China joins 20 most innovative economies, the US falls to No. 6

NEW YORK – China has joined the world’s top 20 most innovative economies for the first time, while the United States decreased from the five top-ranked countries, according to a report released Tuesday by one of the co-sponsors, the U. N. intellectual property agency.

The Global Innovation Index 2018 keep Switzerland in the Number 1 position, followed by the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Singapore. The United States fell from fourth place in 2017 to sixth this year, while China jumped from 22 to 17 in the rankings.

Francis Gurry, director-general of the U. N. World Intellectual Property Organization, said China’s ranking represents a breakthrough for the economy, which is rapidly changing, and the prioritization of research and ingenuity.

“China’s rapid rise reflects a strategic direction from the top leadership to develop world-class capability in innovation and moving the structural basis of the economy to more knowledge-intensive industries that depend on innovation to maintain competitive advantage,” Gurry said. “It announces the arrival of the multipolar innovation.”

Now in its 11th edition, the index ranks 126 economy is based on 80 indicators, ranging from the creation of mobile applications to the expenditure for education, scientific and technical publications, and intellectual property filing rates.

The index is sponsored by WIPO, Cornell University SC Johnson College of Business and INSEAD, the graduate school of business with campuses in France, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. They say that the global policy makers a better understanding of how to stimulate innovation, which “drives economic and human development.”

The report said: “China’s innovation prowess is reflected in the different areas,” with some of the biggest improvements in global research and development companies, high technology imports, the quality of the publications, and enrollment in higher education.

“In absolute values and in areas such as R&D expenditure and number of researchers, patents and publications, China is now the first or the second in the world, with volumes that far surpass most of the high income economy,” he said.

The report said that China’s rapid rise in the rankings of the past few years is spectacular, and that it points the way for other middle-income economies, but only Malaysia, currently 35th in the standings continues to edge closer to the top 25.

According to the index, 20 middle-and lower-income economies to perform “significantly better” than their level of development would predict, made this year’s list of the “innovation-achievers’, including three for the first time to South Africa, Tunisia and Colombia.

Six of the performers come from sub-Saharan Africa, the most for any region. In addition to South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Mozambique, Malawi and Madagascar.

There were five performers from eastern Europe — Moldova, Armenia, Ukraine, Montenegro and Serbia.

The report identifies three countries that have a comeback on the performers list of this year, Mongolia, Thailand, and Montenegro. Besides Kenya, the other three countries are on the performers list for eight years — Moldova, Vietnam and India.

At the bottom of innovation rankings are Bolivia, Nigeria, Guinea, Zambia, Benin, Niger, ivory coast, Burkina Faso, Togo and Yemen.

The list of 126 nations, includes the three countries that climbed 10 places in the rankings: Iran from 75th to 65th, Albania from 93rd to 83rd and Egypt from 105th to 95th. Macedonia, meanwhile, fell more than 10 places, from 61st to 84th.

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