South Korea's investment in research and development has grown an average of 9.6% since 2008, the world's second-highest level after China, a government commission reported Thursday.
Research and Development investment during the period totaled 68 trillion won (US$62.8 billion), which means an average of 9.6% growth per year between 2008 and 2012. The total is more than the target amount of 66.5 trillion won, the National Technology and Science Commission said in a report to South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.
The growth rate is the second highest after China's 22.3% averaged between 2008 and 2010.
The number of international patents under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) also rose from 7,899 cases in 2008 to 10,447 cases last year, while the ratio of science-related jobs to the total rose from 16.8% during the same period, South Korea's News Agency (Yonhap) reported.
After the report, Lee said South Korea should work harder to be a "first-mover" rather than following others, stressing that the country's future depends on science and technology, according to presidential spokesman Park Jeong-ha.