China / Innovation

China outperforms economic peers in latest global innovation index

By Cecily Liu (China Daily Europe) Updated: 2015-09-17 19:14

China outperformed its economic peers in the Global Innovation Index 2015 released on Thursday, demonstrating strength in some variables of the index including education, general infrastructure and knowledge impact.

The GII, jointly published by Cornell University, the French business school INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization, ranked China 29th in the world, which makes it first in the upper-middle income group and 7th in the South East Asia and the Pacific geography group.

Globally, Switzerland topped the league table, followed by the UK and Sweden in second and third places. The index, which is in its 8th year running, covers 141 countries.

China has scored high in several key indicator areas that contribute towards the index. Its knowledge impact ranks 1st in the world, education ranks 2nd in the world, both of its general infrastructure as well as knowledge and technology outputs rank 3rd in the world, and knowledge creation is 6th.

Knowledge impact is mainly measured by factors such as the percentage growth rate of purchasing power parity GDP per worker and the percentage of high tech exports, less re-exports.

But in some areas China ranks relatively low, and one example is its tertiary education which ranks 121st in the world. China's microfinance gross loans as a percentage of GDP is 86th in the world, and its percentage of printing and publishing output manufactures is 21st.

China also achieved 29th place in the 2014 index, and in 2013 and 2012 its ranking was 35th and 34th respectively.

China's level of innovation performance is now very close to the high income leaders in the top 25 countries of the GII, said Sacha Wunsch-Vincent, WIPO Senior Economist, and Editor of the Global Innovation Index.

"The performance of China over the last decade on matters such as innovation inputs and outputs has been exceptional. One important foundation for innovation policy in any country is to be perseverant. R&D and innovation capacity is not ramped up overnight. Clearly, China and its long-term innovation strategy has been above-par."

Wunsch-Vincent said that although China's ranking globally has not changed between 2014 and 2015, it has improved significantly in terms of some key variables including research and development investment, its education sector driven innovation, scientific publications, number of patents and its business sector innovation.

He said another important factor is that China has significantly ramped up its use of the intellectual property system in recent years, recognizing that IP protection is an important part of encouraging innovation in an economy.

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