Updated: Aug 23, 2019
The Philippines jumped 19 places to rank 54th out of 129 countries in this year’s Global Innovation Index (GII) from 73rd last year.
GII, which is co-published by Cornell University, graduate business school INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization, measures the innovation performance and progress of countries.
The Philippines’ ranking improved as it got a higher overall score of 36.18 this year from 31.56 in 2018.
In terms of the GII’s input and output sub-indices, the country’s scores and rankings likewise improved.
In the input sub-index that looks at innovative activities, the Philippines’ score rose to 41.68 from 39.14 last year. Its ranking inched up to 76th from 82nd.
As for the output sub-index that captures actual evidence of innovation results, the country’s score increased to 30.68 from 23.98 and its ranking climbed to 42nd from 68th previously.
Out of the seven pillars tracked by the report, the Philippines’ score increased in five: institutions, infrastructure, business sophistication, knowledge and technology outputs and creative outputs.
The country’s score in the human capital and research pillar was unchanged while its grade in the market sophistication pillar declined slightly.
“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, expenditure on education and global R&D (research and development) companies. Scientific and technical articles and new businesses are relatively weak on the innovation output side,” the report said.
Within Southeast Asia, the Philippines lagged behind neighbors Singapore (eighth), Malaysia (35th), Vietnam (42nd) and Thailand (43rd).
The Philippines did better than Brunei (71st), Indonesia (85th) and Cambodia (98th).
Switzerland maintained its top position in this year’s GII followed by Sweden, the United States, Netherlands and United Kingdom. Yemen remained the bottom-dweller.
Commenting on the results, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the report recognized the efforts of government agencies such as the Departments of Trade and Industry, Science and Technology and National Economic and Development Authority in advancing innovation, creating an innovative culture as well as building linkages with the academe and industry.
“With President Duterte’s signing into law of the Philippine Innovation Act and Innovative Startup Act, we expect further improvements in our ranking as we intensify efforts to build our country’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem, accelerate and globalize our startups and better prepare MSMEs and industries for the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” Lopez said.
Malacañang is optimistic that the Philippines’ ranking in the GII will improve further following the enactment of laws that seek to provide incentives to innovative businesses.
“We foresee that the Philippines will improve its rankings with higher scores in all of the aspects for innovation,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
“We commend the departments and agencies responsible for the improvement of our country relative to its economy’s innovation development,” he added.
The Philippine Innovation Act and Innovative Startup Act were signed into law by Duterte in April.
The Philippine Innovation Act aims to use innovation to help the poor and to make micro, small and medium enterprises competitive. It also creates a P1-billion innovation fund to boost entrepreneurship engaged in developing innovative solutions benefiting the poor.
The Innovative Startup Act establishes a program that would provide benefits and incentives for startups or startup enablers. A startup is a person or registered entity in the Philippines that aims to develop an innovative product, process or business model. – With Alexis Romero