By Kim Hyelin and Yoon Sojung
Korea ranks eighth this year in digital competitiveness, up two notches from last year.
The Ministry of Science and ICT on Oct. 3 said Korea this year placed eighth among 63 countries in digital competitiveness as ranked by the Switzerland-based International Institute for Management Development (IMD).
The country has steadily risen on the list over the last few years, going from 19th in 2017 to 14th in 2018 and tenth last year.
The IMD rankings measure a country's capacity and preparedness in 52 detailed criteria under the three factors of knowledge, technology and future readiness.
The U.S. finished No. 1 and Singapore second on this year's list, the same as in last year. Denmark ranked third, followed by Sweden, Hong Kong, Switzerland and the Netherlands. China placed 16th and Japan 27th.
Korea showed overall improvement by earning higher scores in all three factors.
Korea ranked third in future readiness, up a notch from last year, thanks to its top scores in e-participation and internet retailing under the adaptive attitudes section. The category measures a country's readiness in digital transition.
In technology, Korea ranked 12th, up five notches from last year and mainly led by having the world's second-fastest broadband speed. The category measures capacity for digital innovation development.
In the knowledge section that gauges the capacity for understanding, discovering and expanding new technology, Korea ranked 10th, up from 11th from last year, thanks to high scores in expenditures on research and development (R&D) and R&D personnel per capita.
The ministry said in a news release, ''Through cooperation with other government ministries, we will improve weaker indexes such as those on technology development and adaptation, fostering female researchers and investment in the communications sector.''