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China edging closer to top 10 most innovative economies: WIPO

Updated: Sep 22, 2021 Xinhua Print
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Shenzhen city [Photo/IC]

China is still the only middle-income economy in the list of the world's top 30 most innovative economies, establishing itself as a global innovation leader and approaching the top 10, according to a report released by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on Sept 20.

WIPO's "Global Innovation Index (GII) 2021" shows that China has made continuous progress from ranking 14th last year to 12th this year and is now "knocking at the door of the GII top 10," which "underlines the continued importance of governmental policies and incentives to stimulate innovation."

Since 2013, China has moved up the GII ranks consistently and steadily, establishing itself as a global innovation leader.

According to the GII, the number of China's patents by origin, scaled by gross domestic product (GDP), is higher than those of Japan, Germany and the United States, and is even more impressive when considered in absolute terms. The same is true for the number of trademarks and industrial designs by origin as a percentage of GDP.

In terms of innovation clusters geographically, the top 10 list remains the same as last year with only minor shifts. Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Guangzhou and Beijing now rank second and third, respectively, after the Tokyo-Yokohama cluster in Japan. Shanghai ranks eighth. Of the top 100 clusters, China has 19.

Published annually, the Global Innovation Index provides performance measures and ranks 132 economies on their innovation ecosystems. As in past years, Switzerland, Sweden, the United States and the United Kingdom continue to lead the innovation ranking. Other countries in the GII top 10 include South Korea, the Netherlands, Finland, Singapore, Denmark and Germany.

According to WIPO Director General Daren Tang, "in spite of the massive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic … many sectors have shown remarkable resilience, especially those that have embraced digitalization, technology and innovation."

"As the world looks to rebuild from the pandemic, we know that innovation is integral to overcoming the common challenges that we face and to constructing a better future," he said.

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