The Ministry of Strategy & Finance of South Korea announced on May 31 that South Korea ranked 29th out of 63 countries as in the previous year in this year’s International Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Yearbook. South Korea’s highest ranking to date in the survey is 22nd, which was recorded in 2011 to 2013. This year, the country ranked 10th among 14 Asia-Pacific countries and 11th among 29 with a population of at least 20 million.
The IMD’s yearly assessment covers the four fields of national economic performance, government efficiency, corporate efficiency and infrastructure. South Korea came in 22nd, 28th, 44th and 24th in the respective categories this year.
When it comes to corporate efficiency, South Korea climbed four notches this year. In this category, however, it took the 52nd, 59th and 62nd places in labor market conditions, business practices and labor-management relations, respectively. Besides, it has been found at the bottom of the list in terms of the effectiveness of management supervision by boards of directors and appropriateness of audit procedures.
As far as government efficiency is concerned, South Korea fell from 34th to 40th in bribery and corruption, from 11th to 19th in constitutionalism and from 50th to 59th in political instability and risk. The ministry explained that the significant drops can be attributed to the Choi Soon-sil scandal.
In economic performance, its ranking was affected by sluggish exports during 2016, corporate regulations, trade protectionism, etc. In the meantime, its performance in the infrastructure category continued to get worse for five years in a row, mainly led by its lack of competitiveness in healthcare, exposure to particulate matter and public spending including health-related expenditures.