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China Ranks 14th in 2019 Global Innovation Index

Recently, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) released the 2019 Global Innovation Index Report (GII) in India. According to the GII, China ranks 14th, ascending three spots to join the ranks of the top 15 innovative economies for the first time. "I am very pleased to see that China ranks 14th in the Global Innovation Index this year and completes its goal of 'making the top 15 of Global Innovation Index in 2020' ahead of schedule. The efforts of the Chinese government and enterprises have paid off," Sacha Wunsch-Vincent, head of the Economics and Statistics Division of WIPO made the above assessment and applauded China's achievements. 

Wunsch-Vincent believed that in spite of the slowdown of global economic growth, innovation is still gaining strong momentum across the globe and the growth of innovation outpaces economic development. Compared with some developed countries, China, as a developing country, has maintained realtively high input in innovation and scientific research, very healthy and effective measures to social and economic development.

This year's report is evaluated and ranked based on 80 indicators of seven pillars, namely  institutions, human capital and research, infrastructure, market sophistication, business sophistication, knowledge and technology outputs and creative outputs. The report shows that this year China ranks first among 34 upper-middle-income economies. China ranks 26th and 5th in the rankings of innovation input and innovation output respectively, performing better compared with last year and the previous year. 

"Although China did a fantastic job in the field of innovation, it can be seen from the data that China is still weak in infrastructure construction, human capital and research, and institutional construction. China shall pay attention to these three aspects in its future development," Wunsch-Vincent said, "China has made remarkable achievements in terms of knowledge technology and creative output. We can foresee that in the next few years, China shall increase investment in human capital and research, infrastructure and institutional construction which will further improve China's rankings." In addition, Vincent suggested that although China's innovation output has reached the elite level, in the future, China should focus on knowledge-intensive industries and high value-added industries, perform high-level industrial integration, develop new technologies and products, further enhancing the market competitiveness of Chinese companies.

Chen Dongmin, Chair Professor of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute of Peking University and deputy director of the China Innovation Index Research Center, said that innovation capability is related to economic development. China's innovation capability is improving rapidly, but it is still a big challenge to overtake some developed countries and reach the world's leading level. "China is currently transitioning from a middle-income country to a high-income one. We have performed well in terms of innovation output and input-output ratio. In the future development, we shall pay more attention to how to improve weaker indicators," said Chen Dongmin, adding that China should not only focus on the GII index, but also have a clearer understanding of those areas requiring improvement.

Talking about the contributing factors to China's significant progresses for four consecutive years, Chen Dongmin analyzed that on one hand, China has performed well in terms of innovation output, especially in scientific document, patent applications and exports of high-tech products. On the other hand, the Chinese government's strengthening measures in IP protection and ever-increasing infusion of resources into innovation and R&D also pay dividends.