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S. Korea ranks No. 2 in R&D spending to GDP ratio

2017/11/14 15:00

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SEOUL, Nov. 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is estimated to have the second highest ratio of research and development (R&D) spending to gross domestic product (GDP) among the world's most advanced nations, the ICT ministry said Tuesday.

According to the Ministry of Science and ICT, the country's R&D intensity, or expenditure as a percentage of its GDP, came to 4.24 percent in 2016, up 0.02 percentage point from a year earlier. This ratio is the second-highest among member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The country's overall R&D spending was the fifth-highest in the world last year, the ministry said. The government, research institutes, universities and corporations spent a combined 69.4 trillion won (US$58 billion) on R&D activity in 2016, it added.

The country's private sector spent a combined 52.3 trillion won on R&D activities last year, accounting for 75.4 percent of the total, while the comparable figure for the public sector was 16.4 trillion won, or 23.6 percent, according to the ministry. The remainder came from foreign investors.

The ministry also stated the country had a total of 46,769 researchers last year, up 7,507 from a year earlier. The number is far above that of other OECD nations checked. It said that the data was based on an OECD guideline and sampled numbers from 44,618 entities across the country.