It has been found that Korea recorded the highest R&D investment-to-GDP ratio in the OECD but the absolute amount of its R&D investment was about one-fifth of China’s.
The OECD announced on February 11 that Korea recorded an R&D investment-to-GDP ratio of 4.29% in 2014, surpassing the 34 member countries of the organization as well as seven major emerging economies. It was followed by Israel (4.11%), Japan (3.58%), Finland (3.2%), Sweden (3.2%), Denmark (3.1%), Austria (3.0%) and Taiwan (3.0%).
China and the EU posted 2.05% and 1.94%, respectively. The former began to gradually increase from 0.57% in 1995, exceeding that of Britain in 2011 and that of the EU in the following year. The OECD average remained at 2.37% for two years in a row.
When it comes to the absolute amounts of R&D investments, the United States reached US$456.9 billion in 2013 while China (US$368.7 billion) surpassed the EU by a margin of US$5.7 billion in 2014. Those of Japan and Germany were US$166.9 billion and US$106.8 billion in 2014, respectively. Korea recorded US$72.3 billion to rank sixth in the OECD.
In 2014, the Korean government accounted for 23% of Korea’s total R&D investment while the OECD member countries’ average was 28% when it comes to the ratio of government-led R&D investment to total R&D investment.
In the meantime, the European Commission recently announced that a total of 22 Korean enterprises were found on the list of the top 1,000 R&D investors of 2014. Specifically, Samsung Electronics made an R&D investment of 12.1 billion euros to be second only to Volkswagen (13.1 billion euros). Microsoft (9.9 billion), Intel (9.5 billion), Novartis (8.2 billion) and Google (8.1 billion) followed them. LG Electronics ranked 46th with 2.6 billion euros, Hyundai Motor Company ranked 79th with 14 billion euros and SK Hynix took the 98th place by recording 1.2 billion euros.