Korea took the 26th place in the 2014 National Competitiveness Assessment of the International Institute for Management Development (IMD). The country had ranked 22nd for three consecutive years until 2013.
The United States and Switzerland retained the first and second spots again, while Singapore climbed two notches to third. Japan rose from 24th to 21st, whereas China and Taiwan fell from 21st to 23rd and from 11th to 13th, respectively.
The IMD mentioned the inefficiency of the government and the corporate sector as a factor affecting the national competitiveness of Korea. Specifically, it fell from 20th to 26th in government efficiency and from 34th to 39th in corporate efficiency, while ranking 20th in economic achievement and 19th in infrastructure.
In the government efficiency segment, government subsidy (second), fiscal balance (fifth), and foreign exchange reserve (seventh) were considered as strengths, contrary to high tariff barriers (58th), tax evasion (57th), and aging risks (46th).
In the corporate efficiency segment, the annual average working hours (third) and the number of public companies (ninth) were seen as merits, along with the understanding of the necessity of economic and social reforms (11th). However, poor performance was recorded in the appropriateness of auditing (59th), adaptation to market changes (56th), and productivity of labor-management relations (57th).