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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.

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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.”

Myanmar

Digital Revolution and Repression in Myanmar and Thailand

Activists have also proactively published social media content in multiple languages using the hashtags #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar and #WhatsHappeningInThailand to boost coverage of events on the ground.

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By Karen Lee

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Following the February 1 coup, Myanmar’s netizens became the latest to join the #MilkTeaAlliance, an online collective of pro-democracy youth across Asia.

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How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?

Oxford Business Group

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How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?
– After falling significantly in 2020, oil prices have returned to pre-pandemic levels
– The rise has been driven by OPEC+ production cuts and an improving economic climate
– Higher prices are likely to support a rebound in oil-producing emerging markets
– Further virus outbreaks or increased production would pose challenges to price stability

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A combination of continued production cuts and an increase in economic activity has prompted oil prices to return to pre-pandemic levels – a factor that will be crucial to the recovery of major oil-producing countries in the Middle East and Africa.

Brent crude prices rose above $60 a barrel in early February, the first time they had exceeded pre-Covid-19 values. They have since continued to rise, going above $66 a barrel on February 24.

The ongoing increase in oil prices, which have soared by 75% since November and around 26% since the beginning of the year, marks a dramatic change from last year.

Following the closure of many national borders and the implementation of travel-related restrictions to stop the spread of the virus, demand for oil slumped globally.

In the wake of the Saudi-Russia price war in early 2020, Brent crude prices fell from around $60 a barrel in February that year to two-decade lows of $20 a barrel in late April, as supply increased and demand plummeted. The value of WTI crude – the main benchmark for oil in the US – fell to record lows of around $40 a barrel last year on the back of a lack of storage space.

While global demand for oil remains low, one factor credited with reversing the trend is the decision to make significant cuts to oil production, which subsequently tightened global supplies.

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How the Rural-Urban Divide Plays Out on Digital Platforms

It is one thing for entrepreneurs, whether urban or rural, to create and operate an online store, as some digital platforms have made it relatively easy to manage an e-store – even by using just a smartphone.

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In the West, villages are emptying out due to the lack of economic opportunities. Consider Italy where, in a bid to attract newcomers, a handful of municipalities have turned to selling houses for €1.

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