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  • Korea Leads IT?Manufacturing … Environment?Corporate Innovation Still Unsatisfactory

    Korea Leads IT·Manufacturing Environment·Corporate Innovation Still Unsatisfactory


    -     The Institute for International Trade of KITA issued statistics titled ‘Korea in the World’ -


    Last year, Korea maintained its leading position in the fields of information communication and manufacturing, and its national competitiveness, including globalization and transparency index were partly improved. However, it appeared that environmental indicators and corporate innovation capacity were still unsatisfactory.


    According to a report titled ‘2018 Korea in the World’, released by the Institute for International Trade (President, Shin Seung-kwan) on October 15, Korea is still in the upper ranks in information and communication sector. Korea ranked second in the ICT development index (in 2017), first in the Internet speed (in 2017), and third in the e-government index (in 2018). In addition, Korea’s national competitiveness index has significantly improved as ‘the attitude toward globalization’ jumped 9 notches to 22nd place, the transparency index elevated 11 spots to 35th place, and the international competitiveness index of the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) moved up 2 places to 27th.


    Korea’s manufacturing-related indexes ranked the highest in the world, including No.1 in semiconductor sales (in 2017), No.1 in mobile phone shipments (in 2017), No.6 in crude steel production (in 2017), No. 7 in global brand value (2018), and No. 7 in the number of companies in the list of 'Fortune' Global 500 (in 2018). The rankings were high in automobile production (6th place in 2017), and shipbuilding (2nd place in 2017), but the vehicle production volume decreased from 4,229,000 in 2016 to 4,115,000 and shipbuilding volume declined from 11,584,000 CGT (Compensated Gross Tonnage) to 10,119,000 CGT.


    Environmental indicators of Korea did not even reach the average level of advanced countries. Korea took 9th place in 'Environmental Pollution Impact', which indexes the degree of environmental pollution affecting the economy. If a country ranks in high places, it means that its economy is affected by environmental pollution. Korea was also ranked 41st place out of 124 countries in air pollution (28.7 mg/m³ in 2015).


    Korea’s corporate innovation sector ranked 29th place and 31st place in the industry-university cooperation index and the corporate innovation competency index, respectively. Those ranks were down from 27th and 19th places five years ago. This means that corporate innovation capacity to transfer knowledge between industry and academia and to develop new products and services is still lacking.


    Every year, the Institute for International Trade of the Korea International Trade Association issues the statistics titled ‘Korea in the World’, the rankings of some 170 countries based on economics, trade and social indexes. More details are available at the Institute for International Trade (

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