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Korea No. 1 in Shipbuilding, DRAM Chips
October 21, 2004
Korea is the world's No. 1 supplier in shipbuilding volume, sales of DRAM chips, CDMA phones and TFT-LCD displays as well as having the highest number of broadband Internet users per capita in the world. The Korea International Trade Association announced this finding on September 30 in a recent report entitled "The Republic of Korea in 2004 as seen by 207 economic, trade and social indexes." The analysis is based on up-to-date statistics compiled by international organizations and global research firms, including the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Trade Organization and the United Nations.
According to the booklet, Korea was the undisputed No. 1 in the world in areas such as DRAM semiconductor sales, the number of broadband Internet users and shipbuilding volume and orders, maintaining wide gaps with runner-up nations.
In shipbuilding, Korea accounted for 42.9 percent of order receipts, 32 percent of ships built and 37.7 percent of backlog orders, demonstrating its unrivalled status in this industrial field.
Among highly-educated Koreans, the number of engineering majors represented 41 percent of the total, far higher than the corresponding rates of the OECD's average of 26.1 percent, Japan's 29.2 percent and Sweden's 31.9 percent.
In addition, Korea, the world's second-largest manufacturer of TV sets, was also ranked within the top-5 places in industries such as mobile handset sales, container and airport cargo handling, manufacture of home refrigerators and washing machines, production of tobacco, steel and ethylene, possession of industrial robots and exports of synthetic resin and styrene.
Last year, the nation was ranked 11th in gross domestic product, 12th in exports and overall trade, fourth in foreign exchange holdings, 83rd in trade dependency ratio and 40th in per capita exports. Trade dependency is the ratio of GDP divided by trade volume (the total of exports and imports.) Sometimes, however, it is replaced by export dependency (the ratio of exports divided by per capita GDP) or import dependency (that of imports divided by per capita GDP).
In education, research and development, meanwhile, the ratio of spending on educational institutions out of GDP was ranked at fifth in the world, but per capita educational spending and per capita R&D investments were placed 23rd and 22nd respectively.
The Koreans' patent registration was third largest in the world, and their obtaining of overseas patents was also 11th, which, along with the world's 14th science and technology theses, showed the relative vigor in research in science and technology area.
However, there were a few areas needing improvement, as shown by the poor transparency and corruption index (35th), life quality (34th), inflation (sixth) and targets of antidumping suits (third).