ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Tiny Singapore punches way above its weight when it comes to innovation: report

Bigger Asian peers don’t even come close.

Singapore’s domestic policies are a big contributor to global innovation, according to a report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF).

The report assessed 56 countries on how their economic and trade policies contribute to and detract from innovation globally. Singapore was ranked fourth overall in terms of contributing to global innovation, behind Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Singapore is also the only Asian country to make it to the top ten. Japan and Taiwan are the only other Asian countries to make it to the top twenty, at ranks fourteen and fifteen, respectively.

The report found a strong correlation between countries’ contributions to global innovation and their levels of innovation success, meaning that doing well domestically on innovation policy can also mean doing well for the world.

“Policies such as robust investment in and tax incentives for research and education support global innovation. In contrast, policies such as export subsidies or forced localization harm global innovation. If nations increased their supportive policies and reduced their harmful policies, the rate of innovation worldwide would signi accelerate,” the report said.

The report showed that India, China, and Thailand have put in place policies that have done the most to harm global innovation. 

The United States ranked 10th overall, with policies that did little to detract from global innovation yet fall short of those of other nations when it came to contributing to global innovation. 

China ranked 44th overall, principally because it fielded so many policies that actively detract from the global innovation system. 

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