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Korea, World's 15th on "Economic Freedom Index"

South Korea's economic freedom ranked 15th, up four notches from its 2022 ranking, out of 176 countries in the "2023 Index of Economic Freedom" released by the World Heritage. Also, it was evaluated that the level of freedom regarding the exercise of property rights and judicial efficiency increased, with significant improvements in financial soundness.
Index of Economic Freedom
경제자유지수 표로 순위,국가 정보 제공
Ranking 15 25 28 31
Country Korea US UK Japan
※ Source: The Heritage Foundation (2023)

Favorable Business Infrastructure

According to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report, Korea ranked 5th out of 190 countries in ease of doing business ranking, and the 3rd among OECD countries. In particular, Korea ranked high in the category of Getting Electricity and Enforcing Contracts.
The result highlights that electricity is supplied through a fast and simple process at an affordable price
International Energy Agency (IEA) said Korea’s average cost of utilities per person (tax included: 8.28 pence/ KWh) is the 2nd lowest of 28 OECD members as of 2020.
Energy price in Korea remains merely half of the OECD average and 25% of that in Denmark (tax included: 33.06 pence/ KWh) which tops in the global energy price index.
※ Source: IEA "Domestic electricity prices in the IEA"
Ease of Getting Electricity
Comparison of Electrical Service : Ranking, Country
Ranking 1 2 3 4 5
Country UAE Korea Hong Kong Malaysia Germany
※ Source: The World Bank Group "Doing Business 2020 ease of doing business score calculator"
Water supply bills
Korea has developed infrastructure capable of providing a stable supply of water. Furthermore, Korea’s water utility bill is on average KRW 719 per m2, compared to KRW 1,700 of major countries around the world.
Korea’s water supply bill is 44.7% of that of the overall average of major countries around the world. For example, the water supply bill of UK is 4.1 times, US is 3.0 times, Japan is 1.6 times, and China is 0.6 times than that of Korea, amounting to 42.3% of the average bill of major overseas countries.
As of 2021 (Unit : Won/m2)
water utility bills in OECED’s major cities around the world : Country, charge
Country Korea Italy Japan US France UK Germany Denmark
Bill 719 993 1,174 2,178 2,460 2,957 3,431 4,108
1) Exchange rate (June 30, 2021) : USD 1 = KRW 1,128.5
※ Source: Global Water Intelligence (Global water survey firm)

Active Application for Intellectual Property Rights

As of 2021, the number of applications for intellectual property rights in Korea is the 4th largest in the world, following China, the U.S., and Japan. In addition, Resident patent applications filed per GDP, far outdistanced other leading countries, topping the global list, showing Korea’s excellence in application for intellectual property rights.
지식재산권 출원 표로 순위, 주요국 세계 국제 디자인 출원(HAGUE) 현황(2021),주요국 PCT 국제특허 출원 현황(2021), GDP 대비 내국인 출원 건수(2020) 정보 제공
Ranking PCT International Patent Applications from Major Countries
(2021, Unit: case)
Hague International Design Application from Major Countries
(2022, Unit: case)
Resident patent applications filed per GDP
(2021, Unit: case)
1 China 69,604 Germany 4,909 Korea 8,159
2 US 59,405 US 2,558 China 5,738
3 Japan 50,275 Italy 2,414 Japan 4,341
4 Korea 20,723 US 2,412 Switzerland 1,581
5 Germany 17,267 Switzerland 2,178 Germany 1,494
6 Korea 1,346
※ Source: WIPO IP Statistics Data Center (Feb. 2023), 2022 Intellectual Property Statistics