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Thailand ranks 44th in Global Innovation Index 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is severely pressuring a long-building rise in worldwide innovation, likely hindering some innovative activities while catalyzing ingenuity elsewhere

Boris Sullivan

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Thailand’s 20-Year National Development Strategy, which contains missions for innovation, has been validated in the Global Innovation Index 2020, which has placed Thailand 44th out of 131 countries worldwide, and first in terms of innovative product exports.

The Director-General of the Department of Intellectual Property, Thosapone Dansuputra, said today the report was compiled by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), in cooperation with Cornell University of the United States of America (USA) and the European Institute of Business Administration (INSEAD).

The annual report ranks countries according to their support and development of innovation, taking into account investment in areas conducive to innovation.

Thailand’s 44th ranking was attributed to positive market conditions for innovation and consistent development. Thailand is fourth among upper middle income countries and 10th in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), East Asia and Oceania group.

As for innovation outputs, Thailand ranks 44th. This position is lower than last year (43) and the same compared to 2018.

This year, the report placed Thailand in top place for the export of innovative products, and raised Thailand to first place for spending on business development. It was noted the country is 10th globally for the number of patents registered.

Some top spots on selected innovation indicators are not held by high-income economies. In South East Asia, for example, Thailand is 1st in business R&D globally, and Malaysia is top in high-tech net exports globally.

Global rankings top 10

  1. Switzerland (Number 1 in 2019)
  2. Sweden (2)
  3. United States of America (3)
  4. United Kingdom (5)
  5. Netherlands (4)
  6. Denmark (7)
  7. Finland (6)
  8. Singapore (8)
  9. Germany (9)
  10. Republic of Korea (11)

Ranking of the most-innovative economies

Switzerland, Sweden, U.S., U.K and Netherlands lead the innovation ranking, with a second Asian economy – the Republic of Korea – joining the top 10 for the first time (Singapore is number 8). The top 10 is dominated by high-income countries.

Regional leaders include India, South Africa, Chile, Israel and Singapore, with China, Vietnam and the United Republic of Tanzania topping their income groups.

The top-performing economies in the GII are still almost exclusively from the high-income group, with China (14th) remaining the only middle-income economy in the GII top 30. Malaysia (33rd) follows.

India (48th) and the Philippines (50th) make it to the top 50 for the first time. The Philippines achieves its best rank ever—in 2014, it ranked 100th. Heading the lower middle-income group, Viet Nam ranks 42nd for the second consecutive year— from 71st in 2014. Indonesia (85th) joins the top 10 of this group. Tanzania tops the low-income group (88th).  

“As shown by China, India and Vietnam, the persistent pursuit of innovation pays off over time,” says Former Dean and Professor of Management at Cornell University Soumitra Dutta. “The GII has been used by governments of those countries and others around the world to improve their innovation performance.”

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