South Korea's trade balance in technology transactions ranked the lowest among a group of advanced countries due to its weakness in original technologies, data showed Monday. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the technology trade balance ratio of Asia's fourth-largest economy came to 0.33 in 2010, the lowest among the 25 member countries surveyed. The export-to-import ratio serves as a barometer of a country's competitiveness in path-breaking technology. An index below the 1.0 unit level indicates expenditure outnumbers earnings in royalty payments, according to South Korea's (Yonhap) News Agency. The figure lagged far behind other advanced countries such as Japan and the United States, which reported 4.6 and 1.46, respectively, the data showed. The country spent US$10.2 billion on overseas payments of royalties in 2010, up 21.3% from a year earlier, the organization said. In the cited period, local firms earned $3.35 billion from royalties paid by foreign companies, but their overseas payments far outweighed their income, leading the country to post a royalty balance deficit of $6.88 billion, the data showed. South Korea's dependency on the US, which accounts for 57.4% of its royalty expenditures, also increased 23.4% on-year in 2010, the Paris-based club of industrialized economies added.