Korea ranked world’s most innovative economy

January 21, 2016

By Ko Dong-hwan

Korea has the most innovative economy in the world, according to a survey by Bloomberg, a media company based in New York.

The nation topped the 2016 Bloomberg Innovation Index, which ranked the economies of 84 countries based on seven categories related to R&D spending and concentration of high-tech public companies.

According to the report released Wednesday, Korea scored a total of 91.31 points.

It topped the “manufacturing value-added” category as well as “tertiary efficiency,” which means enrollment in higher education and concentration on science and engineering graduates. It also took the no.2 spot in the categories of “R&D intensity,” “high-tech density” and “patent activity.”

It scored sixth in “researcher concentration” but 39th in the “productivity” category.

Korea was followed in overall score by Germany, Sweden, Japan and Switzerland in the top five.

This marks the third year in a row that Korea has ranked no.1 in the index.

Marcus Noland, director of studies at the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economies, said in the report Korea is “squeezed between low-wage China on the one hand and more technologically advanced Japan on the other” and there is “a sense of anxiety, or a certain degree of urgency, about maintaining this performance.”

“If you’re a really innovative economy, everything else being equal, you’re going to tend to have higher productivity growth, and that goes hand in hand with rising living standards over time,” said Jay Bryson, global economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina, in the report. “The pie expands for everyone.”