The Hyundai Research Institute announced on August 15 that South Korea ranks 25th in the world in terms of preparedness for the fourth industrial revolution. According to the report the institute released on that day, the fourth industrial revolution can be defined as a technological innovation in which digital, biology, physics and many more are combined with one another with their boundaries blurring and new technology is expected to arise during the course based on convergence among 3D printing, the Internet of Things (IoT), etc.
The report also shows UBS AG’s and the World Economic Forum’s assessment on how adaptable countries are to the fourth industrial revolution, which is based on the five criteria of labor market flexibility, technological level, education, infrastructure and legal protection. In this assessment, Switzerland took the top spot, followed by the U.S. (fourth), Japan (12th), South Korea (25th) and China (28th).
South Korean listed companied related to the fourth industrial revolution recorded a sales growth rate of 9.7% a year between 2006 and 2010, but the percentage dropped to 1.8% in the period of 2011 to 2015. In contrast, the sales growth rates of those in the United States, Japan, China and Germany improved without exception between the two five-year periods.
Likewise, those South Korean companies’ operating profit ratio fell 0.4 percentage points between 2011 and 2015 whereas that of their Japanese counterparts rose 1.0 percentage point during the same period. South Korea posted a replacement rate of 14.4% when it comes to companies related to the fourth industrial revolution, which is an indicator of industrial dynamism. Germany, the United States and China reached 20.8%, 36.6% and 22.2%, respectively.