SEJONG, Oct. 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's ranking in global competitiveness rose by two notches this year thanks to improvement in the country's macroeconomic environment and a high-level of information technology, a report showed Wednesday.
In 2018, Asia's fourth-largest economy ranked 15th out of 140 countries surveyed in the World Economic Forum (WEF) competitiveness index, up from 17th the previous year. WEF said this year's gains were tempered by challenges in the country's labor sector and certain structural problems.
The WEF changed some items reviewed, and the rankings are based on the new evaluation scheme.
The country's rankings in terms of basic requirements that measure its institutions and infrastructure came in at 27th and sixth places, respectively. The country ranked No. 1 in both ICT adoption and macroeconomic stability.
South Korea stood at 19th and 27th in terms of health and skills, with the numbers for product market, labor market, financial system and market size being 67th, 48th, 19th and 14th, each, the report showed.
"The country leads the ICT adoption pillar, boasting some of the world's highest penetration rates of ICTs. A global innovation powerhouse ... [South Korea] struggles on the less tangible drivers of innovation," the report said.
The report noted South Korea's two weakest pillars are its product market, mostly due to the lack of domestic competition, and labor market, caused by its rigidity and sub-optimal utilization of human capital.