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
- Switzerland (Number 1 in 2019)
- Sweden (2)
- United States of America (3)
- United Kingdom (5)
- Netherlands (4)
- Denmark (7)
- Finland (6)
- Singapore (8)
- Germany (9)
- 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.”
Will Covid-19 unleash a new generation of digital nomads?
– Despite travel restrictions, countries are seeking to attract digital nomads
– Dubai and Mexico have emerged as key destinations for foreign remote workers
– As travel resumes, many anticipate a new wave of roaming digital nomads
With Covid-19 facilitating the widespread adoption of remote working practices, some emerging markets are seeking to attract digital nomads through a series of incentives and special visas.
Despite border closures and travel restrictions resulting from the virus, various countries are stepping up efforts to incentivise the movement of so-called digital nomads – people who work remotely and relocate relatively freely.
For example, in October the Dubai government launched its virtual working programme, an initiative that gives foreign professionals the opportunity to move to the emirate and continue to work remotely in their current jobs.
The one-year programme, launched after Dubai reopened its borders to international tourists in July last year, is designed is attract professionals, entrepreneurs and those working in start-ups.
Given its strong ICT infrastructure and healthy start-up scene, Dubai has been seen as an increasingly attractive option for digital nomads in recent years, with officials marketing the emirate as a place where people can live and work by the beach.
As a further incentive, in January officials began offering free vaccines to those on the programme.
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Covid-19 and medical tourism: is a recovery on the cards?
– Dubai was a world leader among emerging market destinations
– Covid-19 travel bans and lockdowns seriously dented growth
– Increased emphasis on safety has enabled a gradual re-opening
Prior to the outbreak of coronavirus, medical tourism was a significant growth industry in many emerging economies. While the pandemic represented a major setback for the segment, there are signs that it may be recovering in several markets.
The last decade saw a boom in medical tourism. By 2018 the global market was generating $58.6bn annually and in 2019 it was forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11.7% – reaching more than $142.2bn by 2026.
The segment’s growth was largely spurred by increased awareness – particularly among citizens of higher-income countries – of the quality and relatively affordable health care options on offer in many emerging economies. The appeal was further enhanced by the possibility of combining medical treatment with a holiday in an attractive location.
Asia has been a popular region for medical tourism for some time. In Thailand, for example, guided by the Ministry of Public Health’s 2016-25 strategic plan entitled ‘Thailand: A Hub of Wellness and Medical Services’, stakeholders have been working to cement the country’s position as a regional leader in medical tourism.
Elsewhere in Asia, in 2017 the Indian government began offering a medical visa aimed at bringing in more foreign patients.
Governments in other regions similarly moved to capitalise on this growing segment. In 2015, for example, Turkish Airlines announced a 50% discount on flights for people coming to Turkey for medical treatment.
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