Brunei 44th most innovative among high income economies

Azlan Othman

Brunei Darussalam clinched top place in ease of getting credit and cost of redundancy dismissal in the pillar of Market Sophistication and Institutions in this year’s Global Innovation Index (GII) 2020 report.

Regionally, Brunei Darussalam ranked 13th among 17 economies in Southeast Asia, East Asia and Oceania and 71st globally in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2020 report released on Wednesday by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It maintained its global ranking like last year but slipped four places compared to 2018.

In the report, the sultanate became the 44th most innovative country among 49 high income economies. Switzerland bagged the first spot in the GII ranking followed by Sweden, United States of America and United Kingdom.

Brunei Darussalam performed better in innovation inputs than innovation outputs in 2020. This year, Brunei Darussalam ranked 39th in innovation inputs while for innovation outputs, Brunei Darussalam ranked 113th.

This position is higher than last year and lower compared to 2018.

Brunei Darussalam produces less innovation outputs relatively to its level of innovation investments. Brunei Darussalam has a high score in one of the seven GII pillars: Institutions, which is above average for the high-income group.

Conversely, Brunei Darussalam scores below average for its income group in six of the GII pillars: Human capital & research, Infrastructure, Market sophistication, Business sophistication, Knowledge and technology outputs and Creative outputs.

Compared to other economies in South East Asia, East Asia, and Oceania, Brunei Darussalam performs above average in two out of the seven GII pillars: Institutions and Infrastructure; and below average in five of the seven GII pillars: Human capital and research, Market sophistication, Business sophistication, Knowledge and technology outputs and Creative outputs.

GII strengths for Brunei Darussalam are found in four of the seven GII pillars. For institutions (25), the sultanate exhibits strengths in the sub-pillar political environment (18) and in the indicators political and operational stability (3), government effectiveness (22), cost of redundancy dismissal (1) and ease of starting a business (15).

As for human capital and research (51), it shows strengths in the indicators pupil–teacher ratio (12) and graduates in science and engineering (5).

Meanwhile for infrastructure (46), it demonstrates strengths in the sub-pillar general infrastructure (14) and in the indicators electricity output (14) and gross capital formation (3).

In market sophistication (76) reveals strengths in the sub-pillar credit (19) and in the indicators Ease of getting credit (1) and applied tariff rate (2).

Weaknesses for Brunei Darussalam are found in five of the seven GII pillars. In human capital and research (51), the indicator global R&D companies (42) reveals a weakness.

For market sophistication (76) displays a weakness in the sub-pillar investment (124). While for business sophistication (44) demonstrates a weakness in the indicator high-tech imports (115).

In knowledge and technology outputs (129) shows weaknesses in the sub-pillar knowledge diffusion (125) and in the indicators citable documents H-index (119), high- and medium-high-tech manufacturing (106), high tech net exports (128) and ICT services exports (130).

Meanwhile in creative outputs (89) it has weaknesses in several indicators; namely, trademarks by origin (116), industrial designs by origin (116), cultural and creative services exports (111) and printing and other media (89).

This year the two most innovative economies in the Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Oceania region – Singapore (8th) and the Republic of Korea (10th) – rank in the top 10. Hong Kong (China) (11th), stands just outside this group followed by China (14th), and Japan (16th).

These economies continue to be the five most innovative in the region and, along with Australia (23rd), are those that rank in the top 25 of the GII.

Four economies in the region improve their GII ranks: The Republic of Korea, Hong Kong (China), Malaysia (33rd), and the Philippines (50th). The GII 2020 themed Who Will Finance Innovation was published in collaboration with Cornell University, INSEAD and WIPO involving 133 countries.

In addition to providing a description of the global innovation financing environment, this edition covers aspects of progress and existing challenges including in the context of economic slowdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

While the data shows stability at the top, WIPO said it also clearly indicates that “a gradual eastward shift in the locus of innovation” is under way, with a group of Asian economies advancing up the ranking.