PH makes big leap to rank 54th in Global Innovation Index
The Philippines jumped 19 notches to rank 54th in the latest Global Innovation Index (GII), marking the biggest leap among Southeast Asian countries.
Still, the 2019 iteration of GII, which measures the performance of countries in terms of innovations (i.e., patents produced, technological advancements), showed the jump was not big enough to outpace its peers in terms of attracting foreign investments.
The Philippines overtook Brunei to rank fifth among eight Asean members included in the survey, also beating Indonesia and Cambodia. Last year, it ranked sixth.
Singapore retained its lead (eighth in global rankings), followed by Malaysia (35th), Vietnam (42nd), Thailand (43rd).
The countries were ranked based on their overall score, the average of two sub-indices: one that measured how the economy enabled innovative activities (innovation input sub-index), and another that measured the result of these innovative activities (innovation output sub-index).
Overall, the Philippines scored 36.18 points out of 100.
Switzerland, which ranked first, scored 67.24 points.
The Philippines showed improvements in the survey’s grading system, except under market sophistication, which analyzed the country’s ability to allow firms or individuals to easily get credit.
“Despite these top ranks, Philippines presents a number of weak areas, which are concentrated in the innovation input side. These include ease of starting a business, ease of getting credit, [and] expenditure on education,” the report said.
“Scientific and technical articles and new businesses are relatively weak on the innovation output side,” it added.
Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said the results recognized the efforts of various government agencies in helping to improve micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
“This is great news for our nation and our innovation ecosystem as a whole. It recognizes the efforts of the various government agencies like [the] DTI [Department of Trade and Industry], [the] DOST [Department of Science and Technology], and [the] NEDA [National Economic Development Authority] in advancing innovation among our people and MSMEs, creating an innovative culture, as well as in building linkages with academe and industry,” he said.
He said DTI expected further improvements in the country’s ranking with President Duterte’s green light of the Philippine Innovation Act, which set up a P1-billion fund, and the Innovative Startup Act, which granted incentives to new businesses.