SEJONG, Nov. 26 (Korea Bizwire) – A serious outflow of talented people from South Korea is hurting the country’s global competitiveness, a report by a business school in Switzerland showed Thursday.
The World Talent Report 2015 by the Institute for Management Development (IMD) showed Asia’s fourth-largest economy ranking 18th among 61 countries checked in terms of human capital flight.
The ranking poses challenges for the resource poor country because its ability to churn out a large number of people with skills has been the foundation of its rapid growth in the past.
Reflecting the latest findings, a survey carried out in 2012 on 1,400 South Koreans with doctorate degrees in engineering and natural sciences in the United States showed 60 percent not wanting to return home. Similar reports in South Korea showed that the number of people going abroad to study outpaced those arriving in the country by a factor of 2.5 to 1.
The IMD’s 2015 report, on the other hand, showed South Korea’s overall ability to train and attract talent standing at 31st place this year, up nine notches compared with 2014.
Among the three main factors checked, the country placed 32nd in both investment-development and appeal, while coming in at 31st place in terms of readiness to attract talent.
Going into details, the IMD gave South Korea relatively high marks in such areas as skilled labor, public spending on education and health-related infrastructure. The country did well in the area of the effective personal income tax rate, which is the percentage of income equal to GDP per capita.
On the down side, South Korea ranked low in such sectors as the cost-of-living index, worker motivation and utilization of the female labor force.
The IMD report, meanwhile, placed Switzerland at the top of the list, unchanged from last year, with Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway and the Netherlands making the top five.
The United States came in at 14th, down two from 2014, with Japan’s ranking moving up two notches to 26. China ranked 40th, a gain of three vis-a-vis the year before.