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Korea's R&D spending 5th largest among OECD members in 2018: ministry

All News 16:15 December 18, 2019

SEOUL, Dec. 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's research and development (R&D) spending was the fifth largest among OECD nations in 2018, the country's science ministry said Wednesday.

South Korea spent 85.7 trillion won (US$73.3 billion) on R&D activities last year, up 8.8 percent from a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Science and ICT.

In terms of the proportion of R&D spending to gross domestic product (GDP), South Korea was the leading nation in the world, the ministry said, reaching 4.81 percent in 2018, up 0.26 percentage point from the year before.

The country's private sector spent a combined 65.7 trillion won on R&D activities last year, up 9.4 percent from a year earlier, while the comparable figure for the public sector was 18.3 trillion won, according to the ministry. The remainder came from foreign investors.

The ministry said the country had a total of 514,170 researchers last year, up 31,374 from the previous year, 71.6 percent of whom work for private companies.

The number of female researchers increased 7.9 percent on-year to 104,728 in 2018, accounting 20.4 percent of the total.

This undated photo provided by LG Electronics Inc. shows company researchers working at an R&D center in Changwon, South Korea. (Yonhap)


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