By Cynthia J. Kim
Korea’s rating in the World Competitiveness Yearbook by a Switzerland business school rose by one place to No. 22 this year, the highest level the country has reached since joining the list in 1997.
The annual report of the world’s 59 most competitive countries by the International Institution for Management Development ranked Korea higher on government and business efficiency, raising their spots from No. 26 to No. 22 and No. 27 to No. 26 respectively.
“Korea’s fiscal soundness and the general competitiveness of government efficiency were valued higher,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement analyzing the paper.
“But it picked the country’s strict regulations on hiring foreigners as well as tax barriers to investments as major weaknesses.” It ranked Korea 23rd last year.
The United States and Hong Kong shared the top spots, followed by Singapore which slid from No. 1 to No. 3 this year. Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Canada, Qatar, Australia and Germany filled the top 10.
Greece, which is suffering from a debt crisis, dived from 46th to 56th over the past year, recording the steepest drop.
Japan’s ranking climbed to 26th from 27th after suffering a 10-notch plunge in 2010. The report put Venezuela at the bottom of the list.
The World Competitiveness Yearbook has been analyzing how major economies have been managing its resources and performing in relation to global standard since 1989.
In another report from the World Bank released on the same day, Korea was included among one of six emerging economies that will account for more than half of global growth by 2025.
In the report named “Development Horizons 2011 ― Multipolarity: The New Global Economy,” it said India, China, Indonesia, Russia and Korea will drive growth in developing nations through more trade.
“The setting up of major research facilities in China by Microsoft, the invention of the Nano microcar by Indian firm Tata, and the continued string of aeronautical breakthroughs in Russia suggest the emerging-economy giants’ strong potential for fostering growth through technological advancement,” said the bank.
It forecasts the six emerging economies to grow on average by 4.7 percent annually from this year to 2025.
Advanced economies, however, are forecast to grow by 2.3 percent on average over the next fifteen years, but it said the group will remain prominent in the global economy.