2020 innovation index report: China ranks 14th worldwide
Updated: September 5, 2020 19:15 CGTN

China retains its 14th spot in the top-performing economies in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2020 released on Sept 2, according to the UN's World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

China remains the only middle-income economy in the top 30 of the GII list in terms of innovation capacity and output. It has high ranks in patents, utility models, trademarks, industrial design applications and creative products exports and other important metrics.

The country features 17 world-leading technology clusters, among which Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Guangzhou and Beijing rank the world's second and fourth respectively, said GII 2020.

"The top 10 is dominated by high-income countries," said GII. Switzerland, Sweden, the United States, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands are the top five global economies. The Republic of Korea has become the second Asian economy to join the top 10, trailing Singapore in the eighth position.

The top 20 economies in the GII 2020. /WIPO

The report indicated that the innovation capacity of a group of Asian economies, "notably China, India, the Philippines and Vietnam have advanced considerably" over the years, with all four now among the top 50, and the locus of innovation is gradually shifting eastward.

The COVID-19 pandemic overall appeared to be spurring an "acceleration of trends that were pre-existing", such as the virtualization of economic activities, said WIPO Director-General Francis Gurry.

"I would dare to make the very hesitant prediction that one of the trends that may be accelerated by the pandemic is indeed the movement towards Asia," he said.

COVID-19 pandemic's severe impact on global innovation

"The COVID-19 pandemic is severely pressuring a long-building rise in worldwide innovation, likely hindering some innovative activities," GII pointed out.

"The great risk … is that innovation expenditures and the means to finance innovation will spiral downwards as the global economy grinds to something of a halt," Gurry said.

No figures were available yet on the impact the pandemic was having on research and development spending, but there were clear indications that "money to fund innovation is drying up around the world," he added.

The director-general called on governments to broaden their support, urging them to recognize that innovative and new ideas will be vital to exiting the pandemic and recovering through the post-COVDI-19 era.

First launched in 2007, the annual GII is jointly compiled by the WIPO, Cornell University and the INSEAD business school. With the core to track world economies' innovation capabilities and results, the GII provides business executives, policy makers and others insight into the state of innovation around the world.

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