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Brunei makes big leap in Global Innovation Index

By Borneo Bulletin

Azlan Othman

BRUNEI Darussalam has registered a massive improvement in the Ease of Getting Credit indices under the Market Sophistication Indicator in the latest Global Innovation Index (GII) 2018, leaping from 55th place last year to second place globally this year.

The Sultanate also retained its global first position in Institution Indicator, especially in the cost of redundancy dismissal (which measures the cost of advance notice requirements and severance payments due when terminating a redundant worker, expressed in weeks of salary).

In the index, Brunei is the ninth most innovative country in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Globally, the Sultanate leapfrogged from 71st in 2017 to 67th in this year’s ranking.

Switzerland retained its number-one spot in the GII ranking, followed by the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Singapore, the United States of America, Finland, Denmark, Germany and Ireland.

Meanwhile, China broke into the world’s top 20 most-innovative economies for the first time.

Now in its 11th edition, the Global Innovation Index ranking published annually by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Index ranks 126 economies (36 are OIC countries) based on 80 indicators, ranging from intellectual property filing rates to mobile-application creation, education spending and scientific and technical publications.

The GII is a detailed quantitative tool that helps global decision makers better understand how to stimulate the innovative activity that drives economic and human development.

Brunei also fared well in other indicators such as Applied Tariff Rate (fourth place); Political Stability and Safety (sixth place); Graduates in Science and Engineering (eighth place); and Percentage of GDP (ninth place).

However, the index shows that more needs to be done to improve other indices such as Trademarks by Origin (118th place); Knowledge Impact (118th); ICT Service Imports (115th); Industrial Designs by Origin (111th); Domestic Market Scale (108th) and E-participation (101th).

Malaysia, the UAE and Turkey are the OIC’s top three innovation leaders.

Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam continued to move up the rankings, steering closer to regional powerhouses like China, Japan, Singapore and Republic of Korea.

“Over time, a number of emerging economies stand out for being real movers and shakers in the innovation landscape,” said former dean and Professor of Management at Cornell University Soumitra Dutta.

“Aside from China, which is already in the top 25, the middle-income economy closest to this top group is Malaysia. Other interesting cases are India, Iran, Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam which consistently climb in the rankings,” he added. This year all economies in the Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Oceania region are ranked within the top 100 in the GII. In this region, Singapore (five), Republic of Korea (12) and Japan (13) are the top-ranked.

Singapore retained its first place in the following indicators – Government Effectiveness, Regulatory Quality and Foreign Direct Investment Outflows.

The City State is also the top performer in Political Stability and Safety, Market Capitalisation, Foreign Direct Investment Inflows, High – and Medium – High Tech Manufacturing and High – Tech Net Exports.

Japan ranked first in a number of indicators such as Gross Domestic Expenditure on R&D Financed by Business and Intellectual Property Receipts.

Meanwhile, Republic of Korea maintained its top rankings in Patents Applications by Origin and various indicators measuring R&D efforts. It also retained its first spot in Industrial Designs by Origin. Korea also ranked eighth in Mobile App Creation, the newly introduced indicator.