S. Korea achieves OECD average level in product market regulations

July 10, 2024

South Korea achieved the average level in the product market regulation indicators set by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for the first time ever amid deregulation efforts, the finance ministry said Wednesday.

As a comprehensive and internationally comparable set of indicators, product market regulation (PMR) indicators measure the degree to which policies promote or inhibit competition in areas of the product market.

They show the economy-wide regulatory and market environments in the 38 OECD member countries, as well as nine non-member nations, and the organization announces the index every five years.

According to the latest data released in the day, South Korea’s PMR came to 1.35 in 2023, compared with the OECD average of 1.34.

The country ranked 20th out of the 38 nations, which marked the highest ever and an improvement from 33rd place in the 2018 data.

Taking the non-member nations, South Korea stood at 22nd last year, the ministry said.

The indicators cover formal regulations in such areas as state control of business enterprises; legal and administrative barriers to entrepreneurship; and barriers to international trade and investment.

Of major indicators, South Korea logged positive assessments in terms of the simplification and evaluation of regulations, the assessment of impact on competition and the interaction with interest groups.

But the country had a lower rank in the involvement in business operations and the barriers to trade and investment, among other indicators.

“The OECD pointed out that South Korea has tightly regulated the energy, transportation and communication fields regarding business entry and competition,” the ministry said.

“South Korea is also advised to create a fair competition environment regarding public bidding. It can also ease controls and regulations regarding retail prices,” it added.

South Korea has vowed efforts to create environments that ensure fair competition by lifting regulations and pushing for reform measures as it has sought to achieve a “vibrant economy” amid a fall in productivity and weak growth momentum.

This file photo taken Nov. 1, 2023, shows a port in South Korea's southeastern city of Busan. (Yonhap)
This file photo taken Nov. 1, 2023, shows a port in South Korea’s southeastern city of Busan. (Yonhap)