Global innovation: PH struggling to keep up with other countries | Inquirer News

Global innovation: PH struggling to keep up with other countries

By: - Content Researcher Writer / @inquirerdotnet
/ 02:22 PM October 11, 2022
Global innovation: PH struggling to keep up with other countries FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines slid by eight notches in the Global Innovation Index (GII), which measures a country’s tech advancement, among others, from 2021 to 2022, ending up with the rank of 59 out of 132 countries.

Data from the latest iteration of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) GII report, which measures the performance of countries in terms of progress in innovations (like patents produced and technological advancements), showed that the Philippines “fell back slightly” in the global ranking.


The WIPO noted that the slump underlined the importance of sustaining innovation efforts over time.

The countries were ranked based on their overall score and the average of two sub-indices. These included one that measured how the economy enabled innovative activities (innovation input sub-index) and another that measured the result of these innovative activities (innovation output sub-index).


The Philippines had an overall score of 30.7 this year—lower than its score of 35.3 recorded in 2021.

Switzerland, which ranked first again this year, scored 64.6. Trailing behind were the United States (61.8), Sweden (61.6), the United Kingdom (59.7), and the Netherlands (58.0).

“As to technological catch-up and convergence, the past three decades were an unacknowledged golden age that has led to unconditional and historic convergence,” the report said.

“This was thanks to increased globalization and what came with it in terms of knowledge diffusion and technology and innovation transfer, including managerial and other organizational and process innovations,” it added.

PH's innovation ranking

GRAPHIC: Ed Lustan

“All those countries that have climbed the GII innovation rankings over time, for example, China, India, Turkey, the Philippines, and Vietnam, have for various reasons (e.g., industrial policies) been able to develop homegrown technological capabilities; an achievement reflected in measured innovation performance and the ability to participate in global value chains,” it said.

Rankings in SEAO

Still, the country maintained its position among countries in Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Oceania (SEAO) that continue to change the innovation landscape.

Same as last year, the Philippines ranked 11th among 17 economies in the region this year.


This is the fourth year that the country was included on the list of innovation achievers in the region—starting in 2015, then in 2020, 2021, and this year.

The WIPO found that the Philippines was also among the countries in the region—alongside Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Lao People’s Democratic Republic—that have made “the greatest advances over the past decade, moving up more than 20 ranks.”

The SEAO region also continues to close the innovation performance gap with Northern America and Europe. Seven SEAO economies are world innovation leaders: the Republic of Korea (6th in global rankings), Singapore (7th), China (11th), Japan (13th), Hong Kong, China (14th), New Zealand (24th), and Australia (25th)

Out of the 36 countries in the lower middle-income group, the Philippines ranked fifth, retaining its performance above expectations for the level of development.

India (40th in the global rankings) ranked first among lower middle-income countries, followed by Vietnam (48th), Iran (53rd), and Ukraine (57th).

2nd high-tech exporter worldwide

Despite falling in the global rankings this year, the WIPO highlighted that the Philippines continues to lead in key innovation indicators. The GII report stated that the country holds the second position worldwide in high-tech exports.

According to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), electronic products were among the top Philippine exports, with an 8.2 percent growth rate between January 2021 and January 2022.

Top high tech exporter

GRAPHIC: Ed Lustan

This amounted to a free-on-board (FOB) price of around $3.2 billion (58.94 percent of total exports in January 2021) and $3.5 billion (28 percent of total exports in January 2022).

Data from the PSA also showed that the top exported electronic products in January this year included:

  • Components/Devices (Semiconductors): $2.6 billion
  • Electronic Data Processing: $507 million
  • Office Equipment: $61 million
  • Consumer Electronics: $89 million
  • Telecommunication: $85 million
  • Communication/Radar: $44 million
  • Control and Instrumentation: $64 million
  • Medical/Industrial Instrumentation: $18 million
  • Automotive Electronics: $15 million

According to the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation Inc. (Seipi), the electronics sector—the country’s largest exporter—shipped out $45.92 billion worth of goods in 2021.

READ: Value of PH electronics export hits record in ’21

PH slide: ‘most alarming’

In a statement last October 3, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), however, described the country’s current GII ranking as “most alarming.”

“We regret to see the decline of the Philippines in the 2022 Global Innovation Index (GII),” said IPOPHL Director General Rowel Barba.

“Our slide of eight rungs is most alarming. This calls for the urgent task of accelerating work at the National Innovation Council (NIC) to sustain innovation over time,” he added.

Barba said the decline might be attributed to double-digit declines in education and tertiary education (human capital and research), knowledge creation (knowledge and technology output) and creative goods and services (creative output).

Exported electronic products in January 2022

GRAPHIC: Ed Lustan

Under the innovation sub-index of GII, five pillars had been listed—institutions, human capital and research, infrastructure, market sophistication and business sophistication.

These enabler pillars, according to WIPO, define aspects of the environment conducive to innovation within an economy.

“In promoting the export of our cultural and creative services, IPOPHL commits to engage more proactively with our creative economy and ensure yielding positive outcomes from the creatives-based partnerships we have been forging over the years,” Barba said.

“We also see the recently legislated Creative Industries Development Act as providing a boost to bring our creative genius to the global stage,” he added.

He also said that the IPOPHL will intensify its work in “creating an environment that stimulates creative and innovative activities through promoting IP protection and creating a robust enforcement regime.”

READ: IP rights body alarmed by PH slide on innovation index

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