The Korea Economic Research Institute announced on April 24 that 13 South Korean companies put their names on the list of the world’s top 500 R&D investors last year, when South Korea came in ninth in terms of the number of companies and eighth in terms of total R&D expenditure.
The 500 companies include 196 U.S., 85 Japanese, 33 Chinese, 24 German and 22 French companies. Samsung Electronics took the third place, followed by SK Hynix (68th), LG Display (159th), Hyundai Motor Co. (172nd) and LG Chem (184th).
The 13 South Korean companies’ average R&D investment-to-sales ratio was 3.7 percent last year whereas the average of the 500 was 5.5 percent.
The South Korean companies lagged behind the others in R&D investment growth, too. Specifically, the American companies increased their R&D investment by 55.7 percent for the past five years and the rate of increase was 21.4 percent for the Japanese companies and 109 percent for the Chinese companies whereas that of the South Korean companies rose 11.5 percent from US$23.5 billion to US$26.2 billion. The combined R&D investment of the 12 South Korean companies except for Samsung Electronics fell from US$9.9 billion to US$9.4 billion to boot. Samsung Electronics accounted for 48.6 percent of South Korea’s total R&D investment last year.