S. Korea ranks fifth in national image but falls in labor and environmental indexes

기사입력 : 2022-11-24 09:42

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South Korea ranked fifth in the national image.
South Korea ranked fifth in the national image.
South Korea ranked fifth in the national image and maintains its competitiveness in manufacturing and innovation, but it is analyzed that improvement is needed in labor and the environment.

The Korea International Trade Association (KITA)’s international trade research institute published a statistics book titled “Korea in the World (2022),” which recorded the world ranking of Korea in major indicators. It compares 248 countries in 193 indicators, including labor and wages, manufacturing, inflation and finance, national accounts, and national competitiveness.

According to the statistics, Korea’s nominal gross domestic product (GDP) rose from 12th in 2019 to 10th last year, and GDP per capita rose from 30th to 29th.

In particular, Japan’s GDP per capita fell from 25th to 27th during the same period, narrowing the gap between Korea and Japan. Last year, Korea’s GDP per capita was $35,004 and Japan’s GDP per capita was $39,301.

In terms of national competitiveness, Korea jumped from 13th in 2020 to 5th this year in the national image. In Swiss IMD global competitiveness ranking, Korea ranked fifth after Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, and Netherlands. Korea also rose from 25th in 2020 to 19th this year in the in the Heritage Foundation’s index of economic freedom.

In the manufacturing index, Korea ranked first in the world in semiconductor sales and mobile phone shipments. It also ranked second in shipbuilding orders, fourth in synthetic resin production and ethylene production, and fifth in automobile production and iron production.

In addition, it maintained high ranking in R&D investment (5th) and R&D investment to GDP (2nd). Korea also rose from 10th to 5th in the Global Innovation Index and from 2nd to 1st in the Bloomberg Innovation Index.

However, it ranked low in high-quality employee attraction and entrepreneurship. Korea fell from 49th to 43th in the Brain Drain Index, and also fell 5 notches to 50th in the entrepreneurship.

In the IMD World Competitiveness Index, which combines the operational efficiency and economic performance of governments and companies, Korea fell from 23rd (79.2 points) to 27th (75.6 points), and also fell from 32nd to 38th in the transparency index.

It is pointed out that improvement is needed in the environment and employment.

In the environment index, the number of climate disasters in the past 10 years (2012-2021) was 15, up from 13 in the previous 10 years, ranking 16th. In addition, Korea fell from 12th in 2018 to 16th in 2020 in the Environmental Policy Stringency Index.

Despite the increase in renewable energy production, Korea’s climate crisis response was relatively insufficient with increasing coal and natural gas consumption.

In the employment index, quantitative indicators such as working hours and youth unemployment rate improved, while qualitative indicators such as labor costs and productivity decreased.

Although Korea fell in population growth (184th) and birth rate (248th), quantitative labor indicators such as working hours and youth unemployment rate improved. However, it is pointed out that Korea’s productivity and cost have deteriorated as it ranked 10th in the unit labor cost and 30th in productivity.


By Global Economic Reporter Jung-hee Kim ; Translate by Gounee Yang