Published : 2013-09-04 09:42
Updated : 2013-09-04 09:42
South Korea's ranking in global competitiveness dropped by six notches this year, affected by the prolonged low economic growth trend and the heightened geopolitical risks surrounding the Korean Peninsula, a report showed Wednesday.
According to the report compiled by the World Economic Forum (WEF), the competitiveness index for South Korea ranked 25th out of 148 countries surveyed this year, down from 19th a year earlier.
This was the lowest since 2004 when the ranking slipped to 29th in the same WEF report.
South Korea saw readings worsen in most categories. Its ranking in terms of infrastructure fell from 9th to 11th, while its ranking in health and elementary education was also down to 18th from the previous year's 11th, the report showed.
In terms of efficiency, Korea's global competitiveness also dropped across the board.
In the efficiency of the product and labor markets, its rankings fell to 33rd and 78th, respectively, from 29th and 73rd.
In the financial market maturity as well, Korea saw its ranking slide from 71st to 81st.
The finance ministry here attributed the poor readings to the prolonged low economic growth and the heightened geopolitical risks prompted by North Korea's nuclear test in February and the shutdown of the joint economic zone in Kaesong in April.
South Korea's gross domestic product grew less than 1 percent on-quarter for the eighth straight quarter until the first quarter.
The ministry explained that such sluggish growth figures and heightened North Korea risks coincided with the period when the WEF conducted evaluations of global competitiveness based on its surveys of each country. The assessment was carried out from April to May.
Indeed, South Korea saw its ranking in terms of business costs stemming from terror risks plunge to 106th from the previous year's 74th, the report showed.
Meanwhile, Switzerland kept its top position in terms of global competitiveness this year, followed by Singapore, Finland, Germany, the United States, Sweden, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Japan, according to the report. (Yonhap News)