor sectors, along with efforts to create jobs for the younger generation, according to the ministry.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong topped the list in terms of global competitiveness in the 2017 findings, followed by Switzerland and Singapore. The United States, which finished No. 3 last year, was relegated to fourth place.

China, meanwhile, climbed by eight to place 18th this year, while Japan stood unchanged at 26th.

brk@yna.co.kr
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